If you’re looking for a fun and rewarding nursing career where no two days are the same, a pediatric nursing career could be just the thing for you. As a pediatric nurse, you’ll have the chance to work with some of the most precious and unpredictable creatures on the face of the planet – children. Not only do these nursing professionals get to help boo boos get better and treat illnesses, but they also often get the chance to watch children grow up as well.

Earning a BSN is the recommended level of education for this career. See Programs >>
 

Click on one of the links below for more information:

What is a Pediatric Nurse?
What do Pediatric Nurses Do?
Where do Pediatric Nurses Work?
How do I Become a Pediatric Nurse?

What is a Pediatric Nurse?

A pediatric nurse is a nursing professional that primarily works in the field of pediatrics. These nurses typically help provide medical care for youngsters from the time they are first born until their teenage years.

Children are not just small adults, especially when it comes to their growing bodies and health. Because their bodies are still growing and developing, they have different needs and even different anatomies, and their bodies and health issues are often much different than those of adults. Healthy bodies and minds, as well as proper healthcare, is extremely important during childhood. By monitoring growth and development, and taking care of illnesses and health issues early, pediatric nurses and doctors can help children grow up strong and healthy.

if you are considering a career as a pediatric nursing professional, you should know that it takes a certain type of person to be a pediatric nurse. For instance, pediatric nurses should be cheerful and friendly, and able to communicate effectively with both children and their parents. Pediatric nurses should also have an abundance of patience and be ready for just about anything. Above all, however, you should have a genuine love for children and a firm understanding of the common health issues that they face.

What do Pediatric Nurses Do?

Pediatric nurses often work in a team of pediatric healthcare professionals. This includes pediatricians, pediatric specialists, and other pediatric nurses. They may assist pediatricians or work alongside them, providing their own care. As a pediatric nurse, you will also have the chance to specialize in a particular area. Some specialty choices may include pediatric anesthetics, pediatric oncology, and pediatric neurology, among others.

One of the first responsibilities of a general pediatric nurse is to monitor their little patients. This typically involves regularly recording their patients’ heights, weights, and developmental milestones. In doing so, pediatric professionals are able to determine whether their little patients are growing and developing properly, both physically and mentally.

Pediatric nurses are often prominent figures during well baby and well child visits as well. These check-ups are typically scheduled every few months for infants and once a year for children over the age of two. During these visits, the youngsters’ vital signs and growth are checked and recorded. Pediatric professionals also check the patient over for any signs of illness or other issues to ensure that they are as healthy as possible.

Many pediatric nurses also responsible for administering vaccinations and immunizations, and keeping their patients’ vaccination schedules up to date. These vaccinations and immunizations help protect children from contracting dangerous communicable diseases. Some of the more common vaccinations protect against the following illnesses:

  • smallpox
  • chickenpox
  • measles
  • mumps
  • rubella
  • diphtheria
  • hepatitis
  • tetanus
  • pertussis
  • influenza

As most everyone knows, it is not uncommon at all for children to get ill or injured, and pediatric nurses will often deal with health issues ranging from colds to broken bones to life-threatening chronic illnesses. Based on symptoms and other data, pediatric nurses might also make preliminary or final diagnoses of illnesses and injuries. This is usually done after examining symptoms and checking the patients’ vital signs, including temperature. They may also be required to collect laboratory samples, including sputum and urine, which can help confirm preliminary diagnoses.Communication skills are essential if you decide to become a pediatric nurse. In this profession, you must be able to effectively communicate with other health professionals as well as your small patients and their parents. Your job will often entail addressing the concerns of parents and children; answering questions from both parents and children; advising parents on all sorts of problems their children may be experiencing; and instructing parents and children on how to take medications.

Where do Pediatric Nurses Work?

As a pediatric nurse, you will usually be able to find employment in nearly any type of medical facility that treats babies, children, and teenagers. This includes pediatric wards in hospitals, private pediatrician practices, and clinics. Some nursing homes and home healthcare agencies that cater to young patients will also hire pediatric nurses, as will some government agencies, such as social service agencies.

How do I Become a Pediatric Nurse?

To become a pediatric nurse, you’ll first need experience as a registered nurse RN). In order to gain this experience, you must earn a nursing degree and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCEX-RN). You should then work as an RN for a few years, preferably with younger patients.

Below is the educational path for a Pediatric Nurse (lowest to highest level of education)

Educational TrackSchool ProgramsAverage Education LengthChoosing Online or Campus
Earn a Bachelors DegreeView Programs4 Years Online or Campus
Earn a MSN DegreeView Programs2 Additional YearsOnline or Campus
Earn a PHD or DNPView Programs2-4 Additional YearsOnline or Campus

During this time, you can take continuing education courses or complete an internship, fellowship, or residency. This is particularly important if you wish to specialize in a specific area of pediatrics. You should also sit for the Certified Pediatric Nurse Examination, which is administered by the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB).