Pediatric Nurse - How to Become a Pediatric Nurse

Pediatric Nurse

Pediatric Nurse Job Description

 

A pediatric nurse is one who uses his or her knowledge and skills to take care of sick and injured children. From infancy through the late teen years, pediatric nurses care for the children patients and their families. Most pediatric nurses complete advanced training specifically in pediatrics. They work closely in collaboration with physicians and other health care professionals to provide the best of care to their patients.

.

Responsibilities

 

Pediatric nurses can perform all of the functions that other nurses do: physical examinations, measuring of vital signs, obtaining blood and urine samples and facilitating other diagnostic tests. Nurses with further advanced training may interpret the results of diagnostic tests to identify diagnoses and develop treatment plans.

Because of the special and specific health care needs of pediatric patients, many parents often prefer that their children be treated by nurses and other health professionals who are specialized in pediatrics. Children’s bodies are constantly growing and changing, and they react in different ways to injury, to illness and even to common medications.

Since they are infants and children, they get scared easily and cannot always communicate clearly what is wrong or “where it hurts.” Pediatric nurses are trained in how to talk to children to alleviate their fears and put them at ease. They are proficient in how to ask children questions about their health situation. This allows a more accurate gathering of complete information to aid in the diagnosis and treatment that is best for the child.

In addition to caring for their patients, pediatric nurses spend a great deal of time educating parents and caregivers about the best way to care for their children and to protect and promote their child’s health. In the case of children with chronic conditions, such as paralysis or juvenile diabetes, pediatric nurses can design home care plans that will help the family meet the needs of their child’s condition.

Promotion of wellness and health education is a big part of the pediatric nursing field. “Ped” nurses frequently staff community health fairs and visit schools to perform wellness physical exams, to assist with immunizing children and to provide routine developmental health screenings when indicated.

The opportunity to play a vital role in a child’s life, when that child needs help the most, makes pediatric nursing a very special vocation.

.

Skills

 

Communication

A pediatric nurse must not only convey information effectively, they must be able to interact and communicate with children which takes a certain finesse. They must be able to gather information from patients that might not know how to describe their feelings or symptoms.

Organization

Pediatric nurses have many administrative duties, so they must be organized and maintain to-date records of their patients and keep track of busy schedules. They also need to stay organized to manage their team of nurse assistants.

Assessing

Must be able to determine illness and injury by different methods of exams and inspections since many times their patients are unable to describe their aliments.

Compassion

They must be compassionate and caring since they work with small children and infant, who are susceptible to emotion and easy to effect either positively or negatively.

Emotional Stability

Must be able to cope with the strong realities and emotions that can come with the job. Seeing little children with aliments and injuries can be tough, so you must be too.

Patience

Must be able to keep calm and cool in stressful situations and be able to handle kids and parents that are going through a tough time.

.

Working Conditions

 

The skills of a pediatric nurse bring special comfort to children and their parents. When a child is sick or injured and being treated, it is a stressful time for everyone in the family. Pediatric nurses may work with their young charges in the following places of employment:

  • Doctors’ offices

  • Public and private care clinics

  • Hospitals

  • Inpatient and outpatient surgical centers

  • Acute care facilities

  • Neonatal units

  • Pediatric critical care units

  • Pediatric oncology units

  • Pediatric burn units

  • Pediatric rehabilitation centers

  • Public and private schools

  • Public health departments

Most pediatric nurses work closely with a physician who is also a specialist in pediatric or family medicine. The duties of a pediatric nurse are similar to the nursing duties in other departments, although the pediatric nurse may have more direct interaction with the patient’s family.

 


.

How to Become a Pediatric Nurse:

 

To Become a Pediatric Nurse, you first have to become an RN. Once certified, you can seek employment as an RN in the Pediatric Department of a hospital or the office of a Pediatrician or Family Practice Physician. There will be opportunities to learn more about the specific health issues and developmental needs of children and adolescents through “in-service” training and other opportunities. 

 

1. Earn an Associate's Degree (2 Years)

 

You can become an RN in three years through a nursing diploma program or associate degree program. Many community colleges offer Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) programs. Many new RNs will begin their education with an ADN program, then later advance to enrollment in a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or master’s degree programs.

