The job outlook in the healthcare industry has been deemed among the fastest growing careers; with an expected increase of over 20 percent between 2010 and 2020. Within this field, the role of the nursing staff has taken a new importance as the bridge between patients and doctors. Furthermore, specialized professionals such as pediatric nurses are also seeing a higher demand. As a result, this is becoming a popular specialization among nurses.
Starting A Career In Pediatric Nursing
Pediatric nurses are responsible for working closely with children and providing preventative and acute care to them. If you are interested in a career in this field, you will have to start by obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. This is a four year program which will train you in the skills you need and teach you the relevant theory for becoming an effective nurse. Over the course of your training, you will take classes in subjects such as biology and chemistry, followed by advanced topics such as anatomy and physiology. The way these courses are taught will help you understand the human body in a medical context. Following this, you will also be taken through clinical training modules which will enable you to deal with patients. You will also learn how to use different hospital equipment that you will be using during your duties as a nurse.
In addition to this training, you will also be required to take courses in sociology and psychology. These courses are aimed at making you more compassionate and allowing you to deal with people more tactfully. Most pediatric nurses are actually registered nurses that take classes on pediatric care during their undergraduate studies. However, nowadays many universities offer more specialized programs, which help train registered nurses and other professionals in the specific area of pediatric care. This may involve obtaining a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree, which could take at least two years to complete. If you are already a working professional who cannot make the time to attend classes on campus, online pediatric nurse practitioner programs are also available for your enrollment. These offer a more convenient and flexible framework to complete your degree and grow in your career.
Where Can A Pediatric Nurse Work?
Upon completing training, you can work in a variety of services involving child care. For instance, you can work in a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) of a hospital; where you will attend to chronically ill children. You could also work in a pediatrician's office as an assistant or even as a professional school nurse. The career path will depend on your training and personal ambitions, but the opportunities are available. Before you can begin legally practicing as a nurse, you will have to complete certain licensing exams administered by your state and national health boards. These will require you to demonstrate your theoretical and practical knowledge, to prove you are capable. When you pass these tests, you will be able to enter employment. You can also consider continuing your education for further specialization in the pediatric field.