Pediatric nurses give children complete and compassionate medical treatment while keeping an eye on their pace of growth. Pediatric nurses are experts at understanding the medical needs of children. As they manage the child’s health, they keep in touch with the youngster and family.
Registered nurses (RNs) learn to focus their nursing skill set on the particular needs of children through enhanced specialized training after getting their graduate nursing degree. This post enumerates the steps to becoming a pediatric nurse.
What Do Pediatric Nurses Do?
Pediatric nursing covers a wide range of medical assistance.
The Technical Aspects of Pediatric Nursing
Pediatric nurses can care for infants, kids, teenagers, and young people up to age 21 with complex medical needs and impairments such as developmental delays, cerebral palsy, brain traumas, or other conditions. Additionally, they can assist with respiratory therapy, managing asthma, infusion therapy, gastrointestinal illnesses, endocrine concerns (including insulin pumps), neuro-muscular disorders, spinal cord injuries, neoplastic diseases, or feeding difficulties.
The Compassionate Aspect of Pediatric Nursing
Aside from these technical aspects, pediatric nurses also need the ability to communicate with children and parents in a comforting manner.
A pediatric nurse’s duties can differ significantly from those of other nurses. For instance, most RNs are skilled at placing IV lines or giving vaccinations. But when caring for a child, you can also need to employ various methods of care, such as distraction or a soft voice. You’ll also devote time to educating parents on the value of vaccines, good nutrition, and exercise to encourage and support the growth of healthy children.
Connecting with children and their families is what sets pediatric nursing apart. If you have this skill, you may have what it takes to become a pediatric nurse. You will still need to go through the following:
- Earning a nursing degree
- Passing the NCLEX Exam
- Meeting the board of nursing requirements in your state
- Accumulating clinical experience in a pediatric facility
- Passing the CPN Exam
1. Earn a Nursing Degree
Your path to becoming a pediatric nurse begins with getting a nursing education. Any nurse must hold a registered nurse (RN) or advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) license and have a bachelor’s or associate’s degree. Your existing education, prospective transfer credits, and desired level of study all impact how long it takes to complete your nursing degree and become a pediatric nurse.
You can typically obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree in three to five years. The possibility to eventually enter a BSN bridging program exists if you get an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or become a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN).
2. Pass the NCLEX-RN Exam
After earning your nursing degree, you must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (referred to as NCLEX-RN). This rigorous test will determine whether you’ve learned enough to safely provide care as a pediatric RN.
The only students eligible to take the NCLEX-RN Exam are those who have already finished a nursing program. This exam will test your understanding of four particular nursing areas:
- Providing a safe and effective care environment
- Promotion and maintenance of health
- Integrity in one’s psychosocial life and how to handle the pressures of being a nurse
- Your physical well-being and your capacity to provide quality nursing care
3. Meet the Board of Nursing Requirements
To be eligible to practice nursing after passing the NCLEX-RN, you must fulfill your state’s board of nursing requirements.
After that, you’ll be able to look for your first RN position. For nurses hoping to work as pediatric nurses in the future, a family practice doctor’s office, a neonatal hospital unit, or a community clinic caring for children are excellent starting points.
4. Complete the Require Clinical Pediatric Experience
Before you become certified as a pediatric nurse, you must complete 1800 hours of pediatric clinical work. Experience in pediatric nursing might include direct and indirect patient care, such as educating, managing, doing clinical research, or providing consultation.
You must accrue the required clinical pediatric nursing hours to sit for the certified pediatric nurse exam and receive your pediatric nursing certification.
5. Take the Certified Pediatric Nurse Exam
The Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB) sets the standard for certifying nurses who work with children and teenagers. You will get three hours to answer the 175 multiple-choice questions on the PNCB exam. Once you pass the exam, you will hold the PNCB Certified Pediatric Nurse (CPN) certificate.
Although certification is not necessary to practice as a pediatric nurse, it does demonstrate your competence in pediatric nursing. Better career possibilities and higher pay are possible due to such expertise. Also, you can build better rapport with families when they know you’re certified.
Bonus Tip: Pursue a Graduate Nursing Degree
Your ability to give pediatric care will improve if you take the time to get a graduate nursing degree. Although a graduate nursing degree is not necessary to work as a pediatric nurse, it opens more opportunities for you.
Depending on the specialization you pick, it takes two to three years to complete a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). There is no additional certification necessary for an MSN.
Becoming a Pediatric Nurse Requires the Passion to Care for Children and Families
It takes a special kind of nurse to make a difference in a child’s life. Becoming a pediatric nurse takes time and effort, but making a difference in children’s and families lives is rewarding and fulfilling. It takes compassion and sympathy to handle the challenges of providing pediatric care calmly and professionally.
Those are the pediatric nurses of Vitality Home Health, who are professional, compassionate, and sympathetic. They have put in the work, the time, and the effort to become well-versed and trained in providing clinical excellence for children and their families.
Vitality Home Health offers exceptional short- and long-term clinical care to medically fragile children. Our registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, aides, and pediatric nurses are on call around the clock. Contact us to request a free assessment.