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Choose A Pediatric Nursing Career

Pediatric nurses are health care professionals who provide services to children and youngsters under the age of 18. They typically work closely with physicians, parents, and other nurses or care providers to ensure that their young patients receive the best available care.

What to expect from the job?

Here is a short list of typical tasks performed by pediatric nurses:
  • Immunizing children and adolescents
  • Providing information to patients and parents/guardians
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Providing preventative care for children and adolescents
  • Documenting patient history and progress
  • Administration of medications
  • Providing prescriptions for some medications
The tasks vary depending on a nurse's level of experience and the workplace setting. For example, the demands of an emergency facility are very different from that of a pediatric clinic.

How do you become a pediatric nurse?
Generally speaking, they are licensed registered nurses, also known as RNs. To become an RN, you have to complete an accredited nursing program. These programs are generally housed in nursing schools and hospitals.

After receiving a nursing degree, you are required to take the NCLEX-RN exam to become a licensed registered nurse. Then you specialize in pediatrics by working in a facility that provides services to young people seeking pediatric care.

Greater specialization in certain areas or diseases is also gained through additional coursework or placement in particular settings. Additionally, you can achieve more specialized and advanced areas of employment, allowing you to become a pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP) or a clinical nurse specialist (CNS) in pediatrics.

Some hospitals and other facilities may require specialized additional training. For example, an emergency facility might require coursework in the American Heart Association's pediatric advanced life support program.

The Pediatric Nursing Certification Board provides certification via exams in multiple specialties of nursing applicable to young patients.

What does the future look like?

Most labor statistics do not break down the various categories for registered nurses, but jobs for RNs are expected to grow. Additionally, few labor statistics break down salaries for RNs in various categories.
There is a need for dedicated care givers responsible for a great deal of the care that children and adolescents receive in hospitals, emergency care facilities, medical clinics, and other settings. You must be adaptable to the work setting, willing to work with uncooperative patients and parents/guardians, and capable of handling a hefty workload.

If helping to provide health care to children and adolescents is something you desire, pediatric nursing might be the career for you.

Steven C. Brown is helping nursing students prepare for exams and tests. Read more about the TEAS test which is often required for nursing school.

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Pediatric Nurses