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Standard Option Part-time/Distance & Online Learning Advanced Certificate 680bascert


Fall 2020 Delivery Mode: ONLINE

  • This program will be delivered online for the fall semester.
  • Your education is our priority and we will continue to deliver the applied instruction, collaborative experience, and industry connections that you expect from BCIT.

The BCIT Pediatric nursing specialty program is the only one of its kind in Canada. We educate students from around the world, and our certificate is recognized at every Canadian hospital and university. Our program gives you the skills employers seek.

Pediatric nursing is dedicated to the health and care of young people, ranging from babies to teenagers. Children, as patients, have unique healthcare needs that require specialized knowledge and expertise in their growth, illness, and injury. Pediatric nurses must also have excellent communication skills so they can provide a safe and supportive environment for young patients and their families.

About the program

  • Part-time, advanced certificate program that takes an average of 2.5 years to complete
  • Distance and online learning gives you flexibility to learn at your own pace
  • Two clinical experiences that can be completed in pediatric practice areas in your community or province

Our program prepares you for a career in pediatric nursing. Visit Program Details for more information about our program design.

Who it's for

This program is for individuals who:

  • Are current practicing, registered nurses (RNs) wanting an advanced pediatric nursing certification, or to complete their specialty Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in pediatrics
  • Are undergraduate nursing students currently completing an accredited BSN program
  • Enjoy working directly with children and their families
  • Have strong interpersonal and creative thinking skills, especially when communicating with young people

This specialty nursing program does not require relevant work experience. See Program Entry to learn more about entry requirements.

Your work experience matters

At BCIT, we value your work experience. If you’ve been working as a pediatric nurse, take advantage of our Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR) process and fast track your advanced certification education.

What grads can do

Our grads are in demand. See Graduating and Jobs to learn more about career opportunities in pediatric nursing.

Program Entry

Entrance requirements

The following are requirements for program entry into Specialty Nursing certificate and degree courses. Enforcement or waiving of any or all entry requirements is at the discretion of the program head.

If you have any questions about your experience or qualifications, please contact the program head to arrange program advising.

English Language Proficiency

Specialty Nursing courses are taught in the English language and require adequate English skills. To review BCIT’s requirements on English Language proficiency, please visit BCIT’s Admission and Registration page on English Requirements.

Work Experience

RNs or undergraduate students currently registered in an accredited RN or BSN program may start their Specialty Nursing Certificate by taking entry level theory courses. Applicants to the more advanced Specialty Nursing Certificate courses may require a minimum of 6 months to 1 year of relevant work experience in an acute care setting and a resume of work experience may be required to progress in the program. If you have questions about whether your work experience qualifies, please contact the program head.

If you are a long term or residential care nurse or an RN lacking current (within the last 2 years) acute care experience, Kwantlen College offers a Competency Assessment and Enhancement for Nurses course that provides a refresher in acute care principles.

This assessment involves an individual self assessment, multiple choice exam and practice simulation. This course may be required for admission in the Specialty Nursing programs. For more information on Kwantlen's offering please visit:

Once you have been assessed, you may be required to complete a tailored curriculum designed to meet BCIT's need for familiarity with acute care principles. This curriculum may include some of the following courses:

Clinical requirements

Note: Effective immediately, all health care workers who come into contact with patients at publicly-funded health care facilities or in the community, including at long-term-care facilities, will have to get the influenza vaccine or wear a mask during flu season. This policy affects all students who will be entering a clinical setting.

As such, you will be required to provide proof of your immunization or agree to wear a mask at all times prior to being placed in your clinical studies.

Basic Cardiac Life Support Certification

All students participating in clinical courses must have current Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Level C or Level Health Care Provider (HCP). The original certificate must be presented upon application to the clinical courses.

CRNBC Registration

As well as providing this information at the time of admission, BCIT requires students to provide proof of CRNBC membership (or Canadian provinvial equivalent) for each clinical course they enroll in. Without proper provincial registration, you will not be permitted to continue in the course.

Face Respirator Fit Testing

A face piece respiratory fit test is required before students are permitted to enter the clinical practicum. Upon successful completion of the fit test, the original certificate must be presented to the program and annual re-fitting is required. Students are expected to carry their certificate with them at all times during their practicum.

Respirator fit testing with a N95 respirator (1860, 1860s or 1870) is required and must be performed in accordance with CSA Standard CAN/CSA-Z94.4-02. Fit testing must also include inspection, cleaning, maintenance, and storage of protective equipment. Students will be given specific instructions in preparation for their fit testing by the provider they choose.

Recommended for success

Prior experience with children and families is an asset. This experience takes a variety of forms, including: a senior preceptorship in nursing school in a pediatric, perinatal or neonatal area; volunteer work with childbearing families; and employment in a pediatric, perinatal or neonatal area.

If you are considering pediatric nursing and have not had previous exposure to the profession, you can benefit from a day spent in a hospital pediatric unit, and from talking to pediatric nurses about the specialty and their practice.

