You may be one of the millions of Americans considering a career in the nursing industry, but just unsure about which area of nursing you want to pursue. While there are still opportunities aplenty for lifelong careers in general nursing as a registered nurse, more and more nurses are choosing specialized nursing paths that allow them to focus on one area of primary care – often targeted toward a particular group in need. One such area of specialty is the field of pediatric nursing. For many nurses, the chance to utilize their skills to assist sick and injured children makes a career in pediatrics a perfect choice.
Pediatric nurses are responsible for providing much of the treatment delivered to children of all ages in the United States. From physical examinations to familial support and education, the responsibilities of this branch of nursing are many and varied. Working in conjunction with pediatricians and other members of a health care team, pediatric nurses have the opportunity to bring all of their compassion and nursing expertise to bear every day as they help to diagnose and treat the most vulnerable members of society.
Pediatric nurses conduct screenings to monitor a child’s development, provide basic physicals for school, and deliver routine immunizations. They also provide education to parents and family members to assist in overall child wellness. Pediatric nursing can also encompass the care and treatment of acute and sometimes terminally ill children. In those cases, care involves complex assessments of the condition, understanding diagnostic results and those of various tests, placing orders for necessary prescriptions, and providing therapy and other treatments as necessary. Pediatric nurses can choose to further refine their specialization by focusing on certain types of illnesses in children – such as cancer or heart conditions.
There is a continuing demand for competent pediatric nursing, and that demand will continue to intensify as more pediatric nurses retire over the coming decade. The educational requirements for pediatric nursing build skill sets that enable these nurses to command salaries that rise to nearly $60,000 each year. Even in areas where the demand for pediatric nursing is lower, the skill sets available to these professionals still result in higher salaries when they migrate to other positions. In general, the master’s degree of science in nursing that is a requirement for a pediatric career serves these professionals well no matter what branch of nursing they ultimately choose.
If you’ve not yet determined which area of nursing would best suit your interests, you may find it worth your while to give pediatrics a second, and even a third, look. For nurses who enjoy spending time with children, and who can deal with the emotional toll that caring for sick children can sometimes take, a career in pediatric nursing can be richly rewarding. With the variety of salary options and schedule choices available to those who work in pediatrics – and particularly those who work in clinics with set hours – becoming a pediatric nursing professional could be the career choice you’ve been waiting for.
Karen P Williams is an expert author in CNA Training. Syndicated by isnare.com