For registered nurses who aspire to bring their love of working with children into their nursing practice, a career as a pediatric registered nurse could be a good fit. Pediatric registered nurses hold specialized skills that help them care for patients from infancy to adulthood. Please continue reading to learn more about what pediatric nurses do, where they work, and how to become one.
What Is A Pediatric Registered Nurse?
A pediatric registered nurse, also known as a PEDS nurse, is a registered nurse (RN) who cares for patients from infancy to age 21 in some healthcare settings. A PEDS nurse must not only have the generalized skills of a registered nurse but also hold specialized skills and knowledge in the care and treatment of pediatric patients across various settings and specializations. PEDS nurses help care for pediatric patients with various illnesses, injuries, chronic conditions, and more.
What Does A Pediatric Registered Nurse Do?
Depending on where a pediatric registered nurse works, job function and specific tasks may change. Since PEDS nursing is highly sought after by nurses and in high demand, positions can pop up across the healthcare spectrum – requiring particular skills within that setting. However, the core job functions of pediatric nurses are to provide quality patient care, demonstrate effective communication with patients and their families, and the performance of general nursing practice through the scope of pediatric care.
Where Do PEDS Nurses Work?
Like adult-care registered nurses, registered pediatric nurses work across the healthcare continuum, including some non-conventional healthcare locations. Generally, pediatric nurses work in hospital departments, clinics, and private practices focusing on caring for pediatric patients. In addition, pediatric nurses can work in schools, social services, research centers, and home healthcare outside hospital care.
How Do You Become A Pediatric Registered Nurse?
Becoming a pediatric nurse is a multi-step process that requires a combination of formal education and post-graduation certification. Aspiring PEDS nurses start the road to becoming one by first graduating from nursing school with their associate’s or bachelor’s degree. While either an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree can help nurses start working in pediatrics, a bachelor’s degree may be preferred by certain employers. Once graduated, nurses can sit for their National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) and begin working as licensed registered nurses to gain experience.
Following the successful completion of the NCLEX-RN exam, It is recommended that nurses receive certification in pediatric nursing care. Although employers may not require certification to practice, additional certification in pediatrics through the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board or one of other nursing certification boards can showcase a more advanced and specialized knowledge in pediatric nursing. In addition, registered nurses can transition into pediatric care nursing by gaining experience working in pediatric wings and seeking additional nursing opportunities with pediatric patients.
What Is the Career Outlook of a PEDS Nurse?
Pediatric nursing careers offer strong projected job growth and competitive salaries for qualified applicants. With almost four million infants born in the U.S. each year and 26.2 million children between 12 and 17 alone – the demand for pediatric nurses will remain. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the need for registered nurses is projected to grow by 6% between 2021 and 2031.
Salary expectations for registered pediatric nurses can vary by state and individual education, certification, and vocational experience qualifications. However, PEDS nurses can expect to make between $59,000 and $100,000, with ZipRecruiter reporting that pediatric nurses earn an average salary of $91,945 annually.
Becoming a pediatric registered nurse is a great way to pursue a specialization in nursing that works with infants, adolescents, teens, and young adults. Take the first step to becoming a registered nurse with the University of Providence’s dynamic Bachelor of Science in Nursing program lineup – perfect for aspiring nurses out of high school, career changers, or current RNs seeking their BSN.