To work as a pediatric nurse practitioner, you will need to be an advanced registered nurse with specialist training. Nurses who want to get into pediatric nursing need to complete at least a master’s degree program. Pediatric nurse practitioners serve the main role of providing care and treatment for children of all ages from newborn babies to young adults. Since pediatric nurses will need to interact with and communicate with patients who are often very young, they need to have a lot of patience, empathy, and excellent communication skills. A pediatric nurse will be tasked with diagnosing conditions, conducting checkups, referring for further treatment when needed, and prescribing medication. Pediatric nursing is a highly specialist, diverse role that offers an excellent advancement opportunity for nurses who want to get further in their career. Some of the top reasons to consider a career in pediatric nursing include:
Improve Your Education
Since pediatric nursing is a highly specialist healthcare role, you will need to gain an advanced education to begin working. For most positions, at least an MSN is required. Along with qualifying you to work as a pediatric nurse practitioner, an MSN degree program can lead to even further opportunities for your career in nursing, qualifying you to work in a range of further advanced nursing roles including family nurse practitioner, nurse educator, and nurse management roles. Baylor University’s pediatric nurse practitioner programs are designed to prepare you to work in a role with more responsibility and full practice authority depending on your state.
Boost Your Core Nursing Skills
To work as a successful pediatric nurse practitioner, you will need to demonstrate some important skills and qualities. While getting the right level of education to work as a pediatric nurse or pediatric nurse practitioner is important, it is also crucial for you to have many skills that you won’t be able to develop in the classroom alone. When you’re working with kids, some of the most important nursing skills to develop include communication skills, compassion, empathy, optimism, advocacy, problem solving skills, attention to detail, and great interpersonal skills.
Enjoy Great Salary Potential
Nurses that achieve a higher education and use their MSN or other advanced nursing degree to specialize in a certain area of nursing will usually naturally experience a salary increase as a result. Data from the American Association of Nursing Practitioners suggests that on average, full-time pediatric nurse practitioners can earn six figures. The requirement to hold an MSN or a higher qualification means that nurses trained in this field can enjoy high and competitive salaries, particularly right now as the US is dealing with a significant shortage of registered nurses, and only 5% of nurses are going into the pediatric care field.
Enjoy Rewarding Work
According to the AANP, 60% of nurses will specialize in family practice while around 5% decide to specialize in acute or primary pediatric care. It’s a surprisingly smaller percentage than you might expect, considering that the majority of nurses and nurse practitioners who decide to work in this area say that there’s nothing quite as rewarding as working with children. Many pediatric nurse practitioners would tell you that deciding to work with kids was one of the best decisions that they made for their career. When you are working with children and young people, one of the best things about this role is the fact that you really can have a serious impact on their life for the better.
Interesting and Busy Work
In the role of a pediatric nurse or pediatric nurse practitioner, no two days are going to be the same. Practicing pediatric nurse practitioners see at least three different patients every hour. This makes it an ideal nursing specialism choice for those who want to keep busy at work and like having direct contact with patients. Pediatric nurse practitioners can work in a wide range of different healthcare settings, but whichever you choose, you are likely to be on the go for a large portion of the day. There’s also a certain unpredictability to the job and you’ll need to be ready for anything to happen, at any moment.
Run Your Own Practice
When you have a master’s degree in nursing and a license to work as an advanced practice registered nurse, you can start your own practice as a nurse practitioner in twenty US states. You can set up and run your own practice as a pediatric nurse practitioner or treat patients of all ages as a family nurse practitioner. With the shortage of primary care physicians currently not getting any smaller in many parts of the US, the demand for nurse practitioners who can run their own clinics or take over in doctor’s offices is on the rise. With their advanced qualifications, nurse practitioners can be responsible for almost everything you’d expect from a primary care physician including diagnosing, treating, referring, and prescribing medication to patients.
Make a Difference to Lives
One of the most rewarding and satisfying things about working as a pediatric nurse practitioner is that you really can make a huge difference to the lives of the patients that you work with. When you are working in this role, you might be caring for children who have experienced an accident that has resulted in injury, or children who are suffering with long-term health conditions and diseases. Being able to care and be there for them in a time when they are likely to be scared and worried can make a big difference to them not only right now, but throughout their lives. Knowing that you have played a key part in helping these kids feel comfortable, safe and cared for during their ordeal and watching them get better and feel like themselves again can be one of the most rewarding things that you will ever do.
If you want to get into a highly rewarding, in-demand nursing specialty area with great career opportunities and a competitive salary, working as a pediatric nurse or pediatric nurse practitioner might be a great choice for you.