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Pediatric Nurse Degree

Who are pediatric nurses?

Do you love being with kids? Would you be pleased to work in a profession where you could give utmost care to sick infants? If that’s the case, you have a great potential to become a pediatric nurse. After getting a pediatric nurse degree, you would be able to work with patients ranging from infants to young adults. Your tasks will include immunizations, treating common illnesses such as tonsillitis and chicken pox, and providing developmental screenings. You will work closely with other nurses and doctors to provide critical as well as preventative care to patients. Besides, you will also need to interact with the patient’s parent(s) and family to guide them about the appropriate measures of keeping the child healthy.

Pediatric Nursing

How to become a pediatric nurse?

The following steps will guide you on how to become a pediatric nurse and grow in the profession.

  • Get your nursing diploma, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, or Associate Degree in Nursing.
  • Pass the NCLEX-RN exam to get the nursing license and become a Registered Nurse (RN).
  • Acquire work experience as a RN and look for jobs where you can work with younger patients.
  • Take continuing education courses to maintain your license.
  • Acquire advanced education to grow in your career and get a better salary.
  • Complete an internship, fellowship, or residency to specialize in a particular area of pediatrics.
  • You may also take the Certified Pediatric Nurse Examination to become a certified pediatric nurse.

Can you give me an overview of nursing degrees?

Following are the major degrees offered in the field of nursing. Make sure you get a nursing degree from an accredited institute to make the most out of your nursing education and career.

Pediatric Nurse Degree

Associate Degree in Nursing

The associate degree in nursing normally takes two years to complete. You can obtain the degree from a community college, vocational school, or an online institute. An associate degree is the minimum requirement to become a RN. However, most employers prefer RNs with a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing

The bachelor’s degree in nursing is required for most of the nursing careers. It is typically a four year degree that you can obtain from a college or university. Students acquire training through classroom based instruction and hands on experience. The hands-on training received by nursing students is called “clinicals” and it plays an important role in the acquisition of nursing skills.

Master’s Degree in Nursing

If you want to obtain the master’s degree in nursing, you would need to have at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing. However, there are some combined bachelor’s/master’s programs as well. For advanced practice nurses, it is mandatory to have a master’s degree in nursing. Advanced practice nurses have greater authority and autonomy compared to the ordinary registered nurses. Some master’s degree programs also offer tracks or specializations for nurses.

Doctorate Degree in Nursing

The doctorate degree is the highest qualification you can have in nursing. For a doctorate degree, you first need to have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in nursing. After acquiring a doctorate degree in nursing, you are likely to be referred to as a Doctor Nurse.
There are two major types of doctorate programs in nursing:

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) - has its focus on the clinical side of nursing.
  • Doctor of Nursing Science (DNS) - is for those nursing professionals who want to work as professors or researchers.

How to decide on a nursing school?

If you are worried about making the wrong selection of a nursing school, here are some factors to consider so you can make a prudent decision.

  • You will first need to select a nursing program for yourself and then look for schools that match your preferred program.
  • Don’t compromise on the quality of education. Make sure that you select a school which is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency.
  • Look for nursing schools that offer your preferred program in a location that is suitable for you.
  • Check the size of the nursing school. Small nursing schools are good for individual attention, while large schools may provide a more intellectually challenging environment.
  • Check the class size and student-to-teacher ratio. It is good to get individual attention in clinicals and classroom instruction.
  • Find out about the clinical rotation time provided by the nursing school. You may also want to know whether clinical placements provide diverse and hands-on experience to students.
  • Another important factor to consider is the NCLEX exam passing percentage of the school. You can get this information from the admissions office of the nursing school.
  • Tuition costs and the availability of financial aid vary between nursing schools.  Check tuition costs and financial aid options well before time to make the best decision.


What are the skills and traits of pediatric nurses?

As a pediatric nurse, there are certain skills that will decide your success in the career. Following are some key skills to acquire for the career.


  • Critical thinking and quick decision making
  • Compassion and kindness
  • Attention to detail
  • Communication skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Emotional stability
  • Physical stamina

What are the career prospects for pediatric nurses?

Pediatric nurses fall in the category of registered nurses. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment opportunities for RNs are likely to grow at a rate of 19 percent between the years 2012 and 2022, which is faster than the average of all occupations. The growth in the nursing profession will mainly increase due to the aging baby boomer population.  Besides, more individuals are likely to have access to healthcare services, because of the federal health insurance reform. BLS states that the median annual salary for RNs was $65,470 in May 2012. The lowest ten percent of nurses earned a salary of less than $45,040, while the top ten percent of registered nurses earned a salary of more than $94,720.

Where do pediatric nurses work?

As a pediatric nurse, you may be able to find employment in various work settings that treat infants and teenagers. You may find work in the following areas.

  • Pediatric wards in hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Private pediatrician practices
  • Nursing home and healthcare agencies
  • Government agencies

Interesting Facts

  • The nurse cap was made due to the nuns habit of keeping their hair neatly in place. Although, the clothing item is not used anymore as it carries pathogens, some countries still have it as a part of a nurse’s outfit.
  • Linda Richards was the first nurse to earn a nursing diploma in the US. She earned the diploma in 1873 and it is now displayed at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.
  • Mary Todd Lincoln, first lady of the United States, helped in Union hospitals during the Civil War.  She worked as a volunteer nurse.
Pediatric Nurse with Patient

Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:How long does it take to become a pediatric nurse?

A:This will depend on the academic route you choose. Typically, pediatric nurses are registered nurses who have acquired specialized training in pediatric care. You can prepare for a registered nurse position by earning a bachelor or associate degree in nursing. It can take 2-4 years to complete a nursing program. You should then acquire pediatric clinical experience and get certified in this specialty. Some pediatric nurses also spend further years in college to earn a masters degree in nursing.

Q:What is the exact pediatric rn salary?

A:The level of income a pediatric nurse can make will depend on various factors such as state, organization, skill, degree-level, and work experience. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses made a media annual wage of $66,640 in 2014, with the upper ten percent making approximately $98,880.

Q:What are the basic pediatric nurse requirements?

A:To work as a pediatric nurse, you must have a nursing degree. You can opt for an associate or bachelor degree in nursing. A nursing program will provide you with thorough knowledge of nursing practice and theories. You will also develop important nursing skills needed for a registered nurse career. Other requirements include: receiving clinical experience in pediatric nursing, getting licensed, and certified.

Q:What are the basic pediatric nurse practitioner education requirements?

A:To become a pediatric nurse practitioner, you should: complete a bachelor degree in nursing, get a registered nurse license, acquire clinical experience as a pediatric nurse, complete a masters degree in pediatric nursing, and get certified. The certification requirements may vary from state to state. There are many nursing colleges offering pediatric nurse practitioner education programs.

Q:With a pediatric nurse practitioner degree, where can I get employment?

A:With a pediatric nurse practitioner degree, you can seek work in a variety of healthcare settings such as the following: health departments, community agencies, preschools and elementary schools and outpatient pediatric clinics. Your main job will be to provide healthcare services to children and coordinate with licensed pediatricians when developing treatment plans.

Q:What kinds of topics are covered in pediatric nurse courses?

A:In pediatric nurse courses, you may come across various topics such as the following: advanced health assessment and clinical reasoning, pediatric pharmacotherapeutics, primary healthcare of children, delivery of advanced pediatric care, pharmacology, evidence based nursing practice, U.S healthcare delivery system, and more. The curriculum is likely to vary slightly from place to place.

Q:How are pediatric nurse practitioner programs online covered?

A:A number of colleges are offering online pediatric nurse practitioner programs. The coursework is generally completed online via videos, online lectures and tutorials. However, some schools may require students to take a few classes on-campus. These classes are designed to provide students with hands on experience and exposure to clinical settings.

Q:How to become a pediatric nurse?

A:To become a pediatric nurse, you must first complete a bachelor degree in nursing. You can then enroll in a masters degree in nursing where you can specialize in pediatric nursing care. An MSN degree will equip you with skills needed for this field. After completing your education, you must get a nursing license in your state and complete a residency program.

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