A pediatric nurse is a registered nurse who treats infants, children, and adolescents and who has extensive knowledge of how health complications and diseases affect their developing bodies. Pediatric nursing is best for those who can cheer up children and support families who may be dealing with the most stressful events of their lives. Life as a pediatric nurse can be emotionally taxing, but on the flipside, it can be immensely rewarding.
The best pediatric nurses are kind, upbeat, light-hearted, and patient. They can alleviate children’s and parents’ fears, to handle tough situations, to communicate well with pediatric teams, and to apply their specialized clinical knowledge. If you decide to be a pediatric nurse, you can reap the rewards of bonding with your young patients and can be a central part of their healing. And pediatric nursing is a rewarding field with many opportunities for travel nursing.
Becoming a pediatric nurse involves earning an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited nursing school. You must also obtain your registered nursing certification. Most healthcare facilities prefer to hire certified pediatric nurses (CPNs) who have prior experience caring for infants, children, or teens. Nurses can specialize in areas such as pediatric oncology or pediatric cardiology. They can be trained in intensive care, operating room, emergency room, or home health, among other specialties.
Life as a pediatric nurse is exciting and action-packed. In a typical day, you might:
Pediatric nurse salaries vary widely based on level of education, certification, and geographic location. Various sources online report median and average salaries between nearly $52,000 and $88,000 (Nurse Journal). Work locations can be private pediatrician offices, hospital pediatric departments, children’s hospitals, clinics, government agencies, social services, schools, home health care, neonatal units, pediatric oncology units, pediatric critical care units, or rehabilitation facilities.
Are you thinking about travel nursing but still wondering which field is right for you? Explore our top travel nursing specialties to learn more: