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What is Pediatric Nursing?

Margo Upson
Updated Feb 05, 2024
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Pediatric nursing is often an excellent career for those who love kids and don’t mind hard work. The day of a pediatric nurse can be hectic, working with patients that range from newborns to teenagers. No two days are ever the same.

Nurses who work with children normally work on the pediatric halls in hospitals, although some may also work in a doctor’s office. The work involved is very different from any other types of nursing. Because the patients are young, they need special care. A nurse with a quick smile, endless patience, and a friendly personality can make the experience of staying in a hospital a lot less scary for kids. Pediatric nurses must also be able to easily relate to worried parents and other family members.

Those involved in pediatric nursing have a lot of different responsibilities. In doctors' offices, they often perform well-child check-ups, give vaccinations, and relay parents’ questions and concerns to doctors. They also are responsible for educating patients and their parents about smart health practices and medical diagnoses.

Significant education is required before someone can become a pediatric nurse. Candidates should be registered nurses (RNs), and although advanced training and education isn’t necessary, it is preferred. It usually isn’t hard to get into pediatrics after gaining some experience in general nursing. Applying for a position with a children’s hospital, or with a pediatric office, is a good way to get into the field.

There are many challenges in pediatric nursing. The patients are often uncooperative, as children in hospitals are often scared, and easily upset. Nurses will be faced with heartbreaking cases, involving children who have been hurt or killed in easily avoidable accidents, or children who are critically ill. There are also many rewards, however.

Pediatric nurses play an important role in making children better. Because they are responsible for the majority of the care patients receive, they are able to connect with the children in their care. They can make a scary experience for children and their families much more bearable.

This is a valuable career, and there are often many job openings available. Nursing pays well, and usually allows for a lot of flexibility. Pediatric nurses can enjoy a rewarding career that provides a lot of enjoyment in spite of the challenges.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Margo Upson
By Margo Upson
With a vast academic background that has ranged from psychology and culinary arts to criminal justice and education, Margo Upson brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her role as a WiseGeek writer. Her wide-ranging interests and skill at diving into new topics make her articles informative, engaging, and valuable to readers seeking to expand their knowledge.
Discussion Comments
By anon266987 — On May 08, 2012

I want to be a pediatric nurse but I don't know how?

Can anyone tell me how?

By anon178473 — On May 21, 2011

So does pediatric nurses take care of healthy newborn babies after they have been delivered? or is that neonatal nurse?

By anon144072 — On Jan 18, 2011

I want to do pediatric nursing in future but don't have the full information for entering university, like what qualifications it needs and how long it takes to finish? if anyone has info, please tell me.

regards --L

By anon139427 — On Jan 04, 2011

pediatric nurses are amazing. i was in the hospital for about four months and they were great.

i made some really close friends with them and every time i go for a check up i go and visit them. they love me and i love them, and the way they treated me made me want to be a pediatric nurse. thank you and God bless.

By Moldova — On Aug 25, 2010

Cafe41- I totally agree with you. I have such a respect for these nurses. I wanted to say that some pediatric nurses work in in-home care. They offer IV therapy, tube feeding, and ventilator care.

Pediatric nurses may also specialize in working with children with mental illness or mental disabilities.

Some even work in pediatric emergency nursing, which can be very stressful and also difficult emotionally.

Seeing children injured with life-threatening injuries is very difficult to deal with. A pediatric nurse has to be able to process the information and keep their emotions in check.

By cafe41 — On Aug 25, 2010

Mutsy- I take my hat off to those pediatric nurses. They are amazing people. I think that they are little angels that were brought here to take care of children.

I wanted to add that pediatric nursing education begins within a LPN or an RN program. There is no specific pediatric nursing degree. The training is held within a licensed practical nurse or registered nurse program.

If a pediatric nurse decides to get a certification in pediatric nursing, he or she will take the CPN exam, and upon passing, can earn a higher salary and have more advancement opportunities.

Some pediatric nurses can work in children’s hospitals or in a regular hospital on the pediatric floor. They can also work in a doctor’s office as well.

By mutsy — On Aug 25, 2010

Pediatric nursing skills involve an extreme level of compassion and love for children. Pediatric nursing jobs require the nurse to be strong as children will often fight the nurse when receiving treatment.

In addition, this field while it is very rewarding it can also be heartbreaking especially when a young patient dies. The pediatric nurse will grieve along with the parents. This is especially difficult when working in pediatric oncology nursing.

In pediatric oncology nursing, you have to deal with terminally ill children that are stricken with Cancer. Cancer is more aggressive in young children and usually the prognosis is often grim.

Margo Upson
Margo Upson
With a vast academic background that has ranged from psychology and culinary arts to criminal justice and education,...
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