Pediatric nurses provide healthcare to children of all ages. They have in-depth knowledge of the growth and development of children. Pediatric nurses ensure that children grow up healthy and strong.
Caring for infants, children and adolescents presents different challenges that require specific skills. Pediatric nurses must be able to communicate with children and families in order to educate them about better health and treat illnesses and injuries. Pediatric nurses often work in hospitals, private practices, community health centers, schools and other settings.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the field of nursing, including registered nurses and advanced practice registered nurses, will experience more growth than the average occupation in the United States through 2024. Employment of nurse practitioners will rise an estimated 35 percent, while jobs for registered nurses will increase 16 percent.
The average salary for registered nurses is $67,490, while nurse practitioners earn an average of $98,190.
Many pediatric nurses start out as registered nurses. Registered nurses must pass the NCLEX examination and meet the requirements of their state’s nursing board in order to begin practicing. The best way to pursue a pediatric nursing career is to look for jobs in family or child-specific medical offices.
After registered nurses have acquired at least two to three years of experience in a pediatric practice setting, they can pursue their Master of Science in Nursing. An MSN also qualifies a registered nurse to become a certified or advanced practice registered nurse.
The Pediatric Nursing Certification Board offers the CPN exam, which conveys to potential employers expertise in pediatric nursing. In order to take the exam, a nurse must have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree or Master of Science in Nursing degree. In addition, there are licensure and experience requirements.