The History, Qualities, and Qualifications of Pediatric Nurses

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Have you ever wondered which of the heroes takes care of which children visit a doctor or hospital often? These children are often scared and don’t know how to perceive the commotion around them. These heroes are children’s nurses. Pediatric nurses are a critical aspect of the medical team, trained to work with and reassure children during tests and procedures.

Pediatric nurses observe their patients, assist doctors with procedures, communicate carefully with families and go above and beyond what is expected of them.

Dr. Abraham Jacobi was the first physician to hold a medical lecture on childhood diseases in 1860. Dr. Jacobi helped develop the American Pediatric Society in 1888. The American Pediatric Society helped stress the need for focusing on pediatric health in medical school. There were full-time pediatricians in ten schools of medicine by 1900 (Helpen, 1988; Meckel, 1990; Pediatric Nurse Career Overview and Outlook. 2009; Viner, 2002). Of the estimated 250,527 advanced practice RNs, 13% are in pediatrics.

There are approximately 22 pediatric nurse practitioners per 100 children.

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A pediatric nurse works in schools, private practice, hospitals, emergency rooms, clinics, etc. The employment rate of pediatric nursing jobs are expected to increase (Pediatric Nurse Career Overview and Outlook. 2009; Pediatric Workforce Data. 2012-17). Some of the duties of a pediatric nurse include, but are not limited to, recording a child’s height, weight, and vitals, screenings and examinations, immunization, medical, and personal records, as well as caring for a child before, during, or after surgery. Specific duties will be based on where the nurse is working rather than a private practice or hospital setting.

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Pediatric nurses work roughly around 12 hours a shift, varying on the needs of the patient. Although the duties and hours of a pediatric nurse can be stressful, the overall output is rewarding. To become a registered nurse you’ll need a minimum of an associate’s degree in nursing by going through an associate degree program. The programs will prepare you for the NCLEX exam and give you the hands-on clinical hours needed for licensure. During the nursing education programs, you will learn nursing skills from giving shots to understanding anatomy. To further your education in pediatrics it is recommended to pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

Obtaining the licensure for pediatric nursing can take up to 6 years total to complete. A pediatric nurse’s earnings depend on where they work, location, education, and experience. On average earnings are between $55,000-$80,000. Beyond wages, nurses in all specialties are eligible for health benefits and retirement funds. There is a shortage of nurses but the growth of the career is expected to rise. As someone who has spent time with pediatric nurses, I look forward to pursuing a career in this field. I plan to obtain an associates degree in nursing and further my education as a pediatric nurse. This field is rewarding and makes a difference in not only a child’s life but their families as well.

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The History, Qualities, and Qualifications of Pediatric Nurses. (2023, Feb 14). Retrieved from

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