Neonatal Physician Assistant Program

Neonatal Physician Assistant Program

Our 12-month Neonatal Physician Assistant Program trains certified physician assistants to deliver comprehensive, team-based care.

The Neonatal Physician Assistant Program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital trains certified Physician Assistants to deliver comprehensive, team-based care for high risk and convalescing newborns in the inpatient and ambulatory care settings.

During the 12 month program, trainees participate in didactic and supervised clinical experiences in both the inpatient and outpatient setting, which includes well baby nurseries, neonatal intensive care units and follow up clinics.

What You Need to Know


The curriculum is divided into rotational blocks:

  • Block I focuses on the well newborn. Clinical sites will include the well baby nursery and low risk delivery room.
  • Block II focuses on the high-risk, sick and preterm newborn. Clinical sites will include low and high risk delivery rooms and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in a delivery hospital.
  • Block III focuses on the complex, critically ill and convalescing infants. Clinical site is the main campus NICUs at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
  • Block IV includes transitional care, discharge planning and follow up care of the NICU patient and family. The clinical sites take place within the Neonatal Follow-Up Clinics at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Didactic offerings include live and taped lectures, readings, videos, simulations and written assignments.

Each PA Fellow is assigned a primary physician or PA preceptor. Clinical site rotations are directly proctored by unit based physician, APRN, PA and RN faculty.

Rotational objectives, goals and evaluations have been developed for the PA Fellow and clinical site preceptors.

Written evaluations are provided by clinical site preceptor to the trainee every 2- 4 weeks. Formal assessments of progress are provided by the primary preceptor at least once per block.

Required Qualifications

  • Master of Physician Assistant Studies from an accredited university
  • Active certification by National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA)
  • Active Ohio Association of Physician Assistants (OAPA) licensure
  • Commitment to practice at Nationwide Children's Hospital for one year following training
  • Prior neonatal experience required

Required Application Materials

  • Completed application form
  • Current resume
  • One page typewritten narrative stating why you are interested in becoming a Neonatal PA
  • PA Program transcripts (unofficial transcripts are acceptable)
  • Three current professional letters of recommendation
  • Official copy of NCCPA scores (if certified) – sent directly from NCCPA

Those who have not taken the certification exam prior to the application deadline should include their anticipated test date on the application form.

Application materials must be submitted, preferably via email, to Program Director Erin Keels at by July 31 (for a February start date) and December 31 (for a July state date).

Applications may also be submitted by mail:

Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Attn: Erin Keels
700 Children’s Drive
Columbus, OH 43205

The Admissions Committee will review completed applications and select candidates to be invited for in-person interviews.


Trainees will receive a stipend of $63,000 for the 12-month program.


Trainees in graduate medical education programs sponsored by Nationwide Children’s Hospital are employees of the hospital and as such are eligible for the same benefits that other full time staff receive as well as some additional perks that are outlined below:

Paid Time Off/Vacation

Two weeks (80 hours) of vacation per academic year. A week is approximately 40 hours per week and may include weekends and night shifts.

80 hours of sick leave for duration of program.


The hospital recognizes the following as paid holidays:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

Trainees may be required to work some holidays, dependent on patient care responsibilities.

Professional Conference Funding

Trainees in good standing are encouraged to attend professional conferences. Programs receive funding annually for trainees to attend and present at conferences. Funds may be used toward conference fees, hotel, travel and meals. Final decisions on conference funds are made by the Program Director.

NRP/ACLS/PALS Certification

Trainees are eligible to receive NRP, ACLS and/or PALS certification and/or recertification fees paid by program.

Association Memberships

Memberships for some professional organizations are covered by the program.

See the Employee Benefits and Perks for more information about insurance, financial and retirement plans, education and scholarship and wellness programs.


For more information regarding the program, please contact:

Erin Keels, DNP, APRN, NNP-BC 
Program Director, Neonatal Practitioner Program
(614) 722-6510