How to Become a Pediatric Nurse

Are you interested in finding out what it takes to become a Pediatric Nurse? Full of helpful info about education, training, salaries and more, this guide will help you decide if it’s the career for you.

 

What Does a Pediatric Nurse Do?

Pediatric Nurses are Registered Nurses that provide medical care for children from infancy until their teenage years. Pediatric Nurses work in hospitals and clinical settings alongside Pediatricians. They monitor the growth and development of children and take care of their illnesses and health issues. Some Pediatric Nurses specialize in a particular area, such as pediatric anesthetics, pediatric oncology, and pediatric neurology.

In their day-to-day jobs, Pediatric Nurses work closely in a team with other nurses and Pediatricians. They help by administering medication and providing routine medical care to children and babies. They also work with parents to help them understand their children’s’ health situation and needs. Some common Pediatric Nurse duties and responsibilities include:

  • Monitor patient health. Pediatric Nurses regularly record their patients’ heights, weights, and developmental milestones, which allows them to determine if the children are growing and developing properly.
  • Administer vaccinations and immunizations. Pediatric Nurses are often responsible for keeping their little patients’ vaccination schedules up to date by inoculating them against dangerous communicable diseases.
  • Make diagnosis of illnesses and injuries in children. Pediatric Nurses examine patients’ symptoms and check vital signs to determine preliminary and final diagnoses.
  • Communicate with patients and parents. A key part of the Pediatric Nurse’s job is to communicate with sick children and their parents by addressing any concerns and advising parents on care and treatment.

Pediatric Nurse Skills

Being a successful Pediatric Nurse requires a certain personality and skill set. The ideal candidate needs to be a people-person, with a positive outlook and friendly demeanor. Because dealing with children can often be unpredictable, they should also have plenty of patience and flexibility. Critical-thinking skills are also beneficial to assessing the health and treatment needs of children. Additionally, Pediatric Nurses should have an abundance of compassion and a genuine love for children. Other key Pediatric Nurse skills include:

  • Excellent communication skills to effectively communicate with patients and parents.
  • Ability to work on a team.
  • Detail Oriented and strong organizational skills.
  • Physical stamina and ability to move patients and stand on feet for most of a shift.

 

How Do You Become a Pediatric Nurse?

Education and Training

Step one of becoming a Pediatric Nurse is to become a Registered Nurse. To become an RN, you can be educated through a hospital (a Nursing Diploma) or by an educational institution (Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)). After graduating from one of these programs, you will be eligible to take the National Council Licensing Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Once you pass that, you’re a licensed and Registered Nurse.

After becoming an RN, you should work in patient care for a few years, preferably with young patients. At the same time, you can take continuing education courses or complete an internship, fellowship or residency in pediatric care. Once you have the requisite training and experience, you can sit for the Certified Pediatric Nurse Examination, administered by the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB).

If you want to specialize in a specific area of pediatric care, you may consider earning a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). These programs generally take 2-3 years. Or, if you’re interested in becoming an advanced practice nurse caring for children, you may want to become a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP).

Finding a job

Job prospects for all Registered Nurses, including Pediatric Nurses, are excellent. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the employment of all Registered Nurses to grow 16 percent by 2024. More people have access to health insurance and are taking advantage of primary and preventive care services, which means more nurses are needed to care for them.

Start your Pediatric Nurse job search by perfecting your resume to showcase your skills and experience. For ideas to help you create your resume, take a look at our library of Pediatric Nurse Resume Samples.

After crafting your resume, begin your online job search for Pediatric Nurse job opportunities.  As you look for opportunities, think of ways to leverage your professional network, including people you met through school, internships, or residencies.

When you are ready to apply for a Pediatric Nurse job, make your application stand out with a strong cover letter that highlights your skills and explains why you’re the right fit for the job. For ideas, check out our collection of cover letter samples.

 

How Much Do Pediatric Nurses Get Paid?

Most Pediatric Nurses are paid an annual salary, with the median annual wage for all Registered Nurses being $67,490. The lowest 10 percent of Registered Nurses earned less than $46,360 annually, while the highest 10 percent earned more than $101,630.

 Top 10 States for Independent Insurance Agent Salary

Registered Nurses, including Pediatric Nurses, in the following states make the highest median annual wage in the U.S.

  1. California: $100,400
  2. Hawaii: $92,290
  3. Alaska: $88,130
  4. Oregon: $85,190
  5. Massachusetts: $83,950
  6. Nevada: $81,370
  7. District of Columbia: $79,630
  8. New Jersey: $79,230
  9. New York: $77,980
  10. 10.Washington: $77,020

 

Pediatric Nurse Resources

If you’re looking for more information on becoming a Pediatric Nurse, here are some additional resources to help you in your career search.

On the Web

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Jobs – Head to this helpful blog for insights on life as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, as well as career tips and other helpful info.

Pediatric Oncall – Check out this website for all the information you could want on child development, pediatric issues, remedies and from other pediatric health professionals.

The Children’s Nursing Blog– This personal blog provides insights and musings into the often challenging but always-rewarding career of a Pediatric Nurse.

Industry Groups

Society of Pediatric Nurses – SPN provides education, research and practice to advance the profession of Pediatric Nursing, with lots of information on how to become one.

National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners – While focusing on Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, this website also provides useful research and resources for students.

National Student Nurses’ Association – National Student Nurses’ Association works to further the professional development of future Registered Nurses and provides educational resources, leadership opportunities, and career guidance.

Independent Insurance Agent Books

Principles of Pediatric Nursing: Caring for Children (6th Edition) – This guide covers the foundations of core pediatric nursing principles.

PedsNotes: Nurse’s Clinical Pocket Guide (Nurse’s Clinical Pocket Guides) – Use this pocket reference as a handy resource to help you deliver safe, effective care for children.

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