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What it Takes to Become a Pediatric Nurse

There are a large number of career options in health care and medical industries. Especially the nursing field offers unending opportunities such as certified nursing assistant (CNA), licensed practical nurse (LPN), registered nurse (RN), etc. Like all the sub-branches of nursing profession, pediatric nursing is also a specialized branch that deals with providing health care to infants, children and adolescents. After graduating from nursing school with either an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing, they take an exam called the NCLEX to become licensed as a registered nurse (RN).

The nurse then specializes in pediatrics through an employment in a health care setting that specifically serves pediatric patients. The setting could be a hospital, clinic, school, doctor’s office, emergency room, hospital floor or an intensive care unit. Pediatric nurses have to be talented in attributes such as the growth and development of children.
They have to be skilled at interpersonal communication with patients and other members of caregiver team. Higher position after pediatric nurse’s title is the pediatric nurse practitioner. Pediatric nurse practitioners (PNPs) also play a vital role in the lives of sick as well as healthy young people.

Educational Requirements for Pediatric Nurse

To become a pediatric nursing professional, one has to attend school for at least 2 years after graduation in nursing and then apply to the respective state’s board of nursing so as to be recognized as an advanced practice nurse. There is a separate exam that must be passed before becoming eligible to start practice as a professional pediatric nurse. There are no specific courses one can take to become a pediatric nurse. Any person who wants to specialize in pediatrics has to first do a diploma or degree in nursing.

It is also important to become a registered nurse (RN) to further a career in the field of pediatric nursing. To be a certified pediatric nurse, one must do an internship at a pediatric department of any hospital or work in the clinic of a pediatrician and then pass an examination given by the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB). Receiving one’s training at a pediatric hospital will help the candidates gain practical experience which will help them in their future career.

Like pediatric nurses, PNPs can also work in a variety of settings, such as medical offices or hospitals, and they are legally eligible to diagnose the illnesses and prescribe the appropriate medication. They may carry out routine physical exams of children. Pediatric nurses are responsible to assist doctors through medical care and information about diseases and treatment plans to their patients. The salary of a pediatric nurse is also very high as compared to other nursing jobs such as CNA, RN, etc. The annual salary is around $55,000 yearly.

Job Responsibilities of Pediatric Nurse

  • Performing physical examinations and giving medicines prescribed by the doctor to hospitalized patients
  • To make children comfortable so as to conduct the necessary tests and treatment procedures smoothly
  • Taking temperature, blood pressure, respiratory rate and heart rate of the patient
  • To conduct intravenous medication, performing head to toe examinations and collecting samples of urine and stools for laboratory tests
  • To deal with depressed and tensed parents of hospitalized, especially when their wards are suffering from some critical illness
  • To recognize non-verbal sign language of young children who do not have enough vocabulary to express feelings of physical pain
  • To educating the parents about how to take care of their children once they are discharged from the hospital
  • To explain diet restrictions, how and when to give the medicines, changing the dressing or bandages, and about the everyday care of children

These are the job duties of pediatric nurses which make them an essential component of the pediatric department of the health care industry. It is definitely a good option to make your career in pediatric nursing if you hold interest in that field.

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