Nursing is a career that benefits so many people. They’re the glue that holds together the healthcare industry. Providing skilled and attentive care is one of the biggest rewards of this career path, along with the fact it’s an in-demand career path.

More than a million registered nurses (RNs) are on track to retire in the next 10 to 15 years. If you’re looking to fill that void in the field by becoming a licensed nurse, a specialty can be valuable. If you love kids, consider pediatric nursing.

What is a pediatric nurse? How much do pediatric nurses make? Below we’ll answer this question and many others that can help you on your career path.

How Much Do Pediatric Nurses Make?

A pediatric nurse is a nurse that primarily sees children as patients. They help patients as early as infants, all the way through adolescence. If

The median pediatric nurse salary is roughly $75,000 per year. The salary you command will depend on your years of experience and education. Pediatric nurses with master’s and doctorate degrees earn significantly more than those with associate’s degrees. These positions command an excellent salary and benefits because the work is so vital to a child’s development, and requires significant training and experience.

What Is the Life of a Pediatric Nurse Like?

Since pediatric nursing is so in-demand, you’re likely to land a position somewhere as long as you’re flexible to move. Start picturing the lifestyle you’d like to live, and how nursing plays a role in it. Understanding the lifestyle of a pediatric nurse is essential if you’re considering taking that path.

Here’s what you should know about the life of a pediatric nurse:

Get to Know the Duties

Before anything, get to know the duties of a pediatric nurse so you understand what’s expected and required. Pediatric nurses assist pediatricians and other physicians in everything that they do.

The nurse sets the tone for the visit, as they’re typically the first medical professional that the child and parent interact with. They’ll take the child’s height, weight, and blood pressure. In many cases, the pediatric nurse will also get a detailed account of the patients’ medical history and can administer medication and draw blood.

Nurses must also be attentive to their patients. They should keep track of the patients’ symptoms, and note when they change for better or worse. They’ll take the child’s temperature, measure their pulse, and monitor their breathing. These nurses also help with pain management.

It’s a job that can be hectic, so striking a work-life balance will be crucial. In a survey, 98% of hospital nurses said that their work is both mentally and physically demanding. You can give yourself a headstart now so that you’re ready for the physical and mental demand that awaits you after graduating and getting your nursing license.

Prioritize physical training, nutrition, and stress, and show up to your nursing classes with the state of mind and well-being that you’ll need for your nursing job.

It’s a Team Effort With the Whole Family

Recognize that when you’re a nurse, you become a regular fixture in several people’s families. You’ll need to master seamlessly communicating with a child and then relaying information to the parents while documenting everything accurately for the doctor.

Because it’s a family affair, you need to develop a patient and calm bedside manner. People are rightfully concerned about their children, and kids have quite a few medical appointments throughout their developmental years. Get used to the idea of developing strong bonds and rapport with these families, and welcome it as a perk of the job.

You Need to Learn Children and Their Temperaments

Understanding children is the best thing you can do if you want to thrive as a pediatric nurse. You need to have incredible patience because children haven’t yet fully developed their communication skills. Pediatric nurses must be intuitive, have a strong understanding of symptoms, and must communicate in a way that children understand.

This patience is why work-life balance is so crucial. It’s easier to show up to work patient and helpful when you’re well-rested and in positive spirits.

Pediatric nurses also have to stay knowledgeable and always learning. They must also know the important questions to ask both the child and parent. Nurses play a big part in building a child’s medical record, so make sure you’re thorough, accurate, and detail-oriented.

Learn Where Pediatric Nurses Work

Get to know a pediatric nurse’s work environment, so that you can adapt and orient yourself. In most cases, a pediatric nurse will work in:

  • Hospitals and children’s hospitals
  • Emergency Rooms (ER) and urgent care facilities
  • Primary care physician offices and family practices
  • Medical clinics and inpatient pediatric rehabilitation practices
  • Health-related non-profits
  • Travel nurse jobs
  • Nurse-led private practices for pediatric nurse practitioners (NP)

Getting to know where pediatric nurses work will help you figure out what to expect. You’ll learn the culture of medical environments so that you can contribute right away.

Pediatric Nurses Report a Lot of Career Satisfaction

Despite potentially stressful environments, pediatric nurses report high career satisfaction. It’s a labor of love for people who love children, and you’ll be able to dedicate many hours of your weeks and life to helping them.

You won’t have to worry about going to bed at night wondering whether or not you made an impact in the world. The job also gives you the fulfillment of always having new challenges to overcome and skills to learn. These variables make pediatric nursing an excellent career proposition.

How Can You Become a Pediatric Nurse?

Now that this pediatric nurse guide has taught you a lot about the position, you must take the right steps toward making it a reality. It’s a heavily regulated field, which means you need to be diligent about learning and satisfying all requirements.

Here’s what you need to do to become a pediatric nurse:

Get Your Education

For starters, you need to satisfy the educational requirements that pediatric nurses have to fulfill. At a minimum, nurses need to have an Associate of Science degree. However, you need to get a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) before you can become a pediatric nurse.

Getting a 4-year degree will let you command more salary immediately, while also being more prepared for the job. Look up colleges and universities that have the best nursing programs. You’ll need to apply as early as possible because these programs are often competitive.

Get copies of your high school transcripts and SAT scores, and seek early admission decisions whenever possible. Keep your grade point average (GPA) high throughout your four years in college – particularly in coursework directly tied to the nursing program.

Pass the Licensing Exam

Your next step is to take the national licensing exam. This is the exam required for every nurse to practice professionally. Once you pass the exam, you’ll officially be a registered nurse (RN).

Start taking nursing exam prep courses in college and formulating a study plan. Take practice exams so that you’re prepared for it once it’s time. After passing your licensing exam, you’ll need to also

Rack Up the Clinical Hours

Nurses are required to satisfy clinical hours. You’ll be able to get hands-on experience in college under the supervision of licensed nurses and doctors.

Once you satisfy the number of hours that your state requires, you’re allowed to start your career as an RN. Once you have some legitimate nursing experience, you can work toward a certificate of pediatric nursing. While you’re in your apprenticeship stage, do your best and seek learning opportunities wherever possible.

Not only will this help to expedite your training and education, but it’ll also help to advance your soft skills and get you up-to-date on the culture of the job. You’ll also be able to network with people in the medical industry, which can lead to future career opportunities.

Become a Pediatric Nurse

So, how much do pediatric nurses make? Now that you have the answer to this, along with some sound pediatric nurse tips, you can begin figuring out how to make a career out of it.

It’s a career that will also keep you employed if you’re good at what you do and develop a glowing track record. Let this guide serve as the spark of inspiration that you need to keep researching and taking the required steps.

Begin with the points in this article and check back for more helpful career advice.