Young at Heart: Pediatric Nursing Degrees

Pediatric nurses help children in a variety of settings. A pediatric nursing degree allows nurses to work in the children’s ward of hospitals, pediatric clinics or other healthcare facilities. While working with children can be entertaining, it can also be highly stressful. The patients are often frightened of doctors and nurses and may not cooperate. It can also be very upsetting to see children suffering. However, the rewards of the profession outweigh the negatives for many pediatric nurses.

There are a couple of ways to obtain a pediatric nursing degree. Hospitals or clinics may have their own training requirements for pediatric nurses. Many pediatric nurses begin as Licensed Practicing Nurses, or LPNs, and continue their education to become certified pediatric nurses.

Licensed Practicing Nurse

An LPN degree requires the least amount of time to obtain the certification. Most LPN programs are a yearlong or less. The flip side is that LPNs do not have as many opportunities or liberties that other nurses may have. LPNs may administer certain medications, monitor vitals and perform other routine services under the supervision of a physician or RN. An LPN must return to school to get a bachelor’s degree or a graduate degree to work in a healthcare setting.

Associate’s Degree in Nursing

An Associate’s Degree in Nursing, or ADN, is a two-year program that will introduce new students to the nursing field. Once this degree is obtained, students can then progress to class work that will earn them a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree. The benefit of an ADN over a registered nurse degree is that it allows you to earn your degree quickly so that you can go straight into the workforce. You can then continue working as you pursue your next level of certification.

Registered Nurse

A registered nurse (RN) must complete a certified program, which usually takes at least two years. A registered nurse in pediatrics has some flexibility as to what tasks may be done. The RN may work closely with children to determine the cause of illness and heal injuries. A pediatric RN may also focus on reports and healthcare issues that do not involve patients directly. An RN can increase the number of job opportunities available by obtaining a bachelor’s or master’s degree in nursing.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

A Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN) degree will provide more opportunities in the workforce. In fact, many facilities now prefer their nurses to have at least this level of education. This degree takes approximately four years to obtain. However, LPNs and RNs can earn the degree through transitional programs that acknowledge previous coursework required for their current certification.

Nurse Practitioner

A nurse practitioner (NP) can be very helpful when working with children. A pediatric NP is a registered nurse that has received a graduate degree with a specialization in pediatrics. This extensive education regarding the care of children allows them to diagnose and treat many illnesses. An NP is able to prescribe most medications and can eliminate the need to wait for a doctor to be available for an appointment.

Obtaining a Nursing Degree in Pediatrics

Before you decide which path to take, carefully consider which aspects of pediatric nursing you want to be a part of. If you want to simply help monitor sick or injured children, an LPN degree may be enough to satisfy you. If you want to have more control without spending a long time in school, look into becoming an RN. If you want to have a dominant role in nursing children back to health, take the steps to become a nurse practitioner. After you have obtained your initial certification, you may have the option of taking your education courses online. This will allow you to work while simultaneously earning your next degree. You can also look into transitional or bridge programs that will prevent you from retaking courses that you had for your initial degree.

A nursing degree in pediatrics opens many doors for career opportunities, and there are several ways to go about getting certified as a pediatric nurse. Allow your inner child to come out and play as you help nurse infants, children and adolescents back to health.

Requirements To Be Pediatric Nurse

Pediatric nursing is a rewarding and enticing career for those who aim to practice in this area of nursing. It is a profession that allows practitioners to choose various career options. Nurses may choose to work in clinics, facilities dealing in health care and all kinds of hospitals. These nurses are responsible with taking care of infants, those in their childhood and even those who are already in their adolescence. Aside from these duties, pediatric nurses are also engaged in the diagnosis and treatment of injuries and sickness of patients within this age group. Furthermore, they act as a educators and support base for families.

Students undergoing training in pediatric nursing are fully prepared to render assistance in diagnosing various illnesses. They are also present and constantly assist in physical examinations in schools and perform duties such as the conduct of screening and immunization. These students are also trained to keep their composure while working with different kinds of patients suffering from acute illnesses. Furthermore, aside all these duties, students training in pediatric field are also educated to do normal tasks like conducting an interpretation of laboratory results or even requesting for medications. They are also given the option to engage in other areas of specializations like dermatology or even in critical areas like oncology.

Mandatory education and training requirements

As with all other nursing professions, those in pediatric nursing are mandated to have a bachelor’s degree in nursing. They are required to undergo additional focused trainings in the area of pediatrics. These trainings are necessary before a student nurse may be allowed to work in hospital and clinical settings and other areas of practice. Once a nurse successfully passes these trainings, then he or she is allowed to handle cases involving children. As such, nurses are those who possess the skills in effectively dealing with members of different age groups.

A nursing degree is not sufficient, however. Those who plan to establish a career in pediatric nursing are required to be licensed practitioners. This means that they must successfully pass state examinations to be registered nurses. Holders of bachelor’s degree in nursing are qualified to take these examinations. Sadly, however, not all nursing schools offer degrees that cater to specialization in pediatric nursing. It is only after graduating and passing the state examinations that nurses may gain experience in pediatric nursing. One of the best ways to gain this much needed experience is to practice in a hospital setting, particularly in the area of pediatrics.

Extensive knowledge in pediatric cannot be gained through regular classes alone. It is best for a student to enroll in supplemental classes while still in the university. These supplemental classes must particularly deal with fields that are related to pediatric. Some of the well-known classes are those involving child or family related psychology. These classes will train students on how to properly build a trusting relationship with children and their families.

Experience is not the only necessary factor towards a successful career in the area of pediatric nursing. A nurse must be able to have a solid grasp of how work is conducted in an actual setting. This is to enable them to gain the necessary skills to excel in their chosen field of specialization. As such, it is advisable for nurses to be interns in a program dealing with pediatrics. This internship normally involves three months to one year of training before successful completion.

After successfully passing and graduating in these various programs, nurses are now qualified candidates for positions involving pediatric nursing. They are also qualified to apply to be certified nurses in pediatric nursing. This certification is issued only after a nurse successfully undergoes a certification examination in pediatric nursing. Once certified, there will be a whole new set of opportunities for a nurse to pursue a career in pediatric section. However, it is not enough to rely on stagnant knowledge. Pediatric nurses must continuously seek higher forms of learning to stay updated with new developments and methods in the profession.

The importance of being a degree holder and having a rich experience must be highlighted. A bachelor’s degree is not sufficient. Exposure to the actual practice is necessary. A nurse must be exposed to the actual conduct before he or she can be qualified to be certified. Aside from a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree is also advantageous. This will enable the nurse to be a licensed and registered advanced practice nurse.

Salaries and Compensation

Pediatric nurses receive good compensation. Staff nurses in this field receive an average of $57, 597 annually while nurse practitioners receive around $80,414 annually.

Nursing in pediatric is career rich with rewards and good compensation. Lately, there has been a higher demand for pediatric nurses especially those with rich knowledge and expertise. As such, there is nothing to lose but so much to gain when a pediatric nurse seeks to enrich his or her knowledge and experience through higher forms of learning and advanced training. In the end, the reward does not only come through the form of money but also in the altruistic feeling of contributing to the care of innocent children.

Pediatric Home Health Care

Is it difficult getting your child out of the house for a doctor’s visit? Or, does your child require special care such as speech therapy, physical therapy, or occupational therapy? Many parents face these tough disorders on a daily basis. However, there is another option that does not require a ride to the doctor; long periods of time in the waiting room; waiting again in the treatment room; going through treatment; and then returning via a long car ride back home.

Instead, there is an alternative option called home health care, or in home care. Companies provide licensed therapists and nurses to perform various medical services inside the comforts of your own home. This not only saves time, but it also relieves the stress off of you and your child. Pediatric home health care provides a calm and comforting environment for your child, especially if they are undergoing consistent treatments.

There are a variety of treatments now available with pediatric home health care. With technology continually enhancing and improving, in home medical options are enhancing. Here are just a few of the amazing services that pediatric home health care has to offer.

Speech Therapy

Speech therapy involves the treatment and evaluation of communication disorders. A speech therapist will evaluate a child’s phonation (the sound that is produced), pitch, and the respiration components involved in producing vocal sounds.

Enteral Feedings

Enteral feedings involve the nutritional supplementation of food via a tube, directly into the stomach. An enteral feeding is implemented in malnourished patients, or those who are unable to swallow. Short term enteral feedings are achieved via an intranasal tube.

Tracheostomy Care

A tracheostomy is an opening that is made through the neck/throat directly into the trachea. It aids in respiration, and it is used in those with breathing difficulty, recent surgery, or obstruction of the throat. Tracheostomy care involves the maintenance and care of the tracheostomy tube, including regular cleaning and proper fit/orientation.

24 Hour RN Care

24 Hour care is implemented in cases of severe disease management and monitoring. If your child is undergoing continuous therapy and needs 24 hour monitoring and assistance, home health care is a great option.

Disease Management

Some of the most common diseases include asthma, cerebral palsy, chronic lung disease, seizure disorders, and cardiac anomalies. Nursing staff can aid in the delivery of medications, physical therapy, and continuous treatment.

These are just a few of the areas that a registered nurse or licensed therapist can perform on a daily, or weekly, basis for your child. Take the stress out of medical visits for both you and your child, and do a search for home health care around your area for more information on what services they have to offer.