Steps To Becoming A Pediatric Nurse Practitioner – Caring for children is a noble cause. So is the career of a nurse. And when you combine these two aspects, you find special people who are trained as pediatric nurses who have the privilege of helping children grow from infancy through adolescence into healthy young adults. In this post, we explore what the job entails, the opportunities available, and the steps to becoming a pediatric nurse.
What is a pediatric nurse? ((Indeed, “Pediatric Nurse Job Description: Key Responsibilities and Qualifications,” https://www.indeed.com/hire/job-description/pediatric-nurse?hl=en&co=US)) A pediatric nurse offers a complete medical helping children, observing the pace of their development.
Steps To Becoming A Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Pediatric nurses are professionals who are appropriately qualified to respond to the medical needs of children in an empathetic manner. They communicate with the child and family, monitoring their health over a period of time. With advanced specialized training in the graduate nursing program, registered nurses (RNs) can tailor their nursing skill set to focus on the unique needs of children.
Nurse Practitioner Specializations: A Newcomer’s Guide
Working closely with physicians, pediatric nurses manage multiple levels of primary care, such as taking patient medical histories, assisting with child health screenings, administering immunizations, and treating illnesses. Because children’s physical and cognitive abilities are constantly developing, nurses must adjust their approach and care plans to meet the needs of each child at his or her level.
Pediatric nurses also play a critical role in educating parents about best practices for their children’s overall health. Information such as dietary guidelines and warning signs of childhood illnesses help parents make healthy eating decisions for their children at home. The nurse can also serve as a source of support for parents by listening and counseling parents’ concerns about behavioral and developmental milestones. They can direct families to resources that benefit their children, such as food assistance programs for food-insecure families.
Public health education can also be an important part of the role. Pediatric nurses often attend health fairs and visit nonprofits and schools to provide health screenings, immunizations and educate the community about prevention strategies.
To be effective, a pediatric nurse must be able to speak and interact with children on their own level, providing a balance of comfort and authority. For example, if a young patient starts screaming and crying out of fear of receiving an injection, the pediatric nurse may need to use a soothing voice or a quick distraction to calm the situation. Medical anxiety in children is not uncommon ((Julie Fraga, “How to Help Kids Overcome Fear of Doctors and Vaccines,” NPR, Dec. 29, 2018: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots) / 2018 /12/29/677505443/how-to-help-kids-forcome-their-fear-of-doctors-and-sights)), so knowledge about child development can be valuable for a pediatric nurse.
A Practical Guide On How To Become A Nurse Practitioner
Of course, pediatric nurses must be well aware of the potential effects of medications, illnesses, and injuries on children. Knowing the risks that children may face due to their smaller physical size and developmental stages, and how to avoid these risks, can make a life-or-death difference for a child.
Pediatric nursing has specialties that focus on the needs of specific types of patients. Some examples:
A career in nursing offers a wide variety of majors to choose from, giving you the opportunity to develop your nursing experience with a focus on childcare.
Pediatric nurses work in many places. According to the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board, nearly 60% of licensed pediatric nurses work in children’s hospitals. ((Institute of Pediatric Nursing, “Pediatric Nursing Workforce Data”, 2017: https://www.ipedsnursing.org/pediatric-nursing-workforce-data)) Since the small patients in these hospitals need pediatric nurses, the numbers make sense. Most other pediatric health workers are distributed among outpatient care in doctors’ offices, community hospitals, large medical centers, schools, and home health facilities.
Nurse Practitioner Vs. Rn: Comparing Two Growing Careers
Pediatric nurse salaries can vary by specialty and skill level. US. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a median salary of $75,330 (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2020, 29-1141 Registered Nurses,” May 2020: https://www.bls .gov /oes/ current/oes291141.htm )) for all RNs and $111,680 ((US Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2020, 29-1171 Nurse Practitioners,” May 2020 : https://www.bls.gov/ oes /current/oes291171.htm)) for all nurse practitioners as of May 2020. Nurse.org’s list of the 15 highest paying nursing jobs in 2021 ((Nurse.org, “15 Highest Paying Nursing Jobs in 2021,” 26 Oct. 2020: https://nurse.org/articles/15-highest- paying-nursing-careers/) reveals a wide range of salaries, from $71,703 for a registered nurse to $181,040 for a licensed anesthesiologist.
