Age Parameters

For PNP Practice

For which age ranges can a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner provide care?

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Age Parameters

In recent times, there has been movement away from defining age parameters in the strictest sense. Health care communities now recognize it may best serve a patient beyond age 18 or 21 to receive pediatric provider care, particularly when a patient has chronic childhood conditions (e.g., cystic fibrosis).

As an example, a PNP specializes in cardiology and sees a young adult with congenital heart disease. However, it may be beyond the scope for the same PNP to manage more typical adult problems in the same patient.

PNCB does not hold the authority to define patient age limits for individual practitioners: Your board of nursing does. States may widely vary in age range limits for scope of practice. Sometimes state board age ranges for scopes of practice are not spelled out. Sometimes they defer to certification boards. It is crucial that you understand your state board's practice act, but we invite you to consider resources in the chart below to inform discussions.

Source Age Range

PNCB Primary Care CPNP Exam

Exam competencies are based on providing care to children from birth through young adult. PNCB refers to the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty (NONPF) Population-Focused Nurse Practitioner Competencies.

PNCB Acute Care CPNP Exam

Exam competencies are based on providing care to children from birth through young adult. PNCB refers to the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty (NONPF) Population-Focused Nurse Practitioner Competencies.

Boards of Nursing

NAPNAP

Through 21 years of age and, in specific situations based on patient needs, individuals older than 21 years until care can be successfully transitioned to adult health care providers

National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) Position Statement on Age Parameters for Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Practice.

NAPNAP, SPN & ANA

Through 21 years of age and, in specific situations based on patient needs, individuals older than 21 years until care can be successfully transitioned to adult health care providers

Pediatric Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice published by NAPNAP, the Society of Pediatric Nurses (SPN) and the American Nurses Association.

LACE

A rigid establishment of population age parameters is not in the best interest of patients. Circumstances exist in which a patient, by virtue of age, could fall outside the traditionally defined population focus of an APRN but, by virtue of special need, is best served by that APRN. Licensure, Accreditation, Certification, and Education (LACE) Clarifying Statement.

AAP

The establishment of arbitrary age limits on pediatric care by health care providers should be discouraged…The decision to continue care with a pediatrician or pediatric medical or surgical subspecialist should be made solely by the patient (and family, when appropriate) and the physician and must take into account the physical and psychosocial needs of the patient and the abilities of the pediatric provider to meet these needs.

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Policy Statement on Age Limits in Pediatrics.

Faces of Certification

PNCB-certified nursing professionals work in a variety of roles and settings throughout the US and beyond. Share your photo today!

Clayton Collins, CPN Shriners Hospitals for Children - Galveston Galveston, TX
Leticia Cole, CPNP-PC, CPN Sniffles & Giggles Waxahachie, TX
Renee Flippo, CPNP-PC Louise Herrington School of Nursing | Baylor University Dallas, TX
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