Why Go Into Pediatric Nursing
You may wonder why people choose to go into the field of pediatric nursing. As weve mentioned earlier, it is a rewarding thing to see the smile come back onto a childs face once they are over an illness or their symptoms have improved.
Pediatric nurses play a large role in the healing and well-being of children in this role and most people say they would not want to do anything else.
There are challenges when children are diagnosed with terminal illnesses, and this can be a deal-breaker for some. But when they realize they may be the only bright spot in a sick childs life, they are inclined to continue with this career choice.
Pediatric nursing seems to be one of those hero professions that wont make you a millionaire but offers a wealth of rewards on a spiritual or psychological level due to the number of families and children you can affect by simply being a strong source of support to patients and advocates for them and their parents in a difficult time.
Educational & Licensing Requirements
It can take between 2 to 4 years to earn the necessary degrees required to practice as a pediatric nurse. Accelerated programs make it possible for individuals to graduate with an ADN in as little as 18 months. Nursing students are required to pass courses in nutrition, pharmacology, acute medical care, anatomy, physiology, and microbiology.
Upon graduation, nurses are required to take and pass the National Council of State Boards of Nursing’s National Licensure Exam. Moreover, each state has different requirements for nurses and it is important for graduates to carefully review these when applying for positions.
Upon entering the field, many pediatric nurses also choose to secure credentials as a Certified Pediatric Nurse. This requires nurses to have at least 1,800 hours under their belt. Obtaining a CPN can open numerous doors and lead to a significant boost in earning potential.
Job Market For Pediatric Nurses
With all of the necessary education, schooling, experience, licensing and testing completed, CPNs can apply for employment in childrens hospitals, community hospitals, schools, home health care, military facilities, specialty clinics, special needs day cares, public health agencies and primary care practices. Applying for positions in primary and secondary schools, as well as in private practices or children-centered community groups that offer preventative care for youths may also be an option.6
In 2014, the number of registered nurse jobs in the U.S. was reported around 2.75 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics . Additionally, the BLS projects that nursing careers is expected to grow, with a projected growth of 16% through 2024 a much faster than average rate compared to other occupations.7
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Career And Salary Outlook
If you desire a career in pediatric nursing, here are the general steps to achieving the credentials you will need to go forward:
1. Complete all nursing school and licensing requirements. .2. Specialize by taking on pediatric nursing internships and jobs.3. Enroll in a pediatric nurse training program that helps to prepare nurses with specialized pediatric knowledge.4. Consider obtaining your masters in pediatric or general nursing to advance in your career.
The career and salary outlook for pediatric nurses is optimistic. There will always be a need for qualified and experienced nurses in the pediatric field as well as related fields which specialize in child healthcare.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the average salary of a pediatric nurse at $69,790 annually. But people who go into this potentially lucrative field state that they do so not so much for the money they can make but from the rewards of helping sick children and their families.
On the other side of this is the downside to dealing with dying or terminally-ill children. However, being there for the child and their family in their last days also holds its rewards.
Labor And Delivery Nurse
A labor and delivery nurse works in a variety of settings, including obstetric units, emergency rooms, and medical centers. They are responsible for assisting physicians or midwives with the safe delivery of newborn children. They may also assist mothers with childbirth preparation exercises, providing education about the birthing process and answering any questions they may have.
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How Hard Is It To Become A Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Becoming a pediatric NP is certainly challenging, as these professionals need advanced knowledge of biology, pharmacology, pathophysiology, and other scientific topics. They also need good interpersonal and communication skills. However, this career can be rewarding if looking to develop a specialty as it is more specialized than other NP tracks, such as family practice. Also, the Institute of Pediatric Nursing reports there are about 22 pediatric NPs for every 100,000 children, so this career is certainly achievable.
Pursue An Advanced Degree
Albeit optional, many Pediatric Nurses can improve their job outlook and salary* by earning an advanced degree. Pediatric Nurses who wish to pursue an advanced degree can earn a Master of Science in Nursing Degree , and go on to become a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner . Most MSN programs take about 1824 months to complete.
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Understand The Specialized Role Of A Pediatric Nurse
Pediatric nursing is a specialization requiring an ability to connect with kids in a language and demeanor that comforts them . If you have a natural rapport with children and a desire to play an important role in their wellbeing and healthy development, becoming a pediatric nurse might provide the gratifying, meaningful career youre looking for.
The role of a pediatric nurse can be quite different from other types of nurses. For example, most RNs are adept at administering immunizations or inserting IV lines. However, with a pediatric patient, you might also need to use the art of distraction or a gentle voice with a variety of approaches to care. In addition, youll spend time educating parents on the importance of immunizations, nutrition and exercise to promote and support healthy child development.
Every day as a pediatric nurse may bring new challenges and opportunities to make a positive difference in the lives of others. According to the Institute of Pediatric Nursing, in a 2014 study 92% of pediatric nurses said they encourage others to join them in the career because its rewarding to have the opportunity to change the life of a child.
Characteristics Needed To Become A Pediatric Nurse
In order to enjoy performing the duties of a pediatric nurse, you need to have certain personality traits. Taking enjoyment from your duties as a pediatric nurse is important, as it helps you maintain a positive attitude towards your work, which usually leads to having a long and successful career.
A genuine interest in helping and caring for children
A deep interest in playing a key role in a childs life when that child needs you most
Able to form rapid connections with children and adolescents
Able to dispel the fears of children and gain their trust
Able to think quickly and stay calm under pressure
The authority and confidence to deal with children or parents in stressful circumstances
Able to smile through even the most distressing situations
Willing to work in a career that is emotionally taxing
Physical, emotional and mental stamina
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How Many Years Does It Take To Become A Pediatric Nurse
The time it takes to become a pediatric nurse depends on the pediatric nursing title youre interested in. Also, a full-time program will take less time to complete than a part-time program. The following are typical pediatric nursing education timelines:
- Nursing diploma/LPN/LVN program: 12 months.
- Associate degree in nursing program: 24 months.
- BSN program: 36-60 months.
- RN-to-MSN program: 24-36 months.
- DNP program: 48-72 months.
Remember that while part-time programs offer flexibility and enable students to continue working while attending school, they typically take longer to complete than full-time pediatric nursing programs.
Where Do Pediatric Nurse Practitioners Work
Most commonly, youll find pediatric nurse practitioners working in outpatient clinics, pediatric specialty clinics, childrens hospitals, and urgent-care facilities. While nearly all nurse practitioners work full time, hours for pediatric NPs may vary significantly depending on where you work. Pediatric nurse practitioners at outpatient or specialty clinics usually work more standard business hours, while 24-hour facilities like hospitals or urgent-care clinics may require working nights, weekends, or on-call shifts.
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Question 5 Of : What Skills Do You Need To Become A Pediatric Nurse
Get Your Nursing Degree
Your journey to pediatric nursing begins with your nursing education. The first step is obtaining a college degree. You can typically earn a BSN degree in three to five years. Another path is to get an Associate Degree in Nursing or become a Licensed Vocational Nurse , with the option to later transition into a BSN bridge program.
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What Do Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Nurse Do
Like nurses who work with adults in the intensive care unit, PICU nurses focus on treating young patients with serious, life-threatening conditions. Many of the core duties remain the same: monitoring and assessing patient statuses, administering medications or treatments, and working quickly to help stabilize a patients condition if they take a turn for the worse.
One primary difference is that, typically, PICU nurses have a smaller number of patients to care for during their shifts. While that might sound like it could be easier, remember that treatments are less uniform in a pediatric unit as patients are at varying stages of developmentmedications and treatment plans need to be tailored for the patients stage in development.
As you might imagine, these types of pediatric nurses encounter some incredibly emotionally taxing moments. Its not easy to witness young children losing their fight with cancer or a serious illness, nor is it easy to see the impact on their families. But its not all emotional low pointsaiding young patients on their way to a full recovery can be an incredibly rewarding experience.
Ready To Start Your Career As A Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
If youve always known you want to work with kids, and value the chance to nurture and support them as they go through some of the most important transformative years of their lives, becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner could be the nursing specialty for you. Theres no reward quite like helping a child with their whole life in front of them become healthier and happierand of course, its pretty nice to have one of the highest-paid nursing jobs, too!
Ready to get a fresh start with a fulfilling and well-paying career as a pediatric nurse practitioner? Click here to learn more about the BSN program at Brookline College, and start taking steps toward your new career in nursing today!
