What Does a Pediatric Nurse Do?
Pediatric Nurses work at hospitals, health clinics and private pediatric practices to provide nursing services for infants, children and teens. They have an advanced understanding of childhood development that they use to interact with patients and administer age-appropriate treatments and medications. Pediatric Nurses often work with the same child throughout their adolescence, tracking their growth and looking for any developmental issues or abnormal changes in their labs.
Pediatric Nurses observe the child’s behavior looking for signs of symptoms that they may not be able to communicate themselves. Pediatric Nurses talk to the patient to help them feel safe and secure in a healthcare environment and discuss their care with any guardians within the bounds of confidentiality rules.
Pediatric Nurse Skills and Qualifications
Pediatric Nurses are not only skilled in nursing, but also in working specifically with infants, toddlers, children and sometimes teenagers. Pediatric Nurses must have prerequisite skills and qualifications that include:
- Communication: Written and verbal communication skills are crucial when working as a Pediatric Nurse. They must read and create written forms for updating medical staff on the needs of patients. They use strong verbal communication skills in talking to parents and to understand the symptoms of the children.
- Interpersonal: Interpersonal skills are crucial, as Pediatric Nurses will often work with families during a stressful time. They must be able to form trusting relationships with patients and their families.
- Technology: Advances in medical technology require that Pediatric Nurses operate medical equipment and interpret results. Nurses must also use computers to retrieve patient information, update records or fill prescriptions.
- Problem-solving: Parents will often bring their child to a Pediatric Nurse, who works with other healthcare professionals to evaluate the child’s symptoms and create a treatment plan. Highly developed problem-solving skills are crucial in this process.
Pediatric Nurse Salary Expectations
The average salary for a Pediatric Nurse is $1,224 per week. Some Pediatric Nurse salaries may range between $200 and $3,000 per week, depending on geographical location, level of experience and place of employment. A Pediatric Nurse with many years of experience who works for a large hospital can usually expect to earn more than an entry-level Pediatric Nurse working for a smaller pediatric clinic.
Pediatric Nurse Education and Training Requirements
A minimum of a bachelor’s degree with a major in nursing is often a requirement to work as a Pediatric Nurse, but a master’s degree may be preferred. Pediatric Nurses will also need to successfully pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) and receive specialized training in working with children. Some employers may also require that Pediatric Nurses become certified through the Pediatric Nurse Certification Board, either before or during employment. The Primary Care Certified Pediatric Nurse (CPNP-PC) certification requires the completion of a master’s degree in nursing and the successful completion of the test.
Pediatric Nurse Experience Requirements
Many Pediatric Nurses will complete training during their education, either through an internship or residency. Hiring managers will often expect Pediatric Nurses to have specialized training in working with younger children. Hiring managers may also require entry-level Pediatric Nurses to work closely with a more experienced nurse before working on their own.
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