Pediatric nursing specializes in dealing with the development, care, and diseases of children, ranging in age from infancy to late teens. A pediatric nurse will provide comprehensive care to children, adolescents, and their families in a variety of settings. They examine both the physical and psychosocial aspects of a child’s health and illness, and stress promotion of good health and disease prevention. Pediatric nursing also deals with management of mental and physical disabilities, as well as responses to acute or chronic illnesses.
Pediatric nurses often deal with upper and lower respiratory infections, ear infections, nose infections, throat infections, asthma, and growth and development issues. From newborn to adolescents and from the most minor problem to the most major, pediatric nurses are trained to deal with everything in between. They practice in roles such as a staff nurse, nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, case manager, supervisor, or nurse manager and must have people skills, the ability to empathize, a love for children, flexibility, and stress management skills.
A possible drawback of pediatric nursing is the lack of patient cooperation, along with patient grief, paperwork and policies, stress, ethical conflicts, bureaucracy, and pressure. Pediatric nurses work in hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, home care agencies and in communities. Pediatric nursing is about caring for ill children when they are in the hospital or privately on home health duties, where the child is stable enough to be discharged but still has many special medical needs.
Pediatric nurses give medication, monitor vital signs, work with IVs, and act as a nurse in making the patient feel better. They can also assist doctors in their offices doing checkups and giving shots. Many pediatric nurses will begin caring for ill children at a young age and continue to administer education and support to patients and their families throughout their illnesses. They focus primarily on health promotion, disease prevention, and diagnosing and treating common illnesses and injuries in children.
If you want to start a career in pediatric nursing, you need a nursing degree. Consider an online LPN to BSN degree or an online RN to BSN degree if you’re already a nurse. Otherwise, compare these programs from the University of Phoenix:
» Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
» Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)