Become A Pediatric Nurse

Pediatric Nurse and Baby

New Born

The health care field is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States today. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nursing field is expected to grow more than 20 percent over the next 10 years. There are many different nursing specialties as well as general nursing, but if you enjoy working with children and their families, you may consider becoming a Pediatric Nurse.

All About The Kids

A nurse specializing in pediatrics will care for children ranging in age from babyhood all the way through their teens. These nurses will also provide support for the families of these children. Their job is to help children feel better and to provide support and reassurance for their caregivers for what is undoubtedly a stressful time.

As with any in the nursing profession, a nurse specializing in pediatrics will perform routine exams, including checking vital signs, taking blood, and even ordering certain tests. A pediatric nurse practitioner has advanced training that will allow him or her to offer diagnoses and suggest appropriate treatments.

Children are not simply small adults, however. They have unique health care needs that require the special touch of a specialist in pediatric medicine. Their bodies may react quite differently to medications or illness and injuries than an adult’s body does. In addition, they have emotional needs that require a very sensitive touch.

Parents and loved ones may prefer a Pediatric Nurse and other pediatric specialists to care for their child when he or she is facing a serious health care issue or injury. Children are often unable to adequately communicate their fear or pain, but the training that pediatric specialists receive enable them to talk to children on their level, explaining treatments and dispelling fears.


When it comes to this special area of nursing, education also plays a very big role. Nurses who specialize in pediatrics may spend a significant amount of time teaching children and caregivers about the management of chronic conditions like type one diabetes or the importance of regular immunizations, preventative medicine, and routine checkups.

If you are interested in specializing in pediatric nursing, your first step will be to become a registered nurse, or an RN. This will entail completing an accredited program at a community college or university. You will also need to become licensed by passing an NCLEX-RN exam, and your license will need to be regularly renewed. Continuing education is a must in order to remain current in the rapidly changing health care field.

No formal educational program exists for pediatric specialization; however, many hospitals provide residencies or internships for nurses who are interested in this career path. More specialized training may be offered, from pediatric or neonatal intensive care to surgical pediatrics and more. If you have an RN license, have completed 1,800 hours of pediatric clinical practice, and have passed a Pediatric Nursing Certification Board, or PNCB, exam, you will be able to become a Certified Pediatric Nurse, or CPN. With further training, you may have the opportunity to become a CPEN, or certified pediatric emergency nurse.

Job opportunities for a CPN can include positions in a private pediatrician’s or family practice physician’s office, where a CPN may care for sick children, provide screenings for developmental delays, or offer immunizations.  A CPN or CPEN may also work in a hospital setting in a variety of roles, from providing emergency care and surgical support to helping children recover from serious illnesses and offering therapeutic treatments.  Among the requirements are 1000 hours in pediatric emergency nursing practice as an RN in the past 24 months.

Becoming a Pediatric Nurse requires a cool head and excellent nursing skills. You will be treating children and their parents, dealing with medical situations, and explaining complex terms in easy-to-understand language. You will need to be able to stay professional at all times and be incredibly patient. Working in pediatrics can be extremely rewarding, but it takes a special person who is always ready to take on a variety of challenging situations.

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