Pediatric Nurse – What You Need to Know

Are you thinking of becoming a pediatric nurse? If so, then you are on the right path. Picking a career that is going to satisfy your personal objectives in life is not only challenging, but also perplexing. In today’s economy where retrenchment is the order of the day, it is almost impossible for one to choose a job that will guarantee security in the future. The demand for highly skilled and qualified nurses has been on the increase over the last 10 years. This is in spite of the ailing economy. Therefore, you can be certain that you will be making a right choice by choosing to work as a pediatric nurse.

In simple terms, a pediatric nurse is a medical professional that works with children. Pediatrics is one of the fastest growing branches of medicine. Given the increase in the numbers of children being born in the US today, there is a high demand for pediatric nurses.

What are some of the duties and responsibilities of a pediatric nurse ?

Nurses that opt to pursue a career in pediatric care have numerous alternatives as to the ages of children that they would like to work with. Newborns, sick children, neonates, children as well as terminals that visit the emergency room (ER) are all diverse branches of treatment in pediatrics. The range of care you will offer these children as a pediatric nurse will differ frequently hinging on several factors. Normally, licensed practical nurses (LPNs) only attend to newborns in the nursery. LPNs also work with older children. However, their duties are limited to running blood tests, administering medicine as prescribed by doctors, checking and recording vital signs and collecting urine and waste samples. On the other hand, as a pediatric nurse, you can practice in any area in pediatrics that you choose. In addition to carrying out some of the tasks that licensed practical nurses do, you will also be tasked with diagnosing and treating various illnesses in children, prescribing medications and supervising how the licensed practical nurses are going about their duties in the nursery. Nurse practitioners that work as pediatric nurses are in the higher pecking order and will supervise both RNs and LPNs. In addition, you will be responsible for giving orders as to what kind of medications ought to be administered. In spite of your position as a pediatric nurse, your duty will be to make sure that the children under your care feel comfortable and safe.

What are the salary expectations of a pediatric nurse ?

Pediatric NurseThe salary of a pediatric nurse starts at approximately $33,000.00 per annum. Even though with the proper nursing education, fresh graduates in some cities and states may be able to get employment with starting base salaries of $40,000.00 per annum. The outlook of a pediatric nurse salary is promising. Pediatric nurses that have been on the job for more than 10 years earn more than $70,000.00 per annum. Those that have been in the profession for more than 2 decades can earn more than $100,000.00 per annum.

If you have an ambition of becoming a pediatric nurse, you will be happy to know that the rewards are immense. The average salary of a pediatric nurse practitioner is approximately $82,600.00 per annum. The highest salary that you can expect to be paid as a pediatric nurse is $90,000.00 per annum. The more you earn as a pediatric nurse means that the more duties and responsibilities you will be assigned. Nevertheless, to become a pediatric nurse, you need to receive additional medical training than you currently have. The reason why you are expected to upgrade your nursing education if you are planning to become a pediatric nurse is because you will be expected to write prescriptions in the absence of a physician. Furthermore, you will be able to order for x-ray examinations and other medical tests so as to be able to diagnose a condition that a child is suffering from properly. Pediatric nurses are usually certified after doing a nursing examination known as NCLEX-RN. In addition, to this exam, you need to do a nurse practitioner course. Last but not least, you need to sit for and pass the licensure examination set by the state in order to practice legally as a pediatric nurse.

What are some of the educational requirements needed to become a pediatric nurse ?

Having taken the above factors into account, the one question that may still be lingering in your mind is “how many years will it take you so as to become a pediatric nurse?” The fundamental training needed to become a pediatric nurse takes approximately 12 months to complete. There are numerous colleges and universities that are offering these courses. If you are unable to attend regular classes because of your busy schedule, then you should consider enrolling for a distance learning program. These are nursing training programs that are offered online. Over the last couple of years, online nursing has become extremely popular amongst nurses that are willing to further their nursing education because of the convenience and flexibility that it offers.

The medical training for a registered nurse, nevertheless, can take between 2 and 4 years to complete. There are two alternatives which are available to those that want to become registered nurses. They can choose to enroll for a two year associate degree in nursing (ADN) or enroll for a four year Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. A majority of community colleges provide these nursing courses. However, there are also online nursing schools that are offering these courses. The course that you choose to enroll for will hinge on your individual requirements. Nonetheless, you can obtain your degree by choosing to pursue your nursing education online or offline.

On top of the classroom instructions that you receive, you will also be expected to do clinical practice. Clinical practice is designed to provide you with hands-on experience needed to carry out your duties in a real work environment. The number of clinical hours that you are supposed to obtain will depend on the requirements set by the state. and responsibilities of a pediatric nurse