Qualifications needed to be a pediatric nurse

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Qualifications needed to be a pediatric nurse
Paediatric nurses must obtain a nursing degree to practice. (students image by dinostock from Fotolia.com)

A paediatric nurse must possess knowledge and skills necessary to treat and monitor infants, children and adolescents in a variety of medical facilities. A paediatric nurse works in schools, hospitals, physician offices and clinics. To obtain employment as a paediatric nurse, it necessary to obtain a degree from a higher education institution and a state license in nursing. A paediatric nurse must also possess nurturing skills to tend to the needs of younger patients.

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Education

The minimum education qualifications for a paediatric nurse is a bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited college or university. Nursing programs for paediatric nurses include coursework on paediatric care, disease prevention, treatment plans and clinical procedures. In addition, a paediatric nurse must also take courses in nursing management, science, math, humanities and anatomy and physiology. Accredited nursing programs often require a paediatric nursing student to participate in clinicals at physician offices, schools, hospitals and community centres to gain on-the-job experience.

Nursing License

Following successful completion of a nursing program, a paediatric nurse must pass state licensing exams to obtain a nursing license. Qualifications for state licensing exams will vary. In most cases, a paediatric nurse will need to first obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing or take the exam as part of a final project of the degree program. State nursing licensing exams test applicants’ knowledge of nursing precautions, treatment plans and procedures and ethical and legal issues relevant to the nursing industry.

Skills

A paediatric nurse will need to have strong knowledge of medical procedures and practices. As a registered nurse, she will routinely check vital signs, administer medication, monitor blood pressure and heart rates and change IV lines. During treatment, it is the responsibility of a paediatric nurse to chart symptoms, reactions to treatments and changes in a young patient’s condition. A paediatric nurse will work closely with attending physicians to report concerns of the family.

Personality Traits

On the job, a paediatric nurse will need to exhibit a nurturing manner and patience to meet the needs of younger patients. Patient care involves providing a comforting environment; therefore, it is the role of a paediatric nurse to provide comforting advice and information for patients and their families. A paediatric nurse will work closely with a patient’s family. For instance, families will need instructions on how to administer medication, prevent disease and treat illnesses and injuries. It is the role of the paediatric nurse to provide instructions and referrals to local support groups and specialists.

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