Pediatric nurses perform nearly all the duties of a regular nurse. The pediatric department is associated with health of children (newborns to 16 years old). A lot of patience and excellent communication skills, as you need to deal with children, are just a few qualities of a good nurse. There are two types of nurses: Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and a Registered Nurse (RN).
The pediatric nurse education requirements, in order to work as a registered nurse (RN), are a diploma in nursing, associate degree in nursing, bachelor of science in nursing, and a master's course. The program structure may vary from state to state. There are many nursing schools that offer specialized courses for people aspiring to become nurses.
Pediatric Nurse Education Requirements and Qualifications
There are various courses and studies one must complete in order to become a pediatric nurse. In addition to the study material and courses, certification exams also need to be given. The following is a list of qualifications required in order to have a successful career in nursing.
Diploma in Nursing: Diploma programs are held in hospitals that may or may not be affiliated to school and colleges. The duration of these programs is 2-3 years. Securing a diploma makes you eligible for the NCLEX examination. The Diploma course is considered as the first step in a nursing career.
Associate Degree In Nursing (ADN): If you do not wish to spend many years and a lot of money in completing a bachelor's degree, the Associate Degree course is just for you. It makes you eligible for the NCLEX exam. In certain nursing schools, there are programs that allow nurses with Associate degree to complete bachelor's degree in 2 years.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN): Having a bachelor's degree is the best educational option if you wish to be a certified pediatric nurse. This degree is offered in the United States and Canada. The college fees for bachelor's degree program are quite high. However, a bachelor's degree is not only preferred, but is even mandatory in several states.
Master's Degree in Nursing: One can opt for the master's degree after completing the bachelor's degree. Master's degree in nursing is offered by senior colleges or universities. Having a master's degree is beneficial as it gives you the qualification and opportunity to explore various branches of nursing. A master's degree is essential in order to become a nurse manager or nurse leader.
Registered nurses are preferred over licensed practical nurses as they are more qualified. Being a registered nurse is beneficial for a long-term career.
There are other advanced and specialized programs for qualifying as a nurse anesthetist, nurse practitioner, or clinical nurse specialist. The eligibility criteria for these include a master's or a bachelor's course in nursing and 2 years experience as a registered nurse. There are also programs available in certain colleges that help registered nurses who have completed ADN and wish to pursue BSN. Nursing degrees can even be secured online.
Certification Needed to Work as a Pediatric Nurse
NCLEX or the National Council Licensure Examination is the examination undertaken to provide certification for nursing in the United States of America. There are two exams, NCLEX-RN for registered nurses; and NCLEX-PN for practical nurses. It is mandatory to pass these exams to get a nursing license.
The Certified Pediatric Nurse exam is conducted by the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board. This exam is essential to have a career as a certified pediatric nurse. One needs to have at least 2 years of experience to be eligible for the exam. Becoming a certified nurse is beneficial as it can make job-finding easier, escalate your salary, and also boost your career. There is a great demand for certified pediatric nurses all over the world.
On fulfilling the necessary pediatric nurse requirements, there are different types of nursing careers available. One can work in clinics, hospitals, children wards, public health departments, or even with home health agencies. If you wish for a long-term and successful career as a nurse, it is always beneficial to have a bachelor's or a master's degree. Once the course is completed, an internship program at a pediatric clinic or a hospital should be undertaken. Practical and clinical experience is more important than your academic curriculum. As you complete master's course, you can go for specialization in emergency areas, cancer care, or burn department. You need to have a minimum experience of 5 years in order to opt for further specialization.
The salary for a registered nurse ranges from $50,000 to $75,000 p.a., depending on qualification and experience. If you are seriously thinking of pursuing a career as a pediatric nurse, you need to complete these basic requirements. If you have the knack of dealing with youngsters, and wish to pursue a career in the medical field, being a pediatric nurse is the perfect option for you. Good luck!