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.