During your time you will take general education courses along with Anatomy, Nursing, Nutrition, Chemistry, and Microbiology. An ADN will allow you into entry-level nursing positions. 

 

 -OR-

 

2. Earn a Bachelor's Degree (4 Years)

 

A conventional BSN program takes 4 years to complete. A popular movement now finds more and more colleges and universities offering students who already hold a bachelor’s in another field an accelerated route to nursing-program graduation. These accelerated BSN programs take between 12 to 18 months to complete. If you already have your RN from an Associates Degree, you can do the RN-to-BSN program in 2 to 3 years, which can open you up to more opportunity and growth. 

While in college, you'll want to take classes in Early Childhood Development and volunteer in a child-centered environment, so you will get experience working with children and know what you're getting into. 

A typical Nursing Program course load can look like the following:

 

Freshman Year
  • General Biology I & Lab
  • General Biology II & Lab
  • General Chemistry I & Lab
  • General Chemistry II & Lab
  • Calculus I
  • Calculus II
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • English 101-102
  • Electives
Sophomore Year
  • Organic Chemistry I & Lab
  • Organic Chemistry II & Lab
  • Social Sciences Requirements
  • Microbiology
  • Nutrition
  • Psychology
  • Electives
  • Liberal Arts
  • Language

Junior Year

  • Physics I & Lab
  • Physics II & Lab
  • Health Assessment 
  • Adult and Elderly Nursing
  • Professional Nursing
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Pathophysiology 
  • Intro into Research
Senior Year
  • Pediatric Nursing
  • Maternity Nursing
  • Elderly Nursing
  • Nursing Pharmacotherapeutics 
  • Community Health
  • Pediatric Nursing Electives
  • Electives

 

3. Earn a Master's Degree (2 Years)

 

It's not necessary to get your Master's to start practicing and to start getting on-the-job training, but if you do get your Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN) you can specialize to become a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP) or a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) in Pediatrics. To gain these certifications, you must pass an exam and meet state requirements.  

There are programs available for an accelerated master’s degree (MSN), which takes about three years to complete. More and more RN-to-MSN and BSN-to-Ph.D. programs are being launched as a way to meet the increasing demand for more highly educated nurses in the workforce.

Another accelerated program is being offered by an increasing number of four-year institutions. These programs, called Articulation Agreements, are formed in collaboration with community and junior colleges to enable associate degree nurses or bachelor’s degree nurses to effortlessly transition into BSN and MSN programs.

 

4. Earn the Required License & Certification

 

Regardless of the type of entry into practice program you attend, all graduates must pass the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) exam before they can practice as a Registered Nurse. The exam is administered by each state’s board of nursing. In order to take the test, you must first apply for your nursing license from your state board. Each state is different, so you must check to see if you meet all of the requirements for your state. 

The NCLEX covers the following:

  • Safe, effective care environment: Management care and safety and infection control
  • Psychosocial integrity: Coping and adaptation and psychosocial adaptation
  • Health promotion and maintenance: Growth and development through the life span and prevention and early detection of disease
  • Physiology integrity: Basic care and comfort, pharmacological and parenteral therapies, reduction of risk potential and physiological adaptation

Related: Top 10 Best NCLEX-RN Review Books

.