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Question 3 Of : Do You Need Any Special Licenses Or Certifications
Associate’s And Bachelor’s Degree Programs
Aspiring pediatric nurses may also complete a 2-year Associate Degree in Nursing or a 4-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Like nursing diploma programs, these degree programs offer classroom education combined with clinical experience. Coursework may include nursing ethics, health assessments and patient management. Students hoping to work as pediatric nurses may be able to enroll in pediatric-related electives or focus on pediatric care during their clinical education.
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Four How Do You Become A Pediatric Nurse
Whether becoming a pediatric nurse has been your lifelong dream or whether youre newly considering the profession, youll find that the effort you put into attaining the skills and education needed for this specialty are well worth it. Though there are a variety of options for how to achieve this goal, today most nurses follow a path that involves pursuing either a Bachelors degree in nursing or a Masters degree. Heres an overview of how long it will take:
Pros Of Pediatric Nursing
- Pediatric nurses spend their time providing medical care, support, and education to children and their families. For those who love children, spending time with patients is the best part of the job.
- Though every nursing position exposes you to sick patients, there is additional stress and heartache when children are the ones who are ill.
- Pediatric nurses play an essential role in improving their patients health and wellbeing.
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Earn Your Nursing Degree
To become a pediatric nurse, you are usually required to be an RN or APRN with either an associate or bachelors degree. Regardless of where you currently find yourself in nursing, Herzing University offers pathways to help you earn the degree you want and become a registered nurse:
- An LPN to Associate in Nursing degree for licensed practical nurses ready to take their skills and experience to the next level.
- An Associate of Science in Nursing degree for entry-level RNs that can be completed in 20-24 months.
- An LPN to BSN program for licensed practical nurses or licensed paramedics that can be earned in as few as 28 months.
- A Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree that can be earned in 3 years or less, based on transfer credit and applicable prior learning experience you may already have. You can choose an on-campus program or an online bachelor’s in nursing program available in select U.S. states.
- An online RN to BSN program that can be completed in less than 12 months if you are already working as a licensed RN with an associates degree.
- An accelerated nursing program that can be completed in as few as 20 months if you already have a non-nursing bachelors degree from a regionally-accredited college or university.
* Program availability varies by campus. Click through to each program for further detail.
What Does A Doula Do During Labor
A doula is a professional labor assistant who provides physical and emotional support to you and your partner during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period. For instance, a doula might offer: Attention to physical comfort through techniques such as touch and massage and assistance with breathing.
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A Day In The Life Of A Pediatric Nurse
As a pediatric nurse, you will work closely with pediatricians to determine the infant’s needs and determining the best methods for treating the child. This means providing treatment for illnesses and injuries, ensuring dietary needs are being met, and assessing the child’s overall health.
Pediatric nurses can handle a wide variety of tasks on any given day. These tasks can include administration of medication, taking blood, administering vaccinations, and even preparing the child’s medical history for the physician to review. Each of these tasks require a keen eye for detail and the ability to provide comfortable care to children who may not be too excited to be spending their morning in the doctor’s office.
Nurses must also be excellent listeners and have the ability to “hear” what a child is saying through everything from body language and other non-verbal cues to indistinct and sometimes hard to decipher descriptions of symptoms and injuries. A lot of what a pediatric nurse does is translate children’s language into actionable information that the nursing staff and pediatrician can use to determine treatment plans.
Doctor Of Nursing Practice
Some nurses choose a DNP instead of an MSN for their graduate requirement. A doctorate takes longer, but it allows students to study more advanced material and carry out their own research.
- Admission Requirements: Some schools require DNP applicants to hold a master’s, while others accept students with bachelor’s degrees. All incoming students should hold RN licensure and sometimes professional experience. DNP programs can prove competitive, so a higher undergraduate or master’s GPA can increase applicants’ chances.
- Program Curriculum: Often the curriculum focuses on a specialty area, like advanced clinical pediatric care or leadership. In addition to clinical rotations, DNP candidates complete a research project or dissertation before graduating.
- Time to Complete: This varies for each student and program, especially since many DNP candidates enroll part time. However, students can generally graduate in 3-4 years.
- Skills Learned: DNP students not only build on the advanced skills that they already possess, but they also learn about executive leadership, strategy, and improving patient outcomes.
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