Pediatric Nurse

How to Become a Pediatric Nurse
Pediatric Nurse Job Duties
Skills and Qualities of Pediatric Nurses
Pediatric Nurse Salaries
Influential Pediatric Nurses
Leading Organizations for Pediatric Nurses
Top Cities for Pediatric Nursing Jobs
Other Careers of Interest

How to become a Pediatric Nurse

A pediatric nurse must first become a registered nurse. Nursing distinguishes between technical-level practice (Licensed Vocational Nurse - LVN) and professional nursing (Registered Nurse -RNs). RN's proceed through one of three educational paths: a four year Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing (BSN), a two to three year associate degree or a hospital program lasting three years. Graduates from each of these programs take the same state licensing examination. Any advanced work, however, requires the four-year Bachelor's degree, which allows the registered nurse to move to the next educational level, an advanced practice nurse.

Prospective advanced practice nurses (APN's) must complete a master's program as a clinical nurse specialist, a subcategory of advanced practice nursing. These master's programs last at least two years and require a bachelor's degree. In addition, some degree programs may require one to two years of on-the-job experience. The US has approximately 72,000 clinical nurse specialists currently working. In addition to direct care, they also develop quality assurance programs, while some consult and others engage in education. According to reports, APN's provide a level of care, which is equal to and in some cases, superior to that of physicians and for a fraction of the cost. This bodes well for employment opportunities in the future.

What does a Pediatric Nurse do?

Pediatric Nurses promote health and manage illnesses among children, youths, and their families. Pediatric Nurses are a specialty of clinical nurse specialists, one of the four branches of advanced practice nurse specialists, which is itself a specialty of Registered Nurses.

Pediatric nurses have a variety of roles and work in multiple settings: health educator, caregiver, advocate or consultant. They have the ability to plan and implement interventions, assess nursing care and utilize research.

Pediatric nursing views the object of care as not just the patient as a child, but the child embedded in its family. The pediatric nurse may work in hospitals, schools, the home or in some cases, long-term care facilities.

What skills or qualities do I need to become a Pediatric Nurse?

All nurses need to be sympathetic, detail oriented and personable. Pediatric nurses also need to like and work well with children. Anyone wishing to be a pediatric nurse will have to face young children with life-threatening illness and have the emotional stability to cope with this trying situation. Clinical nurse specialists need to have skills in supervision and assessment. Along with an empathy with the socio-emotional aspect of nursing, pediatric nursing requires a firm grasp of the natural sciences. As knowledge and challenges continually grow, the pediatric nurse will have to keep up with new scientific and health developments.

How much does a Pediatric Nurse make?

Separate salary data is not available for pediatric nurses, but is for registered nurses.

If the annual salaries of all registered nurses were arranged from the lowest to the highest, the median would be that point at which 50% of the salaries were lower and 50% were higher. Most salaries differ somewhat from the median, however. The best estimate of a potential salary lies in the range between the 25th percentile and the 75th percentile, known as the middle 50% of salaries. The 25th percentile is the point at which 25% of salaries are below and the 75th percentile is the point at which 75% of all salaries are below.

As of May 2007, registered nurses had a median income of $60,010 per year. The middle 50% of all registered nurses ranged from $49,810 to $73,170 per year. Salaries may differ by area and by location, for example hospital, school, etc and by the degree of specialization. As pediatric nurses have more specialized skills, their salaries will tend to be higher than that of most registered nurses.

In 2008, for an RN working in a home specializing in pediatrics, the median income was $57,852 per year. For the middle 50% of all RNs working in a home setting specializing in pediatrics, the annual income ranged between $52,696 and $63,112 per year. While this reflects the potential salaries for some pediatric nurses, salaries of nurses based in hospitals, schools, or long-term care facilities will differ.

Who are some influential professionals in this field?

Dr. Cecily Betz edits the 'Journal of Pediatric Nursing', the official journal of the Society of Pediatric Nurses. At present she co-chairs the Child and Family Expert Panel of the American Academy of Nurses of the American Nurses Association. She also directs the South Los Angeles Youth and Young Adult Determination Center. Dr. Betz is an Associate Professor of Clinical Nursing in the University of Southern California, Department of Nursing.

Dr. Jane H. Barnsteiner is a Professor of Pediatric Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania. Her areas of expertise include evidence based health care, pediatric nursing and patient safety. She serves as the Director of Nursing for Translational Research at the Children's Hospital in Philadelphia. Translation research refers to the translation of academic research into practical use. Dr Barnsteiner also serves on the both the Strategy and Policy Advisory Councils of the National Initiative for Child Health Quality.

Dr. Margaret S. Miles, one of the first clinical nurse specialist in pediatric nursing, works as a Research Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her work has focused on the emotional state of parents with critically ill children. At present, her work concerns rural African-American mothers with premature infants. She has also worked on HIV care for HIV positive African American women and their sero-positive infants and she has worked on HIV in Africa.

What are some leading organizations in this field?

Founded in 1990 the Society of Pediatric Nurses ( is the only association devoted to generalists in this field. Other organizations specialize in particular diseases (the Association of Pediatric Oncology Nurses - Cancer) or location (the National Association of School Nurses). The Society of Pediatric Nurses publishes 'The Journal of Pediatric Nursing' (, a peer reviewed journal on pediatric nursing. Two organizations focus on and support certification programs for pediatric nurses: the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board and the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

What are the top cities for Pediatric Nursing jobs?

According to projections, employment for nurses in general will grow faster than the average growth of other occupations through 2014. Growth is expected to be greater in outpatient facilities than in hospitals and may vary by setting and region. Clinical nurse specialists, such as pediatric nurses may likely be in very high demand, as they will increasingly replace primary care physicians.

The city with the highest demand for pediatric nurse is Phoenix, Arizona. It had roughly twice the number of jobs as the second city, New York. Third on the list was Los Angeles.

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