Pediatric Nurse: Career Guide & Salary Facts

Learn more about careers as pediatric nurses. Find information on career opportunities, tasks and duties, education requirements, and salary information. View popular nursing schools that prepare students for careers as certified pediatric nurses.

Duties & Tasks

Pediatric nurses oftentimes perform similar tasks of registered nurses. They may work at hospitals, schools, physicians’ offices, juvenile detention centers, home care facilities, and intensive care units. Pediatric nurses may take patient vitals and perform tests, talk to patients and their families about medical history and test results, and communicate effectively with other medical professionals. Pediatric nurses may educate patients and their families about specific invasive and non-invasive procedures. Among other non-patient related duties may include cleaning and sterilizing equipment, patient rooms, and stock rooms. They may also work closely with other medical staff and non-medical personnel when it comes to arranging for hospital admissions.

Education Requirements

Students interested in becoming a pediatric nurse must become a registered nurse first, which they may obtain via several ways. They may obtain the certification by completing coursework presented through educational institutions or hospitals. Once they graduate, individuals may sit for the National Council Licensing Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Pediatric nurses may enroll in nursing diploma, associate degree, bachelor’s degree, and master’s degree programs in nursing. In all of these types of programs, students may partake in supervised clinical experiences in addition to core coursework.

Types of Pediatric Nurses

Individuals interested in becoming a pediatric nurse may work closely with children and adolescents in healthcare settings. Their duties may coincide with the jobs of registered nurses but work specifically with children of various ages. The patients may range in age from infants up to age 21, although sometimes patients may be older in special circumstances. Examples of types of pediatric nurses may include the following:

  • Pediatric Surgery Nurse
  • Pediatric Registered Nurse
  • Pediatric Night Nurse
  • Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Pediatric Oncology Nurse
  • Pediatric Operating Room Registered Nurse
  • Pediatric Critical Care Registered Nurse
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Salary & Job Growth

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities for those pursuing careers as registered nurses are expected to increase by 26% from 2010-2020, which is faster than the national average. This potential increase is due to an increase in technological advancements, an increase in preventative care, and an aging baby boom population. However, those who work in physicians’ offices and outpatient care centers may find greater competition for jobs since these positions call for standard working hours and more comfortable working conditions when compared to hospitals. The BLS also reported in May 2010 that median annual salary of registered nurses was $64,690 and median hourly salary was $31.10.

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