One of the most sought after employment needs in the medical community today is for qualified Pediatric Nurse Practitioners. These are professionals that work in both hospital settings as well as private medical practices focusing on providing medical care and treatment for children. Depending upon the state, typically pediatric nurse practitioners are involved prescribing medication and conducting therapy treatments guided by a licensed physician. These professionals may also become involved assisting with surgical procedures while also aiding in many different office-based procedures.
What is the First Step Toward Becoming a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner?
The very first step on the path toward becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner is to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing and become an R.N (Registered Nurse). Continuing through the post- baccalaureate educational landscape is a welcomed activity when looking toward or examining the possibilities for becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner. Here are the necessary steps toward gaining the qualifications for pediatric nurse practitioner:
• Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. In whatever state you plan to practice, you must first become a registered nurse. Each state has a nursing board publishing the minimum requirements for taking a state licensing test or transferring your license from a different state.
• Once you are a registered nurse in the state where you wish to one day become a nurse practitioner, apply for pediatric nursing positions in medical practices in the hospitals in the area in which you live. It is important to gain valuable work experience in the pediatric nursing industry since this is going to become one of the more important qualifications for becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner. Check with the popular online job boards or through the American Nursing Association.
• You must attend a pediatric nurse practitioner program. Look for one in a directory that provides a listing of programs throughout the nation that is published by the National Student Nurses Association.
• Once successfully completing a course of study for pediatric nurse practitioner, apply for licensure in the state where you are living. Each state has varying requirements so it will be necessary for you to contact your state’s nursing board. However, general requirements usually have candidates passing a state exam while also completing a license application.
NOTE: in many situations a provisional license can be granted once education requirements are met in order to begin work immediately once a job has been found.
• Look for a pediatric nurse practitioner job throughout the area where you live or through consulting with a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Job board that can be found at many of the popular online employment sites.
So, What Does A Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Do?
An infant, child or even a teenager does not possess a developed body like an adult does. There is still quite a bit of room for children to grow both cognitively and emotionally as well. A pediatric nurse practitioner is a professional nurse trained to recognize differences between adults and young people and thus specializes in providing medical treatment for children. Part of their responsibility is their ability to make children feel comfortable and safe in the clinics and hospitals where they are treated making sure these young ones know that they are receiving the best care possible. Pediatric nurse practitioners may also focus on different specialties within pediatric nursing such as cardiac, orthopedic, psychiatric and more, depending upon their education and qualifications. The primary licensure is for pediatric nurse practitioner, but they must also have spent a great deal of time as a registered nurse leading up to the decision to advance their education as well as undertake the responsibility associated with this highly professionalized employment sector. The actual position of any nurse practitioner is elevated above a registered nurse but does not qualify this professional to take on many of the responsibilities that are in the area for a licensed physician. Pediatric nurse practitioners do conduct exams, provide education for juveniles and their caregivers about development, prescribe medications, determine and schedule the performance of necessary tests, obtained patient histories and act as an integral part of the overall creation of a plan for care or for the referral of patients when necessary to other professionals in the industry.
Advanced Education Is Necessary To Become A Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
At minimum, all pediatric nurse practitioners must have a Masters degree in nursing. This translates into having obtained a four year Bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited program and then going on to pursue at least a year, and possibly more, concentrating on nursing education leading to a Master’s degree. Each of the actual curriculums can vary in some situations. Master’s candidates may be required to complete pediatric nurse practitioner internships, conduct research and complete clinical coursework in order to obtain their degree. Additionally, the potential pediatric nurse practitioner must successfully pass a state licensing exam and be certified through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing
Outlook And Compensation For A Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Looks Promising
There are many other nurse practitioner areas for employment that pay compensation far better than a pediatric nurse practitioner, but none that can be as rewarding as this chosen profession. Ask any professional the reason behind working as a pediatric nurse practitioner and they will inevitably tell you that they love helping children. This doesn’t negate the fact that all the hard effort in education put into obtaining this type of employment is not well compensated, since the median salary is $65,527. Although this median salary may be on the lower end of all nurse practitioner compensation programs, the position is presently in heavy demand and will be so for the ensuing few years as greater concentration focuses on developing specialized medical treatment.
The same is true in the world if pediatric nursing since many practitioners are concentrating on becoming certified in areas such as Pediatric Advanced Life Support and Pediatric Basic Trauma Life Support making their skills acquired and the qualifications highly sought after.