What Does a Pediatric Nurse Do?

What Does a Pediatric Nurse Do?

What Does a Pediatric Nurse Do?
What Does a Pediatric Nurse Do?

Pediatric nurses work with kids of all kinds and ages. Pediatric nurses are specially trained nurses who work with infants, children, and adolescents in a variety of settings. Pediatric nurses work in settings that provide preventative and routine health care in addition to working with illnesses and injuries. Children are not small adults.

A pediatric nurse understands human growth and development and exhibits enhanced communication skills and patients. It takes an exceptional communication skill set to interview kids and elicit accurate responses, especially in the chaotic and often traumatic healthcare environment. Nurses who work with children like kids and enjoy the unique challenges working with kids can bring. Pediatric nurses also must be able to handle the heartache of working with sicks kids as well.

Where Do Pediatric Nurses Work?

Pediatric nurses work with children, so they work in a variety of healthcare settings. Kids are incredibly unique people and are not miniature adults. They have different growth and development needs and require nurses who are knowledgeable about children for optimal outcomes.

Typical Work Environments for Nurses Working with Children

  • Doctor’s offices

  • Clinics

  • Hospitals

  • Surgeries

  • Schools

  • Critical care

  • Oncology

  • Outpatient

  • Private Practice

  • Home Health

Responsibilities of Pediatric Nurses

  • Direct patient care

  • Patient and parent education

  • Advocacy and support for young patients

  • Communicate with physicians, pediatricians, and other healthcare professionals

  • Monitor growth and development

  • Familiar with common childhood diseases

  • Administer medications and treatments

What are the Educational Requirements for a Pediatric Nurse?

The minimum educational requirement to work with kids is an active, unencumbered registered nursing license in your state. However, to become a Certified Pediatric Nurse (CPN), the nurse must sit for the certification exam, and all registered nurses with active licensure are eligible. After obtaining a nursing license, the applicant can sit for the CPN exam after being employed and practicing pediatric nursing for a minimum of 1800 hours in two years time.

Although a nurse can enter the pediatric nursing workforce with an Associate’s Degree, the goal should be to attain a baccalaureate degree or above. Magnet hospitals have a goal of 80% of the nursing workforce be BSN prepared or above by 2020.

The particular challenges and unique needs of children compounded by the evolving technology of the healthcare system demands a dedication to excellence and education to provide best outcomes.  Even though there is a nursing shortage, pediatric nurses who have a baccalaureate degree and experience will have more job opportunities with better hours.

So, You Want to Be a Pediatric Nurse?

It is important to obtain a well-rounded education that includes as many child care related classes as possible and obtain a nursing education through an accredited college or university. While any licensed registered can begin his or her pediatric nursing career with any degree of licensure, the most educated and credentialed nurses have the most job options.  

Job opportunities, improved salaries, benefits, and enhanced prestige increase with advanced education. Any nurse who dreams of working at a Magnet status hospital should seriously consider advancing their studies to a baccalaureate degree or above.

Our Lady of the Lake Online Nursing Programs

Our Lady of the Lake offers an excellent, accredited RN-BSN online nursing program. Sponsored by the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady, OLOL is devoted to excellence in both teaching and learning.