Are you a registered nurse (RN) exploring specialty options? In the market to change your specialty? Or maybe you want to step into a career path that's particularly meaningful to you? We've got just the thing: let's talk about pediatric nursing.
Now, you might have some questions. Like “what is pediatric nursing?”, "how much do pediatric nurses make?" and “what does a peds nurse do?” No sweat. We’ve got answers for you that are more in-depth than just "a nurse who works with kids." Plus, a whole lot of other useful info about why you might want to become a pediatric nurse in 2023.
Top Benefits of Being a Pediatric Nurse
What is a pediatric nurse?
Pediatric nurses are nurses who specialize in providing care to infants, children, and teens. Pediatric nurses work closely with doctors, pediatric nurse practitioners, family members, and other healthcare providers as part of a child’s primary care team.
Since pediatric nurses work with many young patients of all age ranges, they also have a wide range of responsibilities. Common pediatric nursing duties may include:
- Administering medications
- Assisting children before and after surgery
- Monitoring pain levels and notifying physicians of changes
- Giving vaccinations and developing immunization schedules
- Performing physical examinations to monitor condition changes
- Communicating with patient's family members about treatment plans
- Caring for chronically ill kids or those in emergency situations
In addition to general nursing care, pediatric nurses may also specialize in specific areas of nursing including pediatric oncology, neonatal intensive care (NICU), pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), labor and delivery, and more.
Pediatric nurses often find creative ways to build relationships and communicate with their young patients. A toddler isn't able to explain their experiences the same way as an adult, which can be deeply rewarding to problem solve.
Major benefits of being a peds nurse
Considering a career as a peds nurse? You’ll be happy to know that there are many pros to being a pediatric nurse. Check out these benefits to determine if a nursing career in the pediatric department is right for you.
Working with children
One of the main perks of being a peds nurse is the ability to work with pediatric patients. Since certified pediatric nurses work with children of all ages and at various points in their development, they get to watch the kids grow into healthy young adults. Plus, it feels good to offer support and a reassuring presence to younger patients who are going through medical treatments, routine medical procedures, diagnostic tests, physical exams, or surgeries. If the idea of saving a child's life is even more appealing to you than doing the same work with adult patients, pediatric nursing may be a uniquely meaningful career path for you.
Wide range of job responsibilities
Being a pediatric nurse means there’s never a dull moment. Many of the duties of a peds nurse depend on the age of the child they’re treating and caring for. An infant with an infection will have a different treatment plan than a teen with the same illness. Because of this, pediatric nurses must have a broad knowledge of childhood development and medical conditions to complete their duties.
Being a certified pediatric nurse can bring immense career satisfaction and fulfillment compared to other specialties. It feels good to make an impact on healing sick or injured children. And in emergency situations, peds nurses save lives. As a pediatric nurse, you can find satisfaction in maintaining and improving a child’s health.
You already know there’s a nursing shortage, which has created a demand for more RNs like you. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for registered nurses is projected to grow 6% between 2021 and 2031. Within that time, it’s expected more than 200,000 RN job openings will become available each year.
Plus, there will always be children in need of medical care. Depending on the hospitals or medical facilities you work in, you could be one of the only peds nurses around, making you even more valuable.
Money may not be the main reason you got into pediatrics, but it sure doesn’t hurt. According to Indeed, pediatric RNs make an average salary of $68,915 per year. However, when you travel as a peds RN, you could earn even more! Salaries vary based on geographic area, employer, and level of experience. If you’re interested in making more, consider additional certifications through the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board or postgraduate education and specialized training.
With so many options, it can be tough to decide on a nursing specialty. But if you love working with children, want to make a big impact, and earn a high salary, becoming a pediatric nurse might be right for you. After you’ve gained some real-world experience as a pediatric clinical nurse specialist, take your career to the next level and start traveling!