Pediatric nursing is one of many different specialties you can pursue if you’re interested in going into the nursing profession. Specifically, pediatric nurses work with patients under the age of 18. Regular duties include administering medicine and treatments, recording and diagnosing symptoms, observing patients, administering a variety of different diagnostic tests and working with parents and adolescent patients in terms of how to treat the illness or injury outside of the medical practice.
There are many different reasons why people might choose to pursue a career in pediatric nursing. It typically doesn’t require any more education than it would to qualify for resident nurse (RN) status and the job environment may consist of a hospital private practice or physician’s office. Here’s a closer look at pediatric nursing jobs and five reasons why now is a great time to begin a career in pediatric.
There are two types of pediatric nurses – registered nurses who specialize in pediatrics or a pediatric nurse practitioner. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS, the average salary for a registered nurse is north of $64,000 per year, or just over $31 per hour. While that’s still a very comfortable salary to live off of – and one that an RN specializing in pediatrics could expect to earn – pediatric nurse practitioners make much more than that, perhaps as much as $90,000 per year. That’s an even more comfortable salary. So, while you can pursue two different types of nursing careers in pediatrics, both of which offer comfortable earnings potential, one avenue can net you more in base salary over time than the other.
Nursing is one of the hottest buzzwords in the job realm in this day and age. Why? It’s because there’s a shortage of nurses in the field today, which are becoming more necessary as the baby boomers age and live longer than past generations, thereby creating more of a need for specialized health care. This is no exception for pediatrics. For instance, with an increased emphasis on healthcare, specifically preventative means, the outlook for a career in pediatrics is incredibly promising. In fact, the nursing profession, as a whole, is expected to increase at a twenty-six percent clip by 2020, adding almost 712,000 jobs in the field in the 10-year span between 2010 and 2020. So, there’s certainly opportunity in the field for you.
Working with Kids
One of the biggest benefits to getting a job in pediatrics is the ability to work with children. Just as how some people are born to be teachers, others are born to treat illnesses and injuries in children. It can be a much more rewarding and different change of pace from treating adult patients, as there’s perhaps nothing more satisfying than seeing a parent’s eyes light up as he or she is able to take her child home cured of an illness or treated after an injury.
One of the downsides to the job of a registered nurse is that they typically work in 12-hour shifts, if they work in a hospital setting and not in a private physician’s office where the hours are more standard. However, pediatric nurses – even those who work in hospital settings – typically work more regular hours than their nursing counterparts because RNs can treat children during emergencies and pediatric nurses are there to do the follow-up and recommend other treatments and medicines during their more stable, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. like hours. Generally speaking, they don’t work midnights on lengthy 12-hour shifts, which are another benefit to the career, especially for those who have families.
We already told you how promising the nursing field is in terms of a career outlook. However, as there’s more demand for nurses, there’s likely to be more supply of them in the future. Specializing in pediatrics is a specialization that can make your skills more valuable in the workplace. It’s likely that the nursing profession will eventually grow to be quite competitive and being able to diversify yourself from the competition is very desirable from many employers.