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Becoming A Pediatric Nurse

Learn about the challenges and process of becoming a pediatric nurse

Written by Marjorie on August 2nd, 2011

Pediatric nurses care for babies, young children and teens up to the age of 21. These special nurses can help make a child’s hospital stay or doctor’s visit easier. Pediatric nurses should be able to cope with children that are anxious, injured, scared or shy to help calm them down and make them feel comfortable. An individual must love children in order to work as a pediatric nurse. The pediatric nurse must also be able to communicate effectively with the parents of a sick child. Parents can be extremely upset when their child is in pain.

Pediatric nurses can find jobs in a variety of different places, such as a doctor’s office, hospital, medical clinic, elementary school or health agency. The duties of a pediatric nurse are to help carry out physical exams and check vital signs, give medicine if doctor prescribes it and a great deal of other duties. They also have to know what kind of equipment to use on a child instead of an adult. Since a child’s body changes as they grow, pediatric nurses must be aware of the current state of a child’s development.

Becoming a pediatric nurse can be more challenging than a general nurse because there are additional considerations and difficulties in treating children. A regular nurse handles all kinds of patients and usually does not specialize in one particular type. A pediatric nurse deals with children every day and has to be there when a child is hurt and in pain. These nurses have to be able to show compassion for the child. They also have to know how to be strong so they can help the child when they need it most. The nurse has to be strong to be able to handle stressful circumstances.

To become a pediatric nurse you have to first be a registered nurse. Most registered nurses have a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Obtaining a bachelors degree can take up to four years in some states and sometimes a person can qualify as an RN with only an associate’s degree. After becoming an RN, the individual must complete in-depth training in pediatrics and pass the Certified Pediatric Nurse Exam. The pediatric nurse can specialize in many different areas such as pediatric or neonatal care. The income for a pediatric nurse is based on a number of factors such as experience, location and education. The average annual income for a pediatric nurse in the US falls between $35,000 to $70,000 dollars.



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