Salary Outlook

Title Company Location Posted
12.05.2016
The Pediatric Nurse Practitioner is an interdependent member of the primary health care team who works independently and in collaboration with Pediatric physicians. Provides direct, high quality patient care services requiring extensive skills...
12.05.2016
12.05.2016
12.05.2016
12.05.2016
12.05.2016
12.05.2016
12.05.2016
03.23.2016
Under the direction of a pediatric physiatrist with over 13 years of experience, you will be joining an established, multi-disciplinary rehabilitation team in a modern, state-of-the-art hospital. As the only free-standing pediatric rehabilitation...
12.05.2016
- Masters degree is required VCU Health System's PEDS - Adolescent Medicine is seeking a part-time Nurse Practitioner. Advanced practice registered nurses (APN) demonstrate a high level of expertise in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment...
12.05.2016
The Advanced Practice Provider is employed by the clinic for the purposes of enhancing the nature and quality of care for acute and chronically ill pediatric, adult, and geriatric population; works under the supervision of the Medical Director or...
12.05.2016
The Advanced Practice Provider is employed by the clinic for the purposes of enhancing the nature and quality of care for acute and chronically ill pediatric, adult, and geriatric population; works under the supervision of the Medical Director or...
12.05.2016
The Advanced Practice Provider is employed by the clinic for the purposes of enhancing the nature and quality of care for acute and chronically ill pediatric, adult, and geriatric population; works under the supervision of the Medical Director or...
12.05.2016
The Nurse Practitioner is employed by the clinic for the purposes of enhancing the nature and quality of care for acute and chronically ill pediatric patients; works under the supervision of the Medical Director or approved staff physician and in...
12.05.2016
The Nurse Practitioner is employed by the clinic for the purposes of enhancing the nature and quality of care for acute and chronically ill pediatric, adult, and geriatric population; works under the supervision of the Medical Director or...
  1. Pediatric Nurse Practitioner St. Cloud, MN CentraCare Health
    The Pediatric Nurse Practitioner is an interdependent member of the primary health care team who works independently and in collaboration with Pediatric physicians. Provides direct, high quality patient care services requiring extensive skills...
  2. Pediatric Nurse Practitioner - Neurosurgery Minneapolis, MN Children's Hospitals and Clinics of MN
  3. Pediatric Nurse Practitioner - On-Call Plymouth, MA Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital - Plymouth
  4. Pediatric Nurse Practitioner - Transport Unit Minneapolis, MN Children's Hospitals and Clinics of MN
  5. Pediatric Nurse Practitioner-Ready Care Minneapolis, MN Children's Hospitals and Clinics of MN
  6. Pediatric Nurse Practitioner - Critical Care/Emergency Department Minneapolis, MN Children's Hospitals and Clinics of MN
  7. Physician Assistant / Pediatric Nurse Practitioner - Trauma Services Minneapolis, MN Children's Hospitals and Clinics of MN
  8. Pediatric Nurse Practitioner-Physical Medicine and Rehab Minneapolis, MN Children's Hospitals and Clinics of MN
  9. Pediatric Physiatrist Bethany, OK The Children's Center Rehabilitation Hospital
    Under the direction of a pediatric physiatrist with over 13 years of experience, you will be joining an established, multi-disciplinary rehabilitation team in a modern, state-of-the-art hospital. As the only free-standing pediatric rehabilitation...
  10. Nurse Practitioner Richmond, VA VCU Health System
    - Masters degree is required VCU Health System's PEDS - Adolescent Medicine is seeking a part-time Nurse Practitioner. Advanced practice registered nurses (APN) demonstrate a high level of expertise in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment...
  11. Advanced Practice Provider-Urology-OHC-Baton Rouge (O'Neal) New Orleans, LA Ochsner Health System
    The Advanced Practice Provider is employed by the clinic for the purposes of enhancing the nature and quality of care for acute and chronically ill pediatric, adult, and geriatric population; works under the supervision of the Medical Director or...
  12. Advanced Practice Provider-Priority Clinic/Palliative Care-OMC-Kenner New Orleans, LA Ochsner Health System
    The Advanced Practice Provider is employed by the clinic for the purposes of enhancing the nature and quality of care for acute and chronically ill pediatric, adult, and geriatric population; works under the supervision of the Medical Director or...
  13. Advanced Practice Provider-Neurosurgery-OMC-Northshore New Orleans, LA Ochsner Health System
    The Advanced Practice Provider is employed by the clinic for the purposes of enhancing the nature and quality of care for acute and chronically ill pediatric, adult, and geriatric population; works under the supervision of the Medical Director or...
  14. Nurse Practitioner(Acute)-Pediatrics-PICU-Jeff Hwy New Orleans, LA Ochsner Health System
    The Nurse Practitioner is employed by the clinic for the purposes of enhancing the nature and quality of care for acute and chronically ill pediatric patients; works under the supervision of the Medical Director or approved staff physician and in...
  15. Nurse Practitioner-Priority Clinic-OHC- Covington New Orleans, LA Ochsner Health System
    The Nurse Practitioner is employed by the clinic for the purposes of enhancing the nature and quality of care for acute and chronically ill pediatric, adult, and geriatric population; works under the supervision of the Medical Director or...