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Pediatric Nursing Schools and Careers

Written by NS StaffJune 30, 2011
Pediatric Nurse

Pediatric Nurse Career

Newborns, toddlers, and adolescents are at their most vulnerable stages of development and need special care when they are ill or undergoing treatment. Providing this care for infants, children, and adolescents is the role of a pediatric nurse.  He or she develops a health care plan for young patients to recover from injury or illness so that they can lead a healthy and happy life after treatment. 

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Schools to consider: 

Pediatric nurses receive specialized training so that they can work with doctors and physicians to help children and teens through recovery.  While the daily duties of a pediatric nurse can be emotionally and physically challenging, the role can also be a very rewarding career choice.  It’s ideal for those who enjoy working with children and making a difference in the lives of their patients.

Job Description of a Pediatric Nurse
A pediatric nurse can work in a variety of settings and departments of a hospital, and may work with a wide range of age groups throughout his or her career.  Some pediatric nurses choose to specialize in a particular age range such as newborns or teens, while others provide care for children of all ages.  Having strong stress management skills and working well under pressure are both essential skills for this position.  General job duties of a pediatric nurse include:

  • Performing physical assessments
  • Collecting samples
  • Obtaining vital signs and creating reports
  • Measuring blood pressure
  • Assessing damage to bones, cartilage, or muscles
  • Directing the patient and/or families to the appropriate department
  • Acting as a caregiver for patients

Education and Training to Become a Pediatric Nurse
Specialized pediatric training within the nursing field is required to become a pediatric nurse, and all prospective nurses begin their career by becoming a registered nurse (RN).  This can be achieved through an Associate’s Degree program, or by obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree (BSN) in Nursing.  A pediatric internship for a minimum of three months is required before the prospective nurse can take the Certified Pediatric Nurse (CPN) exam.  After passing this exam, nurses are also required to take ongoing education classes to maintain certification; these courses may be offered through the Society of Pediatric Nurses or a hospital.

Salary Ranges and Career Options for Pediatric Nurse
Since the title of pediatric nurse is a specialization of a registered nurse, salary ranges can be considerably higher than average wages for an RN who provides basic health care. According to the Bureau of Labor & Statistics, employment of registered nurses is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations, and this is largely due to the increasing need for quality healthcare. (Source: Bureau of Labor & Statistics, 2006).  The median salary for a Staff Nurse (RN) who specialized in pediatrics was $56,359 in 2007  (Source: Salary.com, April 2007), and this average can vary significantly depending on the location of the hospital and relevant experience.  A pediatric nurse has career options to move forward into a supervisory position as a head nurse role, or branch out into a specialized field within the nursing industry.

Become a Pediatric Nurse

To learn more about how to become a Pediatric Nurse, request information from one of the nursing schools listed below.