What Is a Pediatric Nurse, and Is This Job Right for You?

A pediatric nurse administers health care to infants, children, and adolescents. They are usually registered nurses or advanced practice registered nurses. This career is challenging and important, but it can also be a lot of fun. A good pediatric nurse can sensitively handle situations based on the age of their patient, and they are great at communicating with worried families. Because children face so many specific issues when growing and developing, a pediatric nurse requires specialized training.

What Are the Pediatric Nurse Requirements?

The first step to becoming a pediatric nurse is to become a registered nurse (RN) and gain some experience. During your time as an RN, you should focus on treating young patients. To become an RN, you’ll have to obtain a bachelor’s degree. After getting a few years of experience as an RN, you need to earn either a Master of Science in Nursing or a doctorate specialized in pediatrics. As a registered nurse, you can still be hired to work in pediatrics, but obtaining an advanced degree will enable you to specialize in this area and focus your work and research on pediatrics.

What Do Pediatric Nurses Do?

There are many places where a pediatric nurse may work. What are their duties, and how much does a pediatric nurse make? The answers will depend on a few factors, including their level of education and what setting they work in. They may find themselves in doctors’ offices, community-based settings, hospitals, and critical care centers. They all share a few general tasks in common, but the job may differ depending on whether you are working in acute care or primary care.

General services:

  • Drawing blood
  • Inserting catheters
  • Administering medication
  • Giving out vaccinations

Primary care services:

  • Delivery of immunizations
  • “Well child” examinations and health maintenance care
  • Performing school physicals
  • Routine developmental screenings
  • Diagnosis and treatment of common childhood illnesses
  • Guidance regarding child health

Acute care services:

  • Interpretation of lab and diagnostic tests
  • Performing in-depth physical assessments
  • Ordering medications and performing therapeutic treatments
  • Caring for acutely, chronically, and critically ill children

Some pediatric nurses may have a specialty area like cardiology, dermatology, oncology, or gastroenterology.

How Much Does a Pediatric Nurse Make?

A pediatric nurse salary can vary depending on a few factors, including location. It can also vary depending on the level of training, specializations, and the setting the nurse works in. Typically, a pediatric nurse salary is around the same as what a registered nurse earns. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a registered nurse in 2016 was $68,450 per year. A pediatric nurse can expect to make a salary close to this number.

The outlook for projected job growth is strongly positive: The nursing field is expected to grow at a rate of 15% over the next 10 years, which is faster than average.

How Can People Learn More About Pediatric Nursing?

If you would like to learn more about pediatric nursing, you can look to some of these professional organizations:

If you think that pediatric nursing sounds like a good career for you, the next step is to plan your education. There are many options to consider, but our nurse practitioner program guides can help you make educated decisions. You’ll want to consider which programs are the best fit for you and whether or not you are going to attend classes online. You should be aware of the expenses as well as possible grants and scholarships. It’s also a good idea to check out course schedules and graduation tracks in order to decide which programs align with your goals and interests.

Becoming a pediatric nurse is a lot of hard work, but it’s extremely rewarding. People who care for children are helping the world and investing in the future. If you are passionate about being a nurse and have patience, kindness, and a fun-loving personality, this could be the perfect career for you. It’s never too late to start planning the next move in your career and aim for a job as a pediatric nurse.