Becoming a pediatric nurse requires special personality traits as well as a high-quality education that includes either an associate degree or bachelor’s degree in the nursing field. Pediatric nursing involves taking care of children who have been injured or are sick; therefore, the nurse does not only care for the patient, but cares for the parents as well. They may be in charge of administering medication that must be at the optimal dosage so the medication will be effective, but not damaging to the child, or the pediatric nurse may also have the task of replacing bandages or casts should the child have an injury. Pediatric nurses can work in many different establishments including in a pediatrician’s office, a hospital that has a unit devoted to pediatrics, or a Children’s Hospital where the only patients admitted are under the age of 18.
The typical education required to become a pediatric nurse is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, although an associate degree is also accepted in many facilities. The online BSN program consists of the same coursework that nursing students will find in a devoted campus nursing school; however, the program is delivered online allowing the student to study and complete most of the program on their own schedule. Once the required online courses have been completed, the nursing student will then participate in clinical training programs where they receive hands-on training at a local hospital or healthcare facility. This training also helps future nurses determine if the pediatric field is the nursing specialization they want to go into. They will be able to determine if they have the personality that is required to become a pediatric nurse including the ability to treat young children with sometimes very serious diseases without becoming upset when treatments do not work. Once they have decided that they have the personality and the education to enter into this field, they may begin working in the pediatric unit and then go on to participate in continuing education courses that will allow them to become certified in the pediatric specialty.
The nursing student typically knows whether they want to work with children or not before they even begin working on their educational program. But occasionally, nurses will wait until they actually begin training and working in pediatrics before deciding if it is a good fit for them. In the pediatric field, the nurse will be required to deal with sick and injured children every day; therefore, they must have a personality where they genuinely have a love and caring nature for kids. But they also need to maintain a professional attitude where the child does not know when the nurse is upset over anything. The nurse in the pediatric unit must be able to hold in their emotions should a treatment not go as planned for the child. It is sometimes difficult for nurses to stay unattached to their patients, which can make pediatrics an emotionally draining career. Children are very perceptive; therefore, they can easily figure out when their nurse is upset about the treatment plan they have which can cause additional stress to the patient and their parents.
The pediatric nurse is a special person who loves children and who wants to help children who have become ill or injured. Pediatric nurses can expect to earn a generous salary which is typically around $30 per hour. Additionally, overtime on top of the standard pay is typical due to the fact that the demand for qualified nurses who work in the pediatric unit is very high, and it is sometimes difficult to fill all shifts. Therefore, the nurse in this specialized unit may be required to work double shifts or take on-call shifts as well. Your education in the nursing specialty will qualify you for this top career and the top salary that goes along with it. If you have always wanted to become a nurse who works with children, now is the time to go back to college at one of the accredited, top online universities and begin your new, exciting and rewarding career.