Pediatric nursing (PEDS) is a fast-growing sub-specialty for advanced practice nurses and provides a number of career specific specialties for professional RNs and nurse practitioners. PEDS focus on the medical treatment and care of children. Professionals in this career field work primarily in a clinical setting, but may be employed by non-medical organizations that work closely with children. In addition to RN or NP designation, certification as a pediatric nurse requires specialty training and experience in pediatrics.
What is Pediatric Nursing?
Pediatric nursing is a sub-specialty for professional RNs or NPs interested in a career focused on the care and treatment of children. For the purpose of this specialty, ‘children’ are between the ages of newborn to twenty-one years old. In some cases (as with developmental conditions) older patients may be seen by a PEDS professional. Nurses in this specialty generally perform the same duties as RNs and NPs, but must have special skills to work with children who may be unable to communicate or are scared of the medical treatment process.
Professionals working in this career field are well supported through national, state, and local organizations. National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners and the Society of Pediatric Nurses are just two of the many professional organizations that offer support to those working in this specialty. For more information about finding an association or support organization in your state, visit the American Nurses Association.
Nursing School Curriculum for Pediatric Nursing
PEDS are certified through special training programs and must first become an RN or nurse practitioner, with a valid state license. In most cases, a nurse must obtain up to 2,000 hours in a pediatric department or clinic to qualify for certification. Some states allow a minimum diploma in nursing, but many states require at least an associate’s degree for RN designation. Depending on the employer, a bachelor’s degree and up to 5 years of experience in a pediatric department may be required to qualify for a position in this field.
Careers for Nursing School Graduates with Pediatric Nursing Specialty
PEDS is a fast-growing career field that encompasses many other genres of healthcare. Pediatric nurses work in a variety of settings and may specialize further to care for specific types of conditions, diseases, or social situations. They may also work in consulting, education, management, and other career genres. PEDS may work in hospital pediatric departments, birthing centers, clinics, juvenile detention centers, and doctor’s offices.
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