PEDIATRIC NURSE Core Competencies

As part of the Society of Pediatric Nurses Strategic Plan, the SPN Board of Directors has identified priorities to enhance the pre-licensure educational preparation and support the transition of the graduating nurse generalist into the profession of pediatric nursing through the development of core competencies for both pre-licensure and pediatric nurse residency programs.

The pre-licensure document lists evidence-based core competencies that prioritize and determine the foundational knowledge, skills and attitudes in pediatric nursing for the graduating nurse.

The pediatric nurse residency document lists evidence-based core competencies that prioritize the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to begin practice as a licensed professional nurse in a pediatric acute care setting.

NEW! Download the Residency Core Competencies Evaluation Tool.


The following organizations have endorsed the SPN Pediatric Pre-licensure and Residency Core Competencies:

Encourage Adoption in Your Institution

According to the CCNE Standards for Accreditation of Baccalaureate and Graduate Nursing Programs (2013), the SPN Pre-Licensure Core Competencies may be selected by a program as an additional standard or guideline to follow. While our competencies cannot replace the professional nursing standards and guidelines required, pre-licensure nursing programs can select the competencies and incorporate as consistent with the mission goals and expected outcomes of the program.

SPN has created customizable justification letters that you can share with leaders and decision makers within your institution to encourage adoption of the core competencies. We believe that it is vital we integrate these competencies into all nursing curriculum, as these standards help to ensure that baccalaureate nursing education provides the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required to be successful within pediatrics and provide safe, quality, child and family-centered care.

Released July 2017