Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Career

If you are registered nurse interested in pediatrics, or a pediatric nurse seeking advancement in your career, pursuing a master’s degree with a pediatric nurse practitioner track or specialization can open up a variety of advanced practice nursing options. Pediatric nurse practitioners are licensed registered nurses who have completed a graduate or doctoral degree in nursing, usually with a specialty in pediatrics or family practice. Pediatric nurse practitioners are generally also choose to become a certified pediatric nurse practitioner. These pediatric nurse practitioners specialize by treating children, from infancy through adolescence. They provide preventive care, as well as care for those with acute or chronic illness. Unlike pediatric nurses, a pediatric NP can not only treat, but can also diagnose, perform or interpret tests, and prescribe medication. They may work as part of a healthcare team, but can also treat patients independently. These nurses need to be very good with children of all ages since they will be interacting with them on an almost daily basis. A pediatric nurse practitioner can work in clinics or private family practices, or wards of larger hospitals. They can also work in schools, supervising pediatric nurses, or for government health agencies, and may also be found teaching at colleges or universities. Becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner holds many options.

There are different avenues that will lead to advanced practice nursing as a pediatric nurse practitioner, depending on where your education is at now. If you are not yet a registered nurse, you will have to become a registered nurse and can learn more about a path to becoming a pediatric nurse in the article Pediatric Nursing. To become a pediatric nurse practitioner, you will need to earn a master’s degree from a graduate pediatric nurse practitioner program accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) if you already hold a BSN. There are also a number of RN to MSN nurse practitioner and pediatric nurse practitioner programs that allow ADN educated nurses the opportunity to attain their master's at a much faster pace than via a BSN program then a master's program. If you already are a nurse practitioner there are pediatric nurse practitioner post-master's certificate programs. There is an avenue to take for anyone interested in pursuing this nursing path. Find a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program.

Pediatric nurse practitioner certification will demonstrate your knowledge and commitment to the specialty. Technology and knowledge are always advancing in medicine, and holding current certification will demonstrate that you are keeping up with the field’s developments. The Pediatric Nursing Certification Board accounts for most certifications in the pediatric nurse practitioner specialty. With certification at this level, you will be considered a certified pediatric nurse practitioner (CPNP), and can take the exam that focuses on acute care (CPNP- AC), or on primary care (CPNP-PC). Dual certification is also possible.

The average salary for a pediatric nurse practitioner can vary greatly depending on your employer, geographic location, and number of years of experience, but the average salary for a pediatric NP is $107,000. These jobs in healthcare often include good benefits and insurance as well. Whether you are already a nurse working in pediatrics or not, this could be a great career goal if you are interested in advanced practice nursing and would enjoy treating children. Healthcare is one of the fast-growing job sectors, and nursing is becoming increasingly specialized. Advanced practice nurses in particular will continue to be in demand and enjoy great job security. Highly trained nurses are taking on more and more responsibilities in health clinics and hospitals as a way to more efficiently and cost-effectively deliver medical care. But you first need to earn the proper education, degrees, and certification training. Find the educational program that is right for you and can get you on this track to a highly rewarding career as a pediatric nurse practitioner.

(Sources: Pediatric Nursing Certification Board, Bureau of Labor Statistics, How to Become a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner)

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