What does a Pediatric Nurse do?
Pediatric nurses are specialized nurses that provide care to children and infants in need. These nurses may work in hospitals, clinics, and private practices, to ensure that young patients receive the care they need. The job of a pediatric nurse is both rewarding and challenging, and it requires a high level of skill, compassion, and dedication.
Pediatric nursing is a vast and diverse field that covers many subareas of care for children and their families. Some of the subareas of pediatric nursing include neonatal nursing, oncology nursing, emergency nursing, psychiatric nursing, etc. Each of these subareas of pediatric nursing requires specialized knowledge and skills to provide high-quality care for young patients.
The duties of pediatric nurses can vary depending on the specific setting in which they work. In general, these professionals are responsible for performing routine check-ups, administering medications, and monitoring vital signs. They also work with physicians and other healthcare providers to diagnose and treat illnesses and injuries and to manage chronic conditions. Additionally, pediatric nurses provide emotional support to families, helping them to understand medical procedures and treatments and to cope with the challenges of caring for a sick child.
There is a difference between pediatric nurses and pediatric nurse practitioners. Pediatric nurse practitioners (PNPs) are registered nurses who have advanced education and training in pediatrics. They are licensed to practice independently and can diagnose and treat illnesses, prescribe medications, and order and interpret diagnostic tests. In comparison, pediatric nurses provide care under the supervision of a physician and may assist PNPs in their duties.
One of the main challenges of working as a pediatric nurse is the need to be able to work effectively with children and their families. This requires a great deal of patience, compassion, and understanding, as well as the ability to communicate effectively with both children and adults. Additionally, pediatric nurses must be able to manage stress and work under pressure, as they are often called upon to make critical decisions in emergencies.
Another important aspect of the job of a pediatric nurse is the need to stay up-to-date with the latest advances in medical technology and treatments. This requires ongoing education and training, as well as the ability to adapt to new procedures and protocols quickly and effectively. Moreover, pediatric nurses must be familiar with a wide range of medical equipment and instruments, and they must be able to use these tools with precision and accuracy.
Despite the challenges of working as a pediatric nurse or PNP, there is a high demand for these professionals in the United States. There is a growing need for skilled and compassionate pediatric healthcare professionals who can provide the care that these patients need. Also, pediatric nursing can be a highly rewarding career choice as they are often able to form strong bonds with their patients and their families. In addition, working with children can be a joy and bring vivacity and perspective to the workplace.
How to become a Pediatric Nurse
Becoming a pediatric nurse or a pediatric nurse practitioner in the United States involves these steps:
– Earn a Nursing Degree: to become a pediatric nurse, you must first earn a nursing degree, such as a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN). These programs will provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to become a registered nurse (RN).
– Pass the NCLEX-RN Exam: once you have completed your nursing degree, you must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed as a registered nurse.
– Gain Pediatric Nursing Experience: to specialize in pediatric nursing, it is important to gain experience working with children in a clinical setting. This could include working in a pediatric unit in a hospital or a pediatric clinic.
– Obtain Pediatric Nursing Certification: to demonstrate your expertise in pediatric nursing, you may choose to become certified as a Pediatric Nurse (CPN) through the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB).
– Consider Pursuing a Master’s Degree: to become a pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP), you must have a master’s degree in nursing, with a focus on pediatric care. These programs typically take two years to complete and will provide you with advanced knowledge and skills in pediatric nursing.
– Pass a National Certification Exam: after completing a master’s degree in nursing, you must pass a certification exam through a national organization, such as the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB) or the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).
– Obtain State Licensure: after passing the certification exam, you must obtain a state license to practice as a pediatric nurse practitioner. Each state has its licensing requirements, so it is important to check the specific requirements for the state in which you plan to practice.
Skills of a Pediatric Nurse
Pediatric nurses are specifically trained to understand the unique needs and challenges of treating young patients. Here are some of the key skills that a pediatric nurse must possess:
– Empathy and compassion: pediatric nurses must be able to connect with children and their families, understand their concerns, and provide comfort and support. This requires a high level of empathy and compassion, as well as a warm and friendly demeanor.
– Excellent communication: pediatric nurses must be able to effectively communicate with children, parents, and other healthcare providers. This includes being able to explain medical procedures and conditions in a way that is easy for families to understand.
– Attention to detail: pediatric nurses must pay close attention to their patient’s symptoms and changes in condition. This requires a high level of attention to detail and the ability to quickly respond to any changes or concerns.
– Knowledge of child development: pediatric nurses must have a deep understanding of child development, including the physical, emotional, and cognitive changes that occur at different stages of growth. This helps them to provide appropriate care and support to their patients.
– Adaptability: pediatric nursing can be a fast-paced and ever-changing field. Pediatric nurses must be able to adapt quickly to new situations and changes in their patients’ conditions.
– Technical proficiency: pediatric nurses must have a solid understanding of medical procedures and techniques, including administering medication, performing physical exams, and monitoring vital signs.
Salary of a Pediatric Nurse
In the United States, the average annual salary for a Pediatric Nurse is estimated to be $81,213, with a total estimated pay of $85,853 per year, according to Glassdoor. This total pay may include additional compensation such as cash bonuses, commission, tips, and profit sharing, which is estimated to be an additional $4,640 per year. On the other hand, a pediatric nurse practitioner can expect to earn an average annual salary of $134,388 and a total estimated pay of $145,557 per year, according to Glassdoor. This total pay may also include additional compensation which is estimated to be an additional $11,169 per year.
Q: Where do pediatric nurses work?
A: Pediatric nurses can work in hospitals, clinics, schools, private homes, community health centers, research facilities, or government organizations.
Q: Is pediatric nursing a good job?
A: Pediatric nursing can be a rewarding and fulfilling career for those who are passionate about children. It offers a competitive salary, flexible scheduling options, and the opportunity to make a great impact on the lives of children. However, like any career, it also has its challenges, like emotional exhaustion and burnout, and may not be suitable for everyone. The levels of stress can vary greatly from one workplace to another, and depend on factors such as the number of working hours and the support from colleagues.
Q: Is pediatric nursing a major?
A: Yes, pediatric nursing is a specialized area of nursing that can be pursued as a major in a nursing program. Students interested in pursuing a career in pediatric nursing will typically complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a focus on pediatrics.
Q: Is pediatric nursing stressful?
A: Pediatric nursing can be a challenging and demanding career, as it often involves working with critically ill or injured children and their families. Emotional exhaustion is a common experience among pediatric nurses, due to the demanding and emotionally challenging nature of their work. Like many other careers in the healthcare field, pediatric nurses need to have good stress management skills to help them cope with the demands of the job.
American Academy of Pediatrics. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.aap.org
Glassdoor. (n.d.). Pediatric Nurse Salary. Retrieved from https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/pediatric-nurse-salary-SRCH_KO0,15.htm
National Library of Medicine. (n.d.). Emotional Exhaustion Among Pediatric Nurses: Prevalence and Correlates. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5918642/
National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.napnap.org