We have faced many challenges these last few years, constantly worrying about our loved ones and their well-being, which rapidly shifted our core values. Health has been a top priority, so the respect for our healthcare workers has grown. No wonder we say that doctors and nurses are the heroes of today. They save lives and provide immediate care for patients.
Working in healthcare requires a lot of time, patience, and sacrifice along the way. In return, you can see the positive impact on children, adults, and the elderly daily. Choosing the right path depends on your interests and where you see yourself making a change. In this article, we will tackle the importance of pediatric nurses. If you feel you have what it takes to be a pediatric nurse, then let’s take a look at what is required to become a successful one.
What does a pediatric nurse do?
A nurse in pediatrics provides care for children – from newborns to adolescents. Pediatric nurse practitioners (PNPs) do physical examinations, diagnose symptoms, take samples, and do tests. Also, those with higher training can form diagnoses based on the test results and give proper treatment accordingly.
It takes a lot of experience and knowledge to understand children and their symptoms. Since many of them can’t speak yet or just don’t know how to explain their pain, nurses need to have a good approach so they can gather all the relevant information needed to treat them. Children can get scared when seeing doctors or nurses. This means your job is to build a healthy relationship and make them feel comfortable in your presence.
Also, another role of a pediatric nurse is to educate their parents or caregivers. Inform them of preventative care plans and possible chronic illnesses. It is common to give presentations regarding these topics at schools and care facilities.
Your income may vary depending on where you are in your career and on the geographical position. If you are at the beginning of your practice, your salary would be lower. However, the more you work on yourself, the higher the salary will get. If you work on your experience, obtain certificates and training, you will see a major difference in income than at the very start. Many certifications can be completed online, so you can work and get an education at the same time with no difficulty. A course in Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) can be attended entirely online, earning a legitimate medical accreditation at the end.
Besides your educational development, the workplace affects your income as well. Working in a doctor’s office in a small school is different compared to a hectic workday in a children’s hospital. Responsibilities are different and so is your salary.
Considering all the factors we mentioned, the average salary of a PNP, according to recent research, is between $101,100 and $113,500.
How to become a PNP?
The road to becoming a pediatric nurse is far from easy, it takes time and diligence. If you see yourself helping children, it is worth it. First of all, you need to start by earning a Bachelor’s or, even better, a Master’s degree in nursing. But to start working, you need to pass the NCLEX-RN exam to prove you are eligible to work and make the right nursing decisions in practice. After getting your license as a registered nurse, the main focus is to get as much experience as possible.
Look for places where you will get hands-on experience in pediatrics for further development. Don’t rush this stage because it will prepare you for the main exam you have been waiting for and that is the National Certification Examination for Certified Pediatric Nurse. Passing this exam takes you to your dream job and that is helping children – from their infancy to their teenage years.
There is a constant demand for more nurses in pediatric medicine, so your education and skills are always more than welcome. Devoting your time to children and their health is a noble job. Take into account all the things required to achieve this career before embarking on this journey as a pediatric nurse practitioner.
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