dcsimg

The path to become a Pediatric Nurse

Home > The path to become a Pediatric Nurse

If you've got patience to spare and a passion for helping kids, pediatric nursing may be a career for you. The work schedule can be intense sometimes, and health care careers can throw you curveballs once in a while, but at the end of the day there are few more rewarding careers out there than working hard to keep children healthy.

How to become a pediatric nurse

Pediatric nursing is one of many specializations within registered nursing. There are three separate paths that you can take to get there:

  • bachelor's degree in nursing is the most academic path to a pediatric nurse career. Programs typically consist of four years of full-time study, although some institutions offer part-time programs for working professionals.
  • Another common route to nursing certification is an associate degree in nursing, which typically takes about two years for full-time students and can be obtained at junior and community colleges nationwide. Online course-work plans are usually available for this degree, although hands-on clinical and laboratory sections must be taken in person.
  • For those who want to get some experience in the health care field before moving toward a full nursing degree, a diploma program is a good option. These two- to three-year programs can be offered by universities, junior colleges, community colleges and hospital nursing schools.

Once you've finished your training and passed the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN), the pathway to a career in pediatric nursing is almost complete. Your specialty as an RN has a lot to do with the jobs you choose in the health care field, so be sure to apply for open positions in children's hospitals or the pediatric wards of large medical centers.

More than 710,000 new positions are projected to open up for registered nurses between 2010 and 2020, or 26 percent, according to a recent study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov/ooh, 2012). This growth rate is faster than average for all occupations, so employment opportunities appear promising.

How to become a pediatric nurse practitioner

If you obtain some experience caring for children in clinical environments and want to take on a pediatric nursing career with greater autonomy and responsibility, you can move on to become a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (CPNP).

CPNPs, like all nurse practitioners, tend to work on the same sort of cases as general practicing physicians. It's necessary to earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree before you can qualify for nurse practitioner certification, and pediatric nurse practitioners in particular must complete a schedule of courses in child health and psychology before they approach the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board.

Once awarded board certification, you'll should have the necessary training to practice basic pediatric medicine, make independent diagnoses and prescribe appropriate medication. Some clinics also allow CPNPs to work without a doctor's supervision on patients suffering from straightforward complaints.

If working as a pediatric nurse sounds like the right fit for you, you may want to look into nursing degrees and diploma programs in your area. The first step toward a rewarding and in-demand health care career could be just a few clicks away.

Sources:

WiseGeek, "What is Pediatric Nursing?" 2013, http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-pediatric-nursing.htm
Discover Nursing, "Pediatric Nurse Practitioner," January 2013, Johnson & Johnson, http://www.discovernursing.com/specialty/pediatric-nurse-practitioner#.UWyqAsqbXSg
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Registered Nurses," U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, March 29, 2012, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm
Pediatric Nursing Certification Board, 2013, http://www.pncb.org/ptistore/control/index


Matching School Ads
Grand Canyon University
Online

Do you aspire to fulfill an evolving healthcare role as a highly-qualified nursing professional? Apply to GCU!

Visit gcu.edu

Programs: Campus Locations:
  • Phoenix
  • Phoenix
Hide Locations [-]
Colorado Technical University Online
Online

Specialized, industry-current degree programs in Health Administration Services, Healthcare Management and Nursing.

Visit www.ctucomm.com

Programs: Campus Locations:
  • Colorado Springs
  • Colorado Springs
Hide Locations [-]
Wilkes University
Online

Wilkes University’s School of Nursing offers CCNE-accredited online degrees and certificate programs ideal for working health care professionals, instructed by experienced, respected faculty dedicated to mentoring and personalized support for every student.

Programs: Campus Locations:
  • Wilkes Barre
  • Wilkes Barre
Hide Locations [-]
Saint Marys University of Minnesota
Online

Saint Mary's University of Minnesota's Online Master's Programs

At Saint Mary's, we take pride in offering online graduate degrees designed to complement the schedules of working adults like you. Get an affordable, convenient education from a top-ranked university that's grounded in real-world applications.

Programs: Campus Locations:
  • Winona
  • Winona
Hide Locations [-]
Jacksonville University
Online

The University

With over 80 years of academic achievements, Jacksonville University is a traditional, longstanding institution consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of America's best colleges.

Programs:
Ohio Christian University
Online

Pursue your education at Ohio Christian University.

Programs: Campus Locations:
  • Circleville
  • Circleville
Hide Locations [-]
Keiser University Graduate School
Online

For over 35 years, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals. 

Programs: Campus Locations:
  • Fort Lauderdale
  • Fort Lauderdale
Hide Locations [-]
Northcentral University
Online

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

Programs: Campus Locations:
  • San Diego
  • San Diego
Hide Locations [-]
Matching School Ads



Advertisement
About Us  |  FAQS  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy |  Sitemap |  Terms of Service
© 2006 - 2017 QuinStreet, Inc.