The profession of nursing allows employees many different working opportunities. A nurse may choose to work as a generalist, interacting with patients from all walks of life. A nurse may also choose to work as a specialist. Nurses who specialise in a specific area of care often have years of experience working with a precise medical population. One such field is paediatrics nursing. Paediatrics nurses work with babies, children and adolescents--as well as their parents--to help patients in this age group achieve optimum health.
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To become a paediatrics nurse, candidates must earn a bachelor's degree in nursing. The degree is known as a BSN or bachelor's science in nursing degree. Students can study at a school of nursing, four-year college or university. After completing liberal arts classes, students take nursing-specific classes and then spend a term of working with patients directly under the supervision of an instructor. Upon graduation, many hospitals offer applicants the opportunity to complete an internship where they study paediatrics nursing directly before being hired.
Once a paediatrics nurse has gained on-the-job experience, he or she can apply to demonstrate his or her base of knowledge via a formal exam. The Pediatrics Nursing Certification Board offers certification in paediatrics nursing, paediatrics emergency nursing, nurse practitioner primary care paediatrics, acute care nurse practitioner paediatrics and child and adolescent mental and behavioural health. Paediatrics nurses are also often required to attain certain certifications such as Pediatrics Advanced Life Support and infant CPR.
Paediatrics nurses perform varied duties. A paediatrics nurse who works in a paediatrician's office may spend his or her day vaccinating children, weighing babies to measure growth over time, helping a mother work out breastfeeding difficulties and speaking with adolescents about dealing with peer pressure. A paediatrics nurse may also assist a doctor during surgery on a child, counsel parents about treatment options for a child facing cancer or insert a tube in a child who is struggling to breath after an asthma attack. The nurse may insert an intravenous line, measure a child's vital signs and administer medications orally.
Paediatrics nurses are employed in many different locations. A paediatrics nurse may work in a hospital emergency room or paediatrics ward. Paediatrics nurses also work in private practices with doctors as well as in research facilities. A paediatrics nurse may assist a psychologist conducting independent research on mental illness in children.
A job as a paediatrics nurse can be ideal for someone who likes to work with children and prefers a flexible work environment. Paediatrics nurses can choose from among varied work opportunities in hospitals, private doctor's offices and academic research facilities.
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