How to Become a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

If you are looking for a well-paying job in the field of pediatrics, you may want to consider working as a pediatric nurse practitioner. This is a profession centered around childcare, and it goes into more advanced responsibilities than pediatric nursing. Before you can begin working in this field though, you obviously need to know how to become a pediatric nurse. Then you will be able to go through the steps to actually start your future. Here is a brief guide showing how to start a career as a pediatric nurse practitioner.

Step 1 – Determine If Pediatric Nursing Is Right for You

Before you can even begin figuring out how to become a pediatric nurse practitioner, you need to research the career. This position is somewhat of a mix between that of a pediatric nurse and a pediatrician. You will take on responsibilities from both sides as you work, and you will be able to benefit from both worlds accordingly. Common job duties for pediatric nurses include:

  • Advise new parents in childcare
  • Diagnose medical conditions in infants
  • Oversee entry-level nurses
  • Draft medical reports
  • Prescribe medications for parents and children
  • Administer medications to patients

If you feel this job description fits your goals for the future, you should definitely consider working in this profession.

Step 2 – Get an Education in Pediatric Nursing

Once you know that this is the profession for you, you will need to get a college education. This will start in a BSN program, and then it will move into grad school. You must have a master’s degree to work as a nurse practitioner of any time, though you could also have a doctorate if you wanted to continue your education. Here are some of the degree programs you may pass through on your way to being a pediatric NP:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Master of Science as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Doctorate in Nursing

Step 3 – Get Certified

Although this step is not explicitly mentioned for some jobs, most employers will want to work with people who have certifications related to pediatric nursing. A certification shows people that you know what you are doing and that you are capable of taking on whatever this job may throw at you. The better your credentials are, the better your chances will be of getting a job in the future. Possible certification programs for pediatric nurse practitioners include:

  • Pediatrics
  • Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Practice
  • Pediatric Advanced Life Support
  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support
  • Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner
  • American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Critical Care

Step 4 – Find a Job as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

With all of the steps above out of the way, you should finally be able to apply for a job. There are tons of employers in need of pediatric nurse practitioners, so you should have no trouble getting hired when you get out of college. Here are just some of the many employers that may need your services:

  • Acute Care Hospitals
  • Healthcare Facilities
  • General Hospitals
  • Medical Offices
  • Medical Service Providers
  • Pediatric Offices

When you find an employer to work under, you will be able to make some pretty decent money as a pediatric nurse practitioner. There are many factors that will influence your salary, but you should see an increase in your pay as you gain experience in the field. The chart below shows how your pediatric nurse practitioner salary may change as you progress through your career.

  • Less than 1 year of experience: $61,042 – $89,985 per year
  • 1-4 years of experience: $57,900 – $93,758 per year
  • 5-9 years of experience: $63,920 – $96,120 per year
  • 10-19 years of experience: $62,028 – $108,083 per year
  • 20 years of experience or more: $71,453 – $113,346 per year

You know how to become a pediatric nurse practitioner now, so all you have to do is apply the teachings toward your own life. If you already have a BSN, you’re halfway through your career training. Think about your plans for the future and see if this process falls in line with them. If it does, you should have a rewarding profession ahead of you.