Many nursing students wonder how to become a Pediatric Nurse. For those who want to work with children in the healthcare setting, a position as a pediatric nurse can be a very rewarding career. In addition, there is a high demand for pediatric nurse jobs.
A pediatric nurse must take into consideration the current developmental level when providing treatment and communicating with children and adolescents. Anyone can become a pediatric nurse by following the provided steps.
Pediatric Nurse Job Description
A pediatric nurse provides acute, specialty, and primary care for individuals up to the age of 21 years. There is a misconception that a pediatric nurse only provides care for young children, but this information is inaccurate.
The work environment may include hospitals, doctor’s offices, critical care units, and other community based settings. Some specialize in such areas of oncology, cardiology, gastroenterology, and dermatology.
The acute, primary, and specialty services that a pediatric nurse provides may include:
- Caring for chronically, critically, or acutely ill children
- Providing “well child” examinations
- Providing thorough physical examinations
- Providing routine developmental screenings
- Interpreting diagnostic and laboratory results
- Administering therapeutic treatment and ordering medications
- Immunization delivery
- Administering school physicals
- Diagnosing and treating childhood illnesses
- Providing guidance regarding common health concerns of children
A pediatric nurse also has the responsibility of explaining conditions to parents and providing support to both the children and parents. It is very important that a pediatric nurse keep detailed, accurate records of the progress of patients and notify doctors immediately when any changes occur with patients.
Pediatric Nurse Requirements (Education)
The minimum requirements be become a pediatric nurse include earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing and having the credential of registered nurse (RN). It is possible to earn an associate’s degree in nursing before completing the BSN degree or receiving a nursing certificate before completing the bachelor’s degree in nursing.
The coursework to become a pediatric nurse may consist of courses in assessment, research, and disease processes. Specific courses to earn the degree may include Pediatric Cardiac Anomalies, Respiratory Syncytial, Pediatric Toxicology, Pediatric Trauma, and Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. Programs also consist of extensive clinical experience with licensed nurses and healthcare professionals.
A pediatric nurse can sit for the examination from the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB) to become a Certified Pediatric Nurse (CPN) after gaining a few years of experience.
It is also possible to earn advanced credentials as a pediatric nurse and become a pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP) or a child nurse specialist in pediatrics (CNS) by earning a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN).
It is also necessary to complete specialized coursework in pediatrics to earn this degree. It is also necessary to be recognized by the state board of nursing as an advanced practice nurse (APN).
Pediatric Nurse Salary
Nursing careers provide some of the most lucrative salaries of all professions. The great need for trained pediatric nurses drives the income potential extremely high. The median annual salary for a pediatric nurse is $62,527 to 83,293, depending on experience and location.
Pediatric nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialist in pediatrics can earn an annual salary of up to $100,000. Pediatric nurses can work more than 40 hours a week in certain settings; it is possible to drive the annually nurse salary over $100,000 in healthcare environments with a greater need for licensed pediatric nurses.
The highest concentration of positions for pediatric nurses can be found in Los Angeles, Phoenix, and New York. These areas are likely to earn a pediatric nurse the highest salary available in the nursing industry.
Pediatric Nursing Jobs Outlook
The job outlook for pediatric nurses is expected to continue to increase through 2020. The increase is due to the increasing number of new hospitals, private practices, and clinic that are opening that require trained, pediatric nurses to handle the increasing demand for primary, acute, and specialty care services.
Greater opportunities are available to pediatric nurses who earn a master’s degree in nursing or earning the credentials to become an advanced practice nurse. It is also important to successfully complete and pass the nursing board examination (NCLEX-RN).
It may be necessary to take continuing education courses in nursing to stay abreast of the newest developments in aspects of nursing related to pediatric care.
It is possible to choose different routes to earn the Bachelor of Science in Nursing to become a pediatric nurse. Many students choose to work and attend school to become a nurse.
Distance learning degrees in nursing provide a greater amount of flexibility for working adults who want to advance their careers in one of the most rewarding careers today. A pediatric nurse should have the skills to make young patients and family members feel extremely comfortable in the healthcare setting.