Pediatric Nursing Courses
How should an aspiring pediatric nurse decide what degree to get?Choosing which degree to get and what pediatric nursing courses to take depends on one's career goals. Becoming a pediatric nurse requires achieving the educational requirements of a registered nurse (RN), which is a bachelor's degree in nursing or a bachelor's degree in a different discipline combined with post-graduate work in nursing. It is possible to work with children in a pediatric setting with only the licensed practical nurse (LPN) credential; however, career opportunities and salary growth potential are limited for LPNs.
In addition, pediatric nurse practitioners require a master's degree on top of their basic nursing training, as do pediatric nurses who intend to enter the fields of management and administration or nursing education. Nursing degrees and advanced nursing courses are offered by a wide variety of academic institutions, from medical schools to four-year universities to online educational programs.
What courses should I take if I want to be a pediatric nurse or pediatric NP?Undergraduates planning to major in nursing or pursue nursing at the graduate level should construct a course schedule that resembles that of pre-med students. In other words, they should take science courses including biology, chemistry, and physics and advanced mathematics courses including calculus.
The nursing school curriculum covers the basics of anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, pathology, and patient evaluation. Pediatric nursing courses cover these topics with special emphasis on their implications for infants, children, and adolescents. Pediatric nurses learn much of their specialty through on-the-job training at a healthcare facility where they provide direct care to infants, children, and adolescents, although they can also choose to take advanced nursing classes in pediatric nursing as part of a degree program in pursuit of pediatric nurse certification. Moreover, pediatric nurse practitioners must pursue a master's degree in pediatric nursing. A number of nursing schools in the United States offer pediatric nurse practitioner programs at the master's-level, which qualifies students to seek certification as pediatric nurse practitioners.
How does the work of pediatric nurses benefit the lives of others?Children who are ill or injured depend upon pediatric nurses to provide and coordinate their diagnosis, care and treatment. Pediatricians and other physicians depend upon the work of pediatric nurses to ensure efficient case management and patient care. The parents and other family members of a child patient often rely upon the pediatric nurse to serve as a liaison with the treating physician and to assist in comforting the sick child.
Pediatric nurses and pediatric nurse practitioners fulfill many responsibilities. They serve as patient advocates and family counselors. They also ensure that certain ethical rules are followed, including the maintenance of confidentiality for the child and his or her family members. Above all, pediatric nurses and pediatric nurse practitioners are professionals who accept the responsibility of performing their very important duties in the face of great pressure. Knowledgeable pediatric nurses and pediatric nurse practitioners can serve as tremendous educational resources concerning issues of child and adolescent health and development.