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Pediatric Nurse

What is a Pediatric Nurse

A pediatric nurse is a registered nurse holding either an Associates or Bachelors degree in nursing. They care for children, infants to adolescents. Work can be done in hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices, emergency rooms, or schools. The job description includes conducting routine checkups, giving immunizations, and teaching parents and families information regarding childhood diseases as well as nutrition and health advice that is relevant to childhood development. As a pediatric nurse, you will work closely with pediatricians in treating patients.

Various specialties can be practiced within this field including pediatric oncology and pediatric hematology.  Specialties like these involve extra certifications and training and often pay accordingly. 

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How to become a Pediatric Nurse

The education for a pediatric nurse involves obtaining first your Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) followed by your NCLEX-RN exam which allows you to work as a registered nurse.  During your nursing program it will be important to take courses that will prepare you for pediatric nursing jobs as well as your Pediatric Nurse Certification. 

When deciding to go back to school, you might also consider that the higher nursing degrees will inevitably equate to better pay during your nursing career.  Registered Nurse Salary is always based on your degree.  Nurse practitioners can make practically as much as some physicians while an ASN-RN can make as little as $35,000 per year. 

Some individuals begin by obtaining an associate nursing degree (ASN) so they can begin working as a registered nurse after just 2 years.  Individuals with this education may continue their bachelors in nursing through a bridge program (RN-to-BSN) that applies their ASN credits toward their nursing bachelors degree.  This method may take a little longer than a straight 4-year nursing degree, but the benefit is that you can being working as a nurse after just 2 years. 

Once you’ve completed your education (ASN or BSN), you should start getting experience in pediatrics.  Then you can obtain your Pediatric Nursing Certificate.  You may choose to get certified in specialty pediatric fields such as primary care pediatric nursing, mental health pediatric nursing, pediatric oncology nursing, or pediatric mental health nursing.   Check out the Society of Pediatric Nursing for more information on credentials and certifications. 

Pediatric Nurse Schools

According to U.S. News & World Report, some of the best nursing programs for pediatric nursing include University of Pennsylvania, Yale University, University of Colorado- Denver, Rush University, Duke University, Columbia University, University of Iowa, University of Illinois-Chicago, and Ohio State University, just to name a few.  There are also some excellent online nursing programs offered through many of these schools as well as online/distance learning schools such as Kaplan University, Cappella University and others like these.  Online nursing school is a great choice for book study work.  And because online nursing school means a flexible study schedule, you can continue working while you get your degree. 

Pediatric Nurse Salary

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Jobs are definitely the top paying in the field.  For this, you’ll need a masters in nursing degree (MSN).  Pediatric Nurse Practitioners salary is generally between around $90,000 per year and can be upwards of $112,000 per year. 

Pediatric nurse salary for ASN-RNs is around $36,000 and BSN Registered Nurse salary is around $50,000.