As the United States continues to experience a nursing shortage, the demand for pediatric nurses remains positive. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of all registered nurses in the country is expected to grow by 7% between 2019 and 2029. This growth rate is almost double the projected rate for all occupations, which is 4%. The BLS also recognizes that RNs with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) have, on average, better job prospects than those without a BSN. ((US Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Registered Nurses / Job Outlook,” Occupational Outlook Handbook, 9 Apr. 2021: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm#tab-6))
In order to become a pediatric nurse, you will need intensive education and clinical training to achieve your goals.
Your journey to pediatric nursing begins with your nursing education. The first step is to get a higher education. You can usually earn a BSN degree in three to five years. Another path is to earn an associate degree in nursing (ADN) or become a licensed practical nurse (LVN) with the option of later transitioning to a BSN transition program.
Nurse Practitioner Career Advancement Options
After earning your BSN (or ADN), like any registered nurse in America, you must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (also known as the NCLEX-RN) to become fully licensed. This advanced standardized test is designed to determine if you have learned enough to practice safely as a pediatric RN.
Once you are officially licensed by your state’s board of nursing, you can begin practicing as a physician. If you intend to become a pediatric nurse, you should aim to find a nursing job where you can treat young patients and their families. This could be a family practice, a hospital neonatology department, or a community clinic that serves children. Keep in mind that when it comes time to get certified as a pediatric nurse practitioner (Step 4), you’ll need to complete two to five years of clinical pediatric nursing practice to qualify for the exam. ((Committee on Certification in Pediatric Nursing, “Steps for CPN Certification: Step 1: Confirm Your Eligibility,” https://www.pncb.org/cpn-certification-steps))
After completing 1,800 hours of pediatric clinical work over 24 months or 3,000 hours over 5 years, nurses can register to take the Pediatric Nurse Certification Board (PNCB) Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (CPN) exam. This is a three-hour test with 175 multiple-choice questions. While certification is not a mandatory requirement to work as a pediatric nurse, it does serve as proof of your experience in the field. This experience can lead to better job prospects and salary increases.
Taking the time to earn a nursing degree can increase the employment opportunities and pay options you find in the future. This is not a mandatory requirement for a pediatric nurse, but it can be a real advantage. You can earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in two to three years, depending on the major you choose. MSN does not require additional certification.
Cpnp Pc Exam Retesting Policies
In addition to or instead of earning an MSN, you may also consider earning a doctorate in practice to become a pediatric nurse practitioner. An additional certification exam is available to complete this process. ((Committee on Pediatric Nurse Certification, CPNP-PC Certification Steps https://www.pncb.org/cpnp-pc-certification-steps)) PNPs have additional responsibilities, including prescribing medications, administering immunizations, and managing developmental screening. On average, it takes 3 to 5 years to complete a PNP degree.
Now you have the knowledge to better decide if you want to invest the time and energy into becoming a pediatric nurse. Although a career as a pediatric nurse practitioner takes time, the joy of helping children and families is very rewarding.
University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences (HS) offers a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, and nursing diplomas designed for practicing nurses. Our degrees are offered online with additional on-campus immersions.* Role specialties include Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Nurse Educator ** and Nurse Practitioner. MSN has several options to accelerate your degree completion time. Get a graduate degree in nursing while maintaining a work-life balance.
* The FNP role major includes two clinical practicum intensives required as part of the curriculum. **The nurse educator specialty is not available for the DNP program.
Nurse Practitioner: Everything You Need To Know
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