Pediatric nursing is a rewarding and enticing career for those who aim to practice in this area of nursing. It is a profession that allows practitioners to choose various career options. Nurses may choose to work in clinics, facilities dealing in health care and all kinds of hospitals. These nurses are responsible with taking care of infants, those in their childhood and even those who are already in their adolescence. Aside from these duties, pediatric nurses are also engaged in the diagnosis and treatment of injuries and sickness of patients within this age group. Furthermore, they act as a educators and support base for families.
Students undergoing training in pediatric nursing are fully prepared to render assistance in diagnosing various illnesses. They are also present and constantly assist in physical examinations in schools and perform duties such as the conduct of screening and immunization. These students are also trained to keep their composure while working with different kinds of patients suffering from acute illnesses. Furthermore, aside all these duties, students training in pediatric field are also educated to do normal tasks like conducting an interpretation of laboratory results or even requesting for medications. They are also given the option to engage in other areas of specializations like dermatology or even in critical areas like oncology.
Mandatory education and training requirements
As with all other nursing professions, those in pediatric nursing are mandated to have a bachelor’s degree in nursing. They are required to undergo additional focused trainings in the area of pediatrics. These trainings are necessary before a student nurse may be allowed to work in hospital and clinical settings and other areas of practice. Once a nurse successfully passes these trainings, then he or she is allowed to handle cases involving children. As such, nurses are those who possess the skills in effectively dealing with members of different age groups.
A nursing degree is not sufficient, however. Those who plan to establish a career in pediatric nursing are required to be licensed practitioners. This means that they must successfully pass state examinations to be registered nurses. Holders of bachelor’s degree in nursing are qualified to take these examinations. Sadly, however, not all nursing schools offer degrees that cater to specialization in pediatric nursing. It is only after graduating and passing the state examinations that nurses may gain experience in pediatric nursing. One of the best ways to gain this much needed experience is to practice in a hospital setting, particularly in the area of pediatrics.
Extensive knowledge in pediatric cannot be gained through regular classes alone. It is best for a student to enroll in supplemental classes while still in the university. These supplemental classes must particularly deal with fields that are related to pediatric. Some of the well-known classes are those involving child or family related psychology. These classes will train students on how to properly build a trusting relationship with children and their families.
Experience is not the only necessary factor towards a successful career in the area of pediatric nursing. A nurse must be able to have a solid grasp of how work is conducted in an actual setting. This is to enable them to gain the necessary skills to excel in their chosen field of specialization. As such, it is advisable for nurses to be interns in a program dealing with pediatrics. This internship normally involves three months to one year of training before successful completion.
After successfully passing and graduating in these various programs, nurses are now qualified candidates for positions involving pediatric nursing. They are also qualified to apply to be certified nurses in pediatric nursing. This certification is issued only after a nurse successfully undergoes a certification examination in pediatric nursing. Once certified, there will be a whole new set of opportunities for a nurse to pursue a career in pediatric section. However, it is not enough to rely on stagnant knowledge. Pediatric nurses must continuously seek higher forms of learning to stay updated with new developments and methods in the profession.
The importance of being a degree holder and having a rich experience must be highlighted. A bachelor’s degree is not sufficient. Exposure to the actual practice is necessary. A nurse must be exposed to the actual conduct before he or she can be qualified to be certified. Aside from a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree is also advantageous. This will enable the nurse to be a licensed and registered advanced practice nurse.
Salaries and Compensation
Pediatric nurses receive good compensation. Staff nurses in this field receive an average of $57, 597 annually while nurse practitioners receive around $80,414 annually.
Nursing in pediatric is career rich with rewards and good compensation. Lately, there has been a higher demand for pediatric nurses especially those with rich knowledge and expertise. As such, there is nothing to lose but so much to gain when a pediatric nurse seeks to enrich his or her knowledge and experience through higher forms of learning and advanced training. In the end, the reward does not only come through the form of money but also in the altruistic feeling of contributing to the care of innocent children.