The field of nursing offers many wonderful opportunities for professionals who want to become nurses. Becoming a nurse provides nursing professionals with the chance to work with many people of all ages and genders. Those who are passionate about working with children choose to become Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (PNPs). The specialized area of nursing holds many opportunities for qualified nurses.
What Is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner?
Pediatric Nurse Practitioners are nursing professionals who receive a formal education that teaches them knowledge and skills related to child health care. Nurses must earn a master’s degree in nursing and practice under the regulations and laws that govern the state in which they practice. These individuals serve as the primary health care provide for ill and well kids that range in age from birth to early adulthood.
PNPs can work in a variety of settings, including public health clinics, hospitals, private clinics, school health clinics, community clinics, and specialty clinics. Some Pediatric Nurse Practitioners choose to gain a higher level of nursing knowledge by acquiring skills and knowledge in specific areas of patients care such as neurology and orthopedics.
Their advanced skills in pediatric care allow them to provide the training from their advanced education to care for the needs of their young patients so that they can remain healthy or regain their health.
Job Duties of a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
The main duties of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners are to diagnose and treat injuries, infections, diseases, and illnesses faced by patients under 18 years of age. They also use their skills to provide assistance to the families of their sick or critically ill patients. PNPs help parents to take care of their ill children at home.
The job responsibilities of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners include:
- Providing contraceptive services
- Administering well child examinations
- Performing physicals
- Providing health maintenance care to kids
- Administering immunizations to children
- Diagnosing and treating various childhood diseases and illnesses
- Providing guidance to parents of their patients
- Maintaining health records
- Order screening and laboratory tests
- Create health plans for children
- Managing illnesses and diseases
- Writing prescriptions
- Performing procedures and tests
- Teaching children self care
- Teaching children’s health to those in the community
How to Become a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
To become a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner it is necessary to graduate from an accredited college or university with a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Nurses are required to work for a designated amount of time before taking the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN) to become Registered Nurses.
Nurses are usually required to have a minimum of one year of experience working as a nurse in a pediatric nursing setting before they can begin their training to earn their master’s degree in nursing. Those who have earned their master’s degree in nursing, or will complete their program before 2015 are grandfathered into the old Pediatric Nurse Practitioner requirements. All other PNP candidates must earn their doctorate in nursing to become Pediatric Nurse Practitioners.
The next step in the process is to take the NCLEX examination to become a PNP. To maintain certification it is necessary to earn a certain number of continuing education credits. Each state has specific requirements so nurses should check with the State Board of Nursing in their respective state of practice.
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Salary
The average salaries for PNPs range from $41,200 to $113,000 annually. The median annual salaries for PNPs are $85,200 annually. Some Pediatric Nurse Practitioners make salaries of $150,000 or more annually in some areas of the country.
The top salaries for PNPs have the following titles: Nurse Practitioner Correctional Facility, Hospitalist Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Practitioner Cardiology, Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Physician Assistant Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Practitioner Psychiatric, Nurse Practitioners Physician Assistant, Family Nurse Practitioner, and Dental Hygienist Assistant Training, respectively.
The highest salaries for Pediatric Nurse Practitioners are in the following locations: Miami, Florida; Chicago, Illinois; Houston, Texas; Phoenix, Arizona; Dallas, Texas; Indianapolis, Indiana; Orlando, Florida; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Charlotte, North Carolina, respectively.
The settings that offer the highest salaries for Pediatric Nurse Practitioners were hospitals, private practice, and family medical, respectively.
Pediatric Nurse Practitioners acquire a high level of education along with a wealth of knowledge and skills in the process. These medical professionals add a superior level of specialized care to the medical community that benefits their young patients. PNPs have the responsibility to care for those under the age of 18 to make sure that they remain healthy.