If you're interested in the nursing field, but also enjoy spending time with kids, you might find that a pediatric nurse job description meets both interests. Pediatric nurses provide healthcare to children while also educating parents on the diseases and illnesses that affect their children's lives. Pediatric nurses can choose to work in an office, a hospital, a school or a home care situation.
Types of Pediatric Nurses
- CPN: Certified Pediatric Nurse
- PNP: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Education Required for Pediatric Nurses
Because pediatrics is a specialty within the nursing field, there's a minimum level of education required in order to serve in this capacity.
All individuals interested in becoming a CPN must first hold a current Registered Nurse (RN) license. Registered Nurses have passed a state-mandated licensing exam after successfully completing formal nursing education. RNs either complete a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, or they complete a two or three year Associates degree that prepares them for the RN licensing test. Upon successful completion of RN licensing, individuals interested in the pediatric specialty must complete a pediatric internship for a minimum of three months before sitting for the CPN exam. Once you earn your CPN credential, it is necessary to take ongoing educational courses, often offered through the Society of Pediatric Nurses, to stay certified.
A pediatric nurse practitioner requires even more formal education than a CPN. All PNPs must have a Bachelor's degree in nursing as well as a Master's degree in nursing. This additional degree requires two years of full-time study with an emphasis in pediatrics. The advantage of the Master's level coursework is that it enables you to focus on certain diseases or ailments, further focusing your interest in the field and often making you more valuable to potential employers.
Sample Pediatric Nurse Job Description
Pediatric nurses must love healthcare and children, but the job requires more than just that.There are variations in a pediatric nurse job description from one position to another. An example job description might include the following:
Title: Certified Pediatric Nurse or Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Salary: Depending on the level of education and experience, salaries range from $57,000 to $69,000, but can reach into six figures.
- The ability to perform basic medical exams and functions like Inserting catheters, drawing blood, taking blood pressure and urine samples
- The ability to read and interpret lab results
- The ability to perform immunizations
- The knowledge and ability to educate and instruct families on illness and disease
- The knowledge and ability to discuss the psychological impact of a child's disease with the family
- A love of children and families
- Critical thinking skills
- Effective communication and interpersonal skills
- Effective stress management
- Strong organizational skills
Benefits of a Nursing Career
The nursing field continues to grow and the ongoing prospects for nurses look promising. Because demand for nurses is typically greater than the supply of qualified applicants, nurses tend to have greater flexibility and options when it comes to their careers. As a nurse, you can often choose a shift work that will work well with your family or personal life. Sometimes this means taking three twelve-hour shifts each week, giving you four days away from work, or it means choosing early, late or swing-shifts that allow you to care for your family on the time-frame you choose. Also, because so many nurses are needed, if you choose to take time away from your career to have a family or to go back to school, you can feel confident that you'll be able to find a job again when you return to the workforce.
Pediatric nursing requires a vast amount of education, certification and experience, but if you want a career that focuses on children while also providing you with flexibility in your professional life, it might be the perfect career option for you.