Pediatric Nursing

Pediatric nursing is a speciality within the nursing profession involved in pediatrics and medical care of infants, children, and young adults up to 18 years. This speciality’s primary goal is to provide health care and treatment required by children as they grow and develop. This field lays more emphasis on approaching, understanding, and treating the neonates, children, and adolescents in the context of their families and community.

Pediatric nurse

A pediatric nurse is a registered nurse who has specialized knowledge and skills in caring and treating children from infancy, through adolescence, and into early adulthood. To efficiently extend proper care and treatment, pediatric nurses must have in-depth knowledge about child growth and development and conditions and illnesses common in this group of the population. A pediatric nurse should also be able to engage and form a relationship with their patients throughout the treatment process.

These specialized nurses often work alongside physicians and other health care professionals to ensure their patients receive the best care. A pediatric nurse is tasked with duties and responsibilities similar to those performed by a regular nurse caring for adults. These duties range from performing physical examinations, recording weight and height, ordering diagnostic tests, administering medicines, treatments, and immunizations. Pediatric nurses are also continually involved with families of the children, supporting and educating them about the health of their child. However, even when the duties compare, children are more vulnerable than adults, thus demanding extra attention and care.

There are numerous subspecialties within pediatric nursing from which a registered nurse can choose from. Some of the most common areas include neonatal nursing, palliative pediatric nursing, developmental disability nursing, and direct nursing care. Besides, pediatric nurses can work in various work environments, including hospitals, clinics, physicians’ offices, schools and colleges, and community organizations. However, some pediatric nurses can also work in more specific departments such as pediatric intensive care unit, neonatal unit, and pediatric oncology ward.

Education and Training

Like most other nursing specialities, becoming a pediatric nurse requires you to first become a registered nurse by earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree or an associate’s degree. However, a BSN is preferred over ASN in the job market. The next step is to seek certification by passing the NCLEX-RN and gaining licensure to practice. After becoming a registered nurse, take some time to practice and gain substantial experience in children health and development. With enough experience at hand, you can then proceed to pursue specialized training in pediatric nursing. Some people may opt to pursue a Master’s degree in nursing to become a clinical nurse specialist in pediatrics or a pediatric nurse practitioner.

References

Linnard-Palmer, Luanne. Pediatric nursing care: A concept-based approach. Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2017.

Harrison, Tondi M., Deborah Steward, Sharon Tucker, Christine A. Fortney, Lisa K. Militello, Laureen H. Smith, Susan Thrane, Heather L. Tubbs-Cooley, and Rita H. Pickler. “The future of pediatric nursing science.” Nursing Outlook 68, no. 1 (2020): 73-82.

Mott, Sandra, Niki Fogg, Naomi Foote, Maureen Hillier, Debra A. Lewis, Betsy M. McDowell, Kathleen Saunders et al. “Society of Pediatric Nurses’ Core Competencies for the Pediatric Nurse.” (2018).

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