Pediatric Nurses are health care professionals who focus on the health care of young patients up to the age of 18.
They are specialized Registered Nurses that receive training in order to help their young patients recover from illnesses, disorders or injuries.
Individuals interested in seeking a career as a Pediatric Nurse will need a combination of training and innate qualities to be able to work with young children.
Education Requirements to Become a Pediatric Nurse
Individuals who would like to become a Pediatric Nurse have a few paths to choose from when deciding on this career path.
Individuals have the option to attend a bachelor’s program of science in Nursing (BSN), complete an accredited nursing program to receive a diploma or attend an associate’s program to complete an ADN.
In addition, all practicing nurses must also be licensed.
Individuals who pursue an associate’s program or an accredited nursing program to become a Pediatric Nurse should expect to programs to last 2 to 3 years to complete.
These programs typically include courses in microbiology, physiology, anatomy, chemistry, psychology, nutrition as well as social and behavioral biology.
Individuals pursuing these paths to become a Pediatric Nurse must also gain supervised clinical experience.
Individuals who pursue a bachelor’s program in Nursing (BSN) take a total of 4 years to complete this path.
In addition to the courses and education required by an associates or nursing diploma, these programs include an extensive background in additional courses.
For example, a BSN may also include courses in communication, critical thinking and the physical and social sciences.
The final step to become a Pediatric Nurse is to secure a nursing license.
Licensure requires an individual to complete a nursing program from an accredited institution.
An individual must take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN).
For more information on the National Council of State Boards of Nursing who administers the NCLEX-RN, please visit their website at NCSBN.
Pediatric Nurse Job Description
The majority of Registered Nurses, which also includes the specialized Pediatric Nurse, work in hospitals.
Some Pediatric Nurses may work evening, weekends or graveyard shifts to be able to provide round the clock care for young patients.
Pediatric Nurses are responsible for providing, managing and coordinating care to their patients.
They are responsible for administering the treatment and medicines prescribed by a doctor or other health care professionals.
In addition, Pediatric Nurses are also responsible for logging a patient’s symptoms and medical histories.
They will also log and record when a patient has taken or received a medical treatment or medication and any observations taken in regards to a patient’s mood or activities.
Pediatric Nurses will also consult with doctors or other health care professionals in regards to a patient’s health care plan and have the ability to add to any existing medical plans or treatments.
These professionals are also able to operate and monitor medical equipment and will perform diagnostic tests and analyze any results taken from the tests.
Pediatric Nurses will also teach caretakers on how to manage or treat an illness as well as give details on treatments when a patient is discharged.
Pediatric Nurse Salary and Career Path
Registered Nurses, including Pediatric Nurses, can expect to earn a median annual income of $65,470.
Exact wages will depend on level of experience as well as the industry an individual works in.
For example, Pediatric Nurses working for the federal government earn approximately $68,540 per year while individuals working for a private physician’s office may earn an approximate annual wage of $58,420.
Registered Nurses, no matter what specialty they work in, may have revolving shifts to provide round the clock care for their patients.
This may be more so for Pediatric Nurses who work in hospitals and care for patients who are hospitalized or internalized.
Patients with round the clock care benefit from Pediatric Nurses who work days, swing and graveyard shifts.
The job outlook for Registered Nurses as a whole is expected to be stronger than average when compared to other professions.
Job creation for this field is projected to be 19 percent through the year 22.
This makes entering the health care field as a Registered Nurse a strong career to go into.
Individuals who like to work in a busy environment working with young patients have plenty of opportunities as a Pediatric Nurse.
Individuals who are also naturally patient when working with children would be a great fit to treating some of the youngest patients.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does a pediatric nurse do?
Pediatric nurses care for children from infancy through late teens.
Pediatric nurses work closely with physicians and other healthcare providers.
They can perform examinations, take blood and urine samples, and may also order diagnostic tests.
Some nurses are also trained to interpret test results, diagnose diseases and develop treatment plans.
Pediatric nurses need a special set of skills, including compassion, patience, and good communication skills.
They must be able to comfort children and need to know how to talk to their patients in order to understand the exact symptoms.
They also need to communicate with parents and to explain the diagnosis and treatment plan and educate them on how to best care for their children.
How much does a pediatric nurse make?
How much a pediatric nurse makes depends on his or her level of experience and training, the region and the employer.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage for registered nurses was $71,730 as of May 2018 while the median wage for nurse practitioners was $107,030 a year.
As a pediatric nurse, you can earn anywhere between less than $50,000 and more than $180,000 a year.
How much does it cost to become a pediatric nurse?
The answer to this question depends on the level of education you are seeking.
If you want to become a registered nurse specialized in working with children you must first earn a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing or an Associate’s Degree in nursing and a state license.
A bachelor’s degree program in nursing can cost you anywhere between $40,000 to more than $100,000 a year, depending on the school you choose.
In order to obtain a state license and be able to practice as a registered nurse, you must take and pass the NCLEX-RN.
Licensed registered nurses can find employment in physician’s offices or in the pediatric department of a hospital.
After gaining a few years of experience you can continue your education and become a pediatric nurse practitioner.
Pediatric nurse practitioners need a master’s degree in their specialty.
Two-year master’s degree programs for pediatric nurses range from $60,000 to more than $75,000.
What is the demand for pediatric nurses?
The answer to this question depends on the level of training and expertise the nurse has.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for registered nurses, in general, is expected to grow 12 percent from 2018 to 2028 while employment for nurse practitioners is expected to grow 28 percent during the same period.
Nurses should have good job prospects in the future; employment opportunities should be even better for those who become nurse practitioners and for those who are willing to relocate to underserved areas.
How long does it take to become a pediatric nurse?
If you want to become a pediatric nurse, the first step is to earn a bachelor’s degree, an associate’s degree, or a diploma in nursing and a state license as a registered nurse.
Associate’s degree and diploma programs in nursing are typically around 2-3 years long while bachelor’s degree programs can be completed in 4 years.
After becoming a licensed nurse you can find employment in a pediatrician’s office or in a hospital.
If you want to specialize even further you can pursue a master’s degree in pediatric nursing and become a nurse practitioner.
Master’s programs can be usually completed in around 2 years.
In conclusion, pediatric nurses usually need between 2 and 6 years of training beyond high school.