International applicants

International students outside of Canada

International students must be currently working in their nursing specialty area and have a practicing registered nurse’s license in their country to be eligible for this program. All courses are delivered through an online format, so students do not need a study permit.

International students working in Canada

International students who currently hold a work permit and are working in their specialty nursing area with a practicing registered nurse's license are eligible for this program. Students are responsible to maintain a work permit that is valid throughout clinical training. All courses are delivered through an online format, so students do not need a study permit.

International students are required to have a study permit before they attend any in-class courses/exams as part of the program.

Program declaration

Please contact the program assistant to declare this program.

Scheduled intakes

Ongoing Part-time Studies intakes: January, April and September.

Costs & Supplies

Face respirator fit testing - approx $25 per year; annual re-fitting required.

Total costs for materials within the Pediatric Specialty Nursing program is approximately $300.

Tuition fees

Please see the Part-time Studies Tuition & Fees page for information on part-time tuition fees.

Tuition is charged on a course-by-course basis. View the courses in the program matrix for individual course fees.

Books and supplies

Textbook costs vary from course to course. Please check the BCIT Bookstore for the most current prices.


Program delivery

BCIT offers theory courses via distance education on a part-time basis. Complete one course in twelve weeks using online and mailed printed material and a telephone tutor for support.

BCIT offers clinical courses as both full-time and part-time courses in a variety of clinical sites throughout British Columbia and across Canada.

We offer two required courses (NSPE 7200, NSPE 7300) plus a clinical elective (NSPE 7900) via a full-time, ten-week program in greater Vancouver. The first theory course (NSPE 7100) is a prerequisite for this program. This option is offered with prior arrangement with the Progam Head and is offered only for a group of four (4) students or more.

Program matrix

Check current availability of courses for this program.

Required Courses: (17.0 credits) Credits
  NSPE 7100 Pediatric Theory 1 3.0
  NSPE 7200 Pediatric Theory 2 3.0
  NSPE 7300 Pediatric Clinical 1 4.0
  NSPE 7500 Pediatric Clinical 2 4.0
  NSPE 7600 Pediatric Theory 4: The Actutely Ill Child 3.0
Complete 7.0 credits from the following list of electives: Credits
  NSCC 7150 Dysrhythmia Interpretation and Management 2.0
  NSNE 7100 Neonatal Theory 1 3.0
  NSNE 7200 Neonatal Theory 2 3.0
  NSPE 7240 Pediatric Surgical and Neurological Nursing 3.0
  NSPE 7400 Pediatric Theory 3 3.0
  NSPE 7900 Pediatric Preceptorship 3.0
  NSPE 7910 Pediatric Nursing in the Home 3.0
  NSPE 7920 Pediatric Arrest Management 3.0
  NSPN 7100 Perinatal Nursing Theory 1 - Healthy Childbearing Experiences & The Newborn 3.0
  NSPN 7155 The Breastfeeding Experience Theory 2.0
  NSPN 7156 The Breastfeeding Experience Clinical 1.0
  NSPN 7720 Contraceptive Management in Reproductive Health for CRNBC Certification 2.0
  NSPN 7735 Sexually Transmitted Infections Management Modified 2.0
  NSSC 7000 Palliative Approach in Nursing Practice 3.0
  NSSC 8110 Independent Study in Specialty Nursing 1.0
  NSSC 8120 Independent Study in Specialty Nursing 2.0
  NSSC 8130 Independent Study in Specialty Nursing 3.0
  NSSC 8160 Independent Study in Specialty Nursing 6.0
and/or approved electives from Neonatal, Perinatal or Forensic Nursing. Please contact the Pediatric Program Head for approval prior to registering.
Total Credits: 24.0

Check current availability of courses for this program.

Transfer credit

Do you have credits from another BC/Yukon post-secondary school? Do you want to know if they transfer to courses here at BCIT? Check out BCIT's Transfer Equivalency Database to find out.

Program Details

The core, required courses in the program address content and skills that are basic to pediatric nursing regardless of the setting. The elective credits and courses enable you to pursue relevant areas of interest, based on your educational and career goals.

The first course in the program, NSPE 7100 (Pediatric Theory 1), focuses on children and families as clients. It explores partnership with children and families, and introduces developmentally supportive care and family-centered care as frameworks for Pediatric nursing practice. The course begins by looking at children in the context of nursing practice and follows with modules focusing on pertinent nursing care related to children from infancy to adolescence.

The second course, NSPE 7200 (Pediatric Theory 2), This second theory course in the Pediatric Nursing Specialty builds on the previous course, NSPE 7100: Pediatric Nursing Theory 1 Pediatric Theory 2 explores issues relat to caring for a variety of children with specific health challenges, incorporating concepts such as partnership with families, growth and development, and the effects of stress on children and families.

