Pediatric Nurse: In-Demand Specialty for Travel Nursing Jobs
Pediatric nursing combines a love of children with a dedication to their wellbeing. The need for professionals with these characteristics is expanding rapidly in the face of a national nursing shortage.
Pediatric nursing requires more than clinical knowledge. The patient population ranges from nonverbal newborns and infants to uncommunicative adolescents. Pediatric nurses need excellent communication skills. They need patience supplemented by a sense of humor and the ability to play, all while also offering treatment.
In the face of the growing national need for these professionals, there are tremendous rewards for experienced clinicians who choose to be travel pediatric nurses.
What is a Pediatric Nurse?
Pediatric nurses work collaboratively with pediatricians and pediatric specialists to provide well care, chronic care, and acute care treatment to children of all ages, from birth all the way up to the age of 18.
As the health care professionals who spend the most time interacting with children, pediatric nurses play a pivotal role in the way both children and parents will view medical treatment for the rest of their lives.
Their responsibilities are the same as nurses who care for adults — recording medical histories and symptoms, assessing patient condition, administering vaccinations, diagnostic tests and medications — with the added element of needing to communicate in a way appropriate to the patient’s developmental stage, abilities and reactions.
Their responsibilities are the same as nurses who care for adults with the added element of needing to communicate in a way appropriate to the patient’s developmental stage, abilities and reactions.
Because their patients are under the age of 18, pediatric nurses must also ensure that parents fully understand their child’s medical needs and treatment plans. Though pediatric nurses have the pleasure of working with healthy children, they also face the emotional challenge of working with very sick and vulnerable patients.
Pediatric nurses work in a variety of care facilities and their specific responsibilities will vary based on the care center where they work. Those who work in private pediatrician offices will generally provide sick care, administer immunizations and offer education. School nurses will provide preventive health education and sick treatment. Those who work on the pediatric floors in hospitals, in the pediatric intensive care unit or in specialty children’s hospitals provide support for children who are undergoing surgery or who are being treated for chronic and acute illnesses.
Pediatric Nurse Salary and Job Growth Potential
According to Zippia.com, the average salary for a pediatric nurse is $71,000. This is likely to vary based on their education, certifications, years of experience, geographic area and venue.
The average annual salary for a pediatric nurse is $71,000.
The potential to earn a generous salary is not the only thing that makes pediatric nursing an attractive nursing career. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that demand for pediatric nurses will only continue to grow. The continuing national nursing shortage will combine with the rising percentage of young people in the United States. According to the U.S. Census, 23% of the U.S. population is under the age of 18. These children will continue to need medical care, and this will drive an increased need for nurses with a pediatric specialization. Anyone considering becoming a pediatric nurse can expect to continue to be highly valued — and well-compensated.
Top Paying Cities for Pediatric Nurses in 2021
Pediatric nurse positions are available in locations ranging from major metropolitan cities to rural areas experiencing a significant shortage of healthcare providers. The care these nurses provide makes a real difference to the communities they serve.
According to Zippia.com, here are the best paying cities for pediatric nurses in 2021:
- San Francisco, CA: $112,582 per year
- Seattle, WA: $101,187 per year
- New York, NY: $95,216 per year
- Springfield, OR: $93,663 per year
- Washington, DC: $89,802 per year
Pediatric Nurse Education Requirements, Certifications, and Professional Groups
Those who choose a career as a pediatric RN do so because they are passionate about children. To be a pediatric nurse, in addition to requiring a natural rapport with kids and their parents, you will need to earn a nursing degree as a Registered Nurse and to pass the NCLEX Examination.
Once you’ve passed the exam and have met your state’s requirements for licensure, you will be able to apply for nursing positions where you can gain pediatric experience. If you are unable to immediately qualify for a position in a pediatric clinic, a family practice can provide the clinical experience to get you in the door.
Pediatric nurses can be Registered Nurses with either an associate degree or bachelor’s degree or Advanced Practice Registered Nurses who have earned a Master’s degree.
Registered Nurses who want to establish credentials as pediatric nurses need to have a minimum of 1800 hours of primary pediatric clinical hours prior to becoming certified by the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board, and must also pass the Certified Pediatric Nursing certification exam.
Advanced Practice Registered Nurses can enhance their Pediatric Nurse Practitioner credentials by seeking certification as Acute Care Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (CPNP-AC), as Primary Care Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (CPNP-PC), or as Pediatric Primary Care Mental Health Specialists (PMHS).
Pediatric nurses and nurse practitioners will find support and resources from a variety of professional organizations, including:
- Society of Pediatric Nurses (SPN)
- Association of Pediatric Hematology Oncology Nurses (APHON)
- The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP)
- National Association of School Nurses (NASN)
- American Pediatric Surgical Nurses Association (APSNA)*
- Association of Faculties of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (AFPNP)*
- Association of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition Nurses (APGNN)*
- Society of Pediatric Cardiovascular Nurses (SPCN)*
The Pros and Cons of Pediatric Nursing
Pros of Pediatric Nursing
- Pediatric nurses spend their time providing medical care, support, and education to children and their families. For those who love children, spending time with patients is the best part of the job.
- Though every nursing position exposes you to sick patients, there is additional stress and heartache when children are the ones who are ill.
- Pediatric nurses play an essential role in improving their patients’ health and wellbeing.
Cons of Pediatric Nursing
- Regardless of whether they are infants or adolescents, pediatric patients can be extremely resistant.
- Pediatric nurses have a profound impact on their patients’ attitudes towards and trust about healthcare that will carry forward through the rest of their lives. Those who work in pediatric practices can form relationships with their patients that last for years.
- Parents can be overbearing, neglectful, argumentative, noncompliant or emotionally demanding This can make treatment challenging and increase job stress.
Nursing as a Pediatric Travel Nurse
Choosing to be a pediatric nurse doesn’t mean that you have to stay in one place. Travel nursing as a pediatric nurse offers all of the advantages along with the freedom to explore new places, meet new people, and learn new professional skills. Travel nursing as a pediatric nurse offers adventure along with professional rewards.
Travel nursing offers the opportunity to earn generous salaries with attractive benefits including sign-on bonuses, overtime pay, daily allowances for meals and incidentals. Many travel programs provide tuition assistance, professional support, 401(k) retirement plans, and other valuable benefits, all while letting you choose where you want to go and how long you want to stay.
Enjoy all of those benefits on top of the satisfaction of knowing that you are providing critical patient care while doing work you love.