7 Reasons to Consider Specializing in Pediatric Nursing
A pediatric nurse is an advanced registered nurse. To work in this career, you will need to have completed at least a master’s degree in nursing, which you can study with a focus on pediatric nursing. The main role of a pediatric nurse is to provide treatment and care for children of all ages from newborns to young adults. A pediatric nurse also needs to have excellent communication as they will often be interacting with and communicating with family members of all ages. Some of the main roles involved in a career as a pediatric nurse include diagnosing disease, conducting check-ups and prescribing medication, along with consulting with family members and making referrals when needed.
Working as a pediatric nurse is a diverse, highly specialized role that provides an excellent opportunity for registered nurses who want to advance their career. Here are some of the main reasons to consider a career in pediatric nursing.
Improve Your Education
To work in a highly specialized role such as pediatric nursing, it will usually be required that you gain at least an MSN. You can explore more advanced nursing education options here, including the AGACNP DNP programs from Baylor University. There are various ways in which nurses can improve their education in order to work in this role including online advanced nursing degree programs that are becoming increasingly popular with nurses today, since they provide a flexible option for studying while continuing to work full-time. To become a pediatric nurse, you will also need to get certification from the Pediatric Nurses Certification Council.
Work with Children
Around 60% of registered nurses go on to specialize in family practice, while 5% specialize in primary and acute pediatric care, according to the American Association of Nursing Practitioners. Considering that there are many benefits of working with children as a nurse, this is quite a surprisingly small percentage, with many nurses agreeing that working with kids was one of the most rewarding things they decided to do in their career. One of the biggest factors contributing to high job satisfaction in the role of a pediatric nurse is that you can really change the lives of the kids that you work with and make a positive impact on them.
Improve Key Nursing Skills
In order to work as a successful pediatric nurse, you’ll need to possess a number of qualities and skills. While it’s important to get the right level of education to get into pediatric nursing, many of the skills that you will use on a daily basis in this job are not things that you can learn in the classroom. If you are already a registered nurse, you will know that some of the most in-demand skills for nurses include empathy, compassion, excellent communication skills, advocacy, optimism, great interpersonal skills, quick problem-solving skills and attention to detail. These skills are certainly required when you are caring for kids, so getting into this role can help you boost your most important nursing skills even further.
Increase Your Salary
After getting a higher education and gaining a degree that allows you to specialize in a certain field of nursing, this will usually be naturally followed by an increase in your salary. According to the AANP, the average salary for a full-time pediatric nurse is around six figures. Due to having a master’s degree or higher along with a certificate to practice as a pediatric nurse, the salaries tend to be very competitive and high. Pediatric nurses are also in high demand since only 5% of nurses decide to get into this specialty area. And with the shortage of primary care and pediatric nurses currently causing many issues for the healthcare system in the US, you may be able to save even more money when getting an advanced degree by asking your employer to pay for you to study to become a pediatric nurse.
Run Your Own Practice
With a master’s degree in nursing, you can actually go on to become a nurse practitioner, which puts you in a position where you can open your own practice if you wish. Currently, twenty-two US states allow full practice authority to nurse practitioners, allowing you to run your own practice and work without being supervised by a physician. There are many advantages to this and it is an ideal path to consider for nurses who are interested in being in full control of their career, being their own boss, and offering a healthcare service that there is a demand for in their local area.
Stay Busy and Enjoy Fast-Paced Work
Working as a pediatric nurse, you will find that no two days are the same. Most practicing pediatric nurses will see at least three different patients each hour, so if you’re the type of person who likes to stay busy at work, this could be the perfect nursing specialty for you. Depending on the setting that you decide to work in, you’re likely to be on your feet most of the day and anything could happen at any moment, which certainly keeps your job interesting and challenging.
Make a Difference
As mentioned above, one of the most satisfying things about working as a pediatric nurse is that you can truly make a difference to the lives of the children that you care for. In this role, you’re going to be working with kids who may be suffering from long-term diseases or have been injured in accidents. Being able to soothe and care for children who are probably going to be scared and in pain, and watching them recover and become their happy selves again is certainly the most rewarding part of the job. Being injured or sick is never a nice experience for anybody, especially children, but with a caring and gentle nurse to look after them, you can offer hope and compassion in difficult situations and be remembered for it.
If you are a registered nurse looking for a specialty area to get into, there are plenty of great reasons to consider pediatric nursing.