The children in this course face health challenges that bring them into contact with nurses. We will use the information about these health challenges to examine the effects on the child, and the role of the nurse in the care of the child and family. Concepts foundational to pediatric nursing practice are examined; including oxygen supply and demand, comprehensive assessment, clinical and ethical decision making using case studies. Prerequisites: NSPE 7100

The third course, NSPE 7300 (Pediatric Clinical 1), focuses on the knowledge and skills required to begin practising Pediatric nursing. The course is organized around the following key areas of practice: assessment, feeding, medication administration, fluid balance/nutrition, respiratory support and partnership with children. It emphasizes synthesis of knowledge, skills and attitudes that enable nurses to provide competent care to vulnerable children.

Together, the first three courses in the program prepare you to begin working with vulnerable children in hospital and community settings. Some students, particularly if you have limited Pediatric nursing experience, can benefit from additional clinical practice before beginning employment. We encourage you to take NSPE 7900 (Clinical Preceptorship in Pediatric Nursing) after completing NSPE 7300 (Pediatric Clinical 1). You can use NSPE 7900 as 3 elective credits in the program.

The fourth required course is, NSPE 7600 – Pediatric Theory 4 (3 credits): The Acutely Ill Child. This theory course supports further development of pediatric nursing practice and builds new knowledge related providing care for increasingly complex patients, approaching critical illnesses. Specifically, learners will have opportunities to develop clinical decision making skills and processes while examining the care of a patient experiencing an alteration in cerebral oxygen supply and demand balance and the care of a patient experiencing sepsis progressing toward septic shock. Learners will also have the opportunity to apply knowledge from previous courses related to family centered care, ethics in practice and best practices in specific patient situations and explore new knowledge related to contextual influences in critical care nursing practice. Learners will focus a portion of their study on a patient experiencing the following critical illnesses; respiratory failure, multiple organ dysfunction, cardiogenic shock, hypovolemic shock, DKA, CNS infection, and renal failure. Prerequisites: NSPE 7100 and NSPE 7200.

The second required clinical course in the program, NSPE 7500 (Pediatric Clinical 2), gives you an opportunity to pursue a particular area of interest. Select a key area of Pediatric nursing practice and focus your clinical learning on that area of practice.

The remaining credits and courses in the program are electives. Choose electives from within the Pediatric Nursing Specialty: NSPE 7400 (Pediatric Theory 3), NSPE 7900 (Clinical Preceptorship in Pediatric Nursing), NSPE 7910 (Pediatric Nursing in the Home), NSPE 7920 (Pediatric Arrest Management), NSPE 7240 (Pediatric Surgical and Neurological Nursing), NSSC 8120, 8130 8160 (Independent Study in Specialty Nursing). Choose electives from other related BCIT Specialty Nursing Programs, such as Neonatal Nursing, Perinatal Nursing or Forensic Nursing. Finally, take electives at other educational institutions that offer courses related to Pediatric nursing.

Program length

The length of the program is variable and depends on your pace of study. The maximum time to complete this program is seven years.

Continue your education

You are eligible to apply for an Advanced Certificate in Pediatric Nursing after completing 24 credits of approved courses. After receipt of an Advanced Certificate, you can choose to continue in the degree completion portion of the program, which requires completion of another 36 credits. Upon completion of all 60 credits of approved courses (including the Advanced Certificate courses), you are eligible to receive a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Specialty Nursing.

Graduating & Jobs

Our grads are ready

The BCIT Pediatric nursing specialty allows you to work anywhere in the world. Use our program to start your career in pediatric nursing or apply your new skills in your existing workplace.

Career opportunities

Pediatric registered nurses combine technical nursing expertise with strong communication skills focused on youth. They primarily work in dedicated pediatric units in hospitals or community health centers but can also work in doctors' offices and schools.

Positions start at approximately $32 per hour with opportunities available internationally. A typical day can involve:

  • Physical assessments
  • Educating families on care and prevention
  • Designing home care plans for children with special needs
  • Caring for children with chronic illness or injury
  • Creating a safe environment for young patients
  • Working closely with physicians on an on-going basis

Keep learning

Looking to get your BSN? Use your advanced certificate toward completing our Bachelors of Nursing, Specialty Nursing program.

Beginning in 2018, BCIT Specialty Nursing Advanced Certificate Graduates can apply to receive transfer credits towards the online, two-year UVIC Master of Nursing program. Applicants can chose from the Advanced Practice Leadership of Nurse Educator options.

Health Match BC

Health Match BC is a new service that helps recent specialty nursing graduates find work within BC. Funded by the provincial government, Health Match BC prioritizes the hiring of BC nursing graduates. For more information, download the Health Match BC [PDF].

Faculty, Advisors & Staff

Tara Hodgson
Program Head
Toll-free: 800-663-6542 x 7548

Stephanie Wood
Program Assistant
Toll-free: 800-663-6542 x 2230

Contact Us

Tara Hodgson
Program Head
Toll-free: 800-663-6542 x 7548

Stephanie Wood
Program Assistant
Toll-free: 800-663-6542 x 2230

Questions or comments?

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Stand-alone Courses for Career Development

We offer a number of Specialty Nursing courses that can be taken individually for career development without enrolling in a program. Please see Career Development for a list of courses and registration information.