PNP Job Search

Considerations for Pediatric Nurse Practitioners

Whether you are a new grad or an experienced pediatric nurse practitioner, searching for a PNP job presents you with an opportunity to expand your horizons and explore your options.

Most people consider making a change for the following reasons:

  • To find a first PNP job
  • To find a better work environment
  • To find a better location either for climate, opportunity, or to be closer to family and friends
  • To care for a different or specific population of patients
  • In order to relocate for a spouse or partner’s job
  • To find a better PNP job opportunity or career advancement
  • Unemployment or concern for the security of their present position or stability of the company/institution


Start your PNP job search by creating a road map of where you want to go. We recommend addressing the following questions:

  • Why do you want to make a change?  Consider a root cause analysis, or a structured approach to problem solving that can help determine what, why, and how, a change needs to occur. This will help ensure that you are making a change for reasons that result in self empowerment and confidence.
  • What possible geographic locations and environments are feasible for you to consider? How portable are you?
  • What work setting and environment are you looking for?
  • What type of job would you like? How much autonomy is important to you? What scope of practice are you looking for? What advanced practice structure or support do you want?
  • What is your salary range?  Consider cost of living changes at
  • What are your personal and family considerations or obligations?
  • What are you not willing to do as part of your position?  What would make you decide not to consider a position?  For example, working weekends, nights, long shifts?
  • How big can your list be? In other words, how flexible are you to give yourself as many options as possible, yet be realistic about what really works for you.
  • What role do you hope for, what responsibilities do you aspire to?  What procedures do you enjoy and have the skill set for? What clinical environments have you worked in, and what does this experience prepare you for? What are the most important characteristics of the work environment, such as people I work with, job role and responsibilities?
  • What is your dream PNP job? If you are not ready or able to find it, what are jobs that would prepare you to hold that job at some point in the future?
  • Would you like to move into a nursing leadership position someday?  If so, work toward the goal of having a title of “Manager” as part of your resume for a minimum of 2 years.  Your management experience and its scope, such as number of beds and FTEs you oversee is important, but it may not be as critical when looking for leadership opportunities within your own institution. If you are seeking a leadership position with a new organization, then it is very helpful to have management experience.
  • If you are from a bridge program you might consider starting in primary care working with a physician and other PNPs, who will continue to train you in your role after you graduate?


If you want to do inpatient work, you might consider working as an RN for a couple of years to gain experience with the patient population in which you would like to continue to work as a PNP. If you want to work inpatient long term, you might look for an opportunity that provides educational benefits to acquire a Post-Masters Acute Care Certification in states such as Texas, Arizona, Maryland, and Virginia.  Many of the hospitals are also requiring Acute Care Certification as well.   (Acute Care PNP Certification requires training and graduation from an accredited Acute Care PNP Program.)


A successful PNP job campaign includes a variety of search effort methods.  Start prioritizing your roadmap by location, facility characteristics, and job description. It is a good idea to create a tracking tool of your search. Keep written or electronic records of the jobs, hospitals or clinics, contact people, and information. Tracking your search enables you to be more effective, efficient and saves you time. It also helps you see the progress you have made.  If you customize your resume for different jobs, you can track each one that you send out by name.  You can use the tracking tool as a weekly planner to help you keep track of interviews, appointments, and results or additional leads.