Pediatric nurse practitioners (PNPs) can create excellent professional roles caring for children with special health care needs (CSHCN) and their gamilies. Children with chronic conditions represent an estimated 31% of the US population younger than 18 years (approximately 20 million children in 1988). Five percent of all children who have multiple special needs account for approximately 40% of all pediatric health care expenditures. Skill building is needed for PNPs who have traditionally focused on wellness and common acute illness in primary care settings. Role theory and research can guide PNPs in creating roles and interventions to improve the health, safety, and developmental outcomes for CSHCN and their families. Two roles are described, with examples of specific nursing interventions. Assisting child care centers to serve children and families with special needs is an ideal role for PNPs who have knowledge of health and regulatory issues. Another important PNP role is working with adolescents with special health care needs as they transition from pediatric to adult care. Many resources (such as those from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau) are available to assist PNPs to create new roles and interventions for CSHCN and their families.