Pediatric Nurse: Requirements, Procedure, Courses, salary and Job Outlook
Pediatric nurses provide routine and preventative care to the infants, children, and adolescents. These specialized nurses perform the physical examination, identify the illness and injury, give education and support to the patient’s family members. They are employed in hospitals, clinics, and community centers. A pediatric nurse should not only be invariably courteous and soft-spoken but also know how to communicate with the children and must have the ability to win their trust. Quality to stay calm is also essential for them. If you are planning to choose it as your career, several questions might be hovering in your mind like how long does it take to become a pediatric nurse, what’s the future scope of this profession, how much does a pediatric nurse make every year, etc. Go through the article to get answers to all your queries.
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Here are the requirements to be fulfilled to become a pediatric nurse practitioner.
Four year Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree from a nursing school, college, university, or hospital.
Certification for pediatric nurse practitioners (offered by the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board)
Steps to Become a Pediatric Nurse
Step 1 :- Pediatric Nurse Education
The aspirant should have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing. You are also required to undergo clinical practice. It enhances your nursing and patients care skills and helps you learn common medical terms that are used in the hospitals and clinics.
Step 2 :- Certified as a Registered Nurse
The next step is to become a registered nurse (RN). For this, pass the NCLEX-RN examination conducted by the National Council of State Board of Nursing. You also need to gain some work experience as an RN.
Step 3 :- Master’s Degree
If you aim to become an advanced pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP), you should do a master’s degree program in pediatric care. PNPs do much more than pediatric nurses. They accomplish some advanced tasks as compared to pediatric RNs. Many institutes and colleges provide different pediatric nurse courses in acute nursing or primary care. Besides this, such programs also enhance your knowledge about working with children and adolescents.
Step 4 :- Get Certified as a Pediatric Nurse
Certification should be earned via accredited sources like Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB) and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). PNCB provides 5 pediatric nursing certifications, including one for pediatric nurses and two for PNPs. For a certified pediatric nursing designation, you not only need to be a certified RN but also, it is essential that you have worked in a pediatric nursing capacity for minimum 1800 hours during the last 2 years. The ANCC’s certification are almost similar, and they have requirements analogous to PNCB’s.
Pediatric Nursing Courses
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The following online pediatric nursing courses are available for the aspirants.
1. Primary Care Well-Child Course
This course considers pediatric health in a primary care setting. The aspirants learn different procedures for examining the health of newborn and adolescents. This online course mainly comprises of the common topics like disease prevention and child development.
2. Family Health in Pediatric Care Course
Family health, habits and behavior have a direct or indirect effect on the child’s physical and mental health. This course focuses on the topics like child development and current parenting trends.
3. Pediatric Illness and Conditions Course
In this course, you learn to scrutinize common and very severe health conditions. You also get to know which physiological processes affect the normal child development. The coursework also deals with the genetic, environmental and familial factors that are crucial for the child’s health.
4. Pediatric Mental Health Course
The course teaches you to identify the psychiatric needs of the children or adolescents. The students can get to work with the clinical evaluation tools and learn the basics about condition management strategies. This course also acquaints with cultural and developmental sensitivity.
5. Advanced Pediatric Health Assessment Course
Students practice to provide an in-depth evaluation of the patients from childhood through adolescence, especially patients facing health and developmental problems. They are also taught to use advanced diagnostic reasoning methods, paying particular attention to the patient’s history and cultural background.
Pediatric nurses mostly work in schools, community organizations, physician’s offices, emergency rooms, outpatient clinics, critical care facilities, and hospitals. They spend the majority of their time communicating and taking care of the children. The working hours depend on the facility you are working with. You might have to work on your feet for long hours and during emergencies, you are supposed to render your services on weekends or during night shifts.
These professionals perform the following duties and responsibilities:
Physical assessment of the patients.
Performing therapeutic treatment and administering medications.
Monitoring changes in the condition of the patient.
Interpreting the results of diagnostic and laboratory tests.
Interacting with the other medical professionals.
Educating the families of the patients about the treatments and procedures.
Pediatric Nurse Salary and Job Outlook
For pediatric nurses, numerous job options are available in the U.S. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected a growth of 19% in the job opportunities for these professionals, between 2012 and 2022.
As per indeed.com, the salary of the pediatric nurses was $65,000 (as of Feb 15, 2016). According to the statistics of payscale.com, the median salary of these nurses was $25 per hour as recorded on January 12, 2016.
Pediatric Nurse Schooling
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Here is the list of some popular pediatric nurse schools in the U.S.
- Columbia University
Address – 116th and Broadway, New York, NY 10027
Contact no. – 212-854-1754
Official website – http://www.columbia.edu
- Duke University
Address – 2138 Campus Drive, Box 90586, Durham, NC 27708
Contact no. – (919) 684-3214
Fax no. – (919) 668-1661
Official website – https://duke.edu
- University of Pittsburgh
Address – 4200 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Contact no. – 412-624-4141
Official Website – http://www.pitt.edu
- Herzing University
Address – W140N8917 Lilly Road, Menomonee Falls, WI 53051
Contact no. – 1-800-596-0724 (Toll-Free)
Official Website – https://www.herzing.edu
- ITT Technical Institute
Address – 9511 Angola Court, Indianapolis, IN 46268-1119
Contact no . – 317-875-8640
Official Website – https://www.itt-tech.edu
- Grand Canyon University
Address – 3300 West Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ 85017
Contact no. – 855-GCU-LOPE
Official Website – http://www.gcu.edu
- Northcentral University
Address – 8997 East Hartford Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85255
Contact no. – 1-866-776-0331
Fax no. – 1-928-541-7817
Official Website – http://www.ncu.edu
- American Intercontinental University
Address – 231 North Martingale Road, 6th Floor, Schaumburg, IL 60173
Contact no. – 877-701-3800
Official Website – http://www.aiuniv.edu
- Rasmussen College
Address – 8300 Norman Center Drive, Suite 300, Bloomington, MN 55437
Contact no. – 952-806-3900
Fax no. – 952- 831- 0624
Official Website – http://www.rasmussen.edu
- Boston College
Address – 140 Commonwealth Avenue, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
Contact no. – 617-552-8000
Official Website – http://www.bc.edu