Should I Become a Pediatric Nurse? How to Tell If this Job Might be Right for You (2024)

Sometimes the tiniest patients need the biggest hearts to lean on. As a pediatric nurse, you could be in a position to make a big difference in your patient's life. From taking temperatures to administering medication, it is up to the pediatric nurse to make sure infants and children leave the hospital or clinic in good health.

A Day in the Life of a Pediatric Nurse

As a pediatric nurse, you work closely with pediatricians to determine the infant's needs and determining the best methods for treating the child. This means providing treatment for illnesses and injuries, ensuring dietary needs are being met, and assessing the child's overall health.

Pediatric nurses can handle a wide variety of tasks on any given day. These tasks can include administration of medication, taking blood, administering vaccinations, and even preparing the child's medical history for the physician to review. Each of these tasks require a keen eye for detail and the ability to provide comfortable care to children who may not be too excited to be spending their morning in the doctor's office.

Nurses must also be excellent listeners and have the ability to "hear" what a child is saying through everything from body language and other non-verbal cues to indistinct and sometimes hard to decipher descriptions of symptoms and injuries. A lot of what a pediatric nurse does is translate children's language into actionable information that the nursing staff and pediatrician can use to determine treatment plans.

What Skills Does a Pediatric Nurse Need?

A well-honed understanding of child psychology is just as important as any other tool in the doctor's office. Knowing how to convey complex ideas in simple terms, being able to address basic fears of needles and noises, and having the ability to comfort a sick child are essential skills to master. Since pediatric nurses can be called upon to treat patients through their teen years, individuals must have the ability to assess the best way to address topics in an age appropriate manner.

Life as a pediatric nurse can be physically and emotionally demanding. It requires significant levels of empathy, the ability to lift and wrestle everything from wriggling children to heavy testing equipment. It is not a sedentary path and a pediatric nurse can expect to spend most of the day on their feet moving to and from examination rooms.

It is a job that also requires knowing how to handle the difficulties that are certain to come up. While working with and caring for children can be a great source of joy, not every day is a good day and learning how to emotionally process everything from daily stresses to the delivery of "bad news" are crucial skills to master.

Moreover, it is common for pediatric nurses to provide care to very sick, and sometimes dying children. There is no spoonful of sugar large enough that can help that medicine go down easy and it is these instances where all the skills of a pediatric nurse are needed the most.

Educational & Licensing Requirements

It can take between 2 to 4 years to earn the necessary degrees required to practice as a pediatric nurse. Accelerated programs make it possible for individuals to graduate with an ADN in as little as 18 months. Nursing students are required to pass courses in nutrition, pharmacology, acute medical care, anatomy, physiology, and microbiology.

Upon graduation, nurses are required to take and pass the National Council of State Boards of Nursing's National Licensure Exam. Moreover, each state has different requirements for nurses and it is important for graduates to carefully review these when applying for positions.

Upon entering the field, many pediatric nurses also choose to secure credentials as a Certified Pediatric Nurse. This requires nurses to have at least 1,800 hours under their belt.

Should I Become a Pediatric Nurse? How to Tell If this Job Might be Right for You (2)

Are you interested in becoming a nurse? If you want to earn an Associate of Science in Nursing Degree, ECPI University offers this degree in an accelerated pace. For more information, connect with a helpful admissions advisor today.

It could be the Best Decision You Ever Make!

DISCLAIMER – ECPI University makes no claim, warranty, or guarantee as to actual employability or earning potential to current, past or future students or graduates of any educational program we offer. The ECPI University website is published for informational purposes only. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of information contained on the domain; however, no warranty of accuracy is made. No contractual rights, either expressed or implied, are created by its content.

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Should I Become a Pediatric Nurse? How to Tell If this Job Might be Right for You (2024)


How do I know if pediatric nursing is for me? ›

Nurses who are interested in pediatrics need to have excellent communication skills, be creative and have a good understanding of child development.

How to answer why do you want to be a pediatric nurse? ›

How to answer "Why do you want to be a pediatric nurse?"
  1. Identify your career motivation. ...
  2. Reflect the employer's interests. ...
  3. Illustrate your dedication to the field. ...
  4. Highlight your professional background. ...
  5. Explain what you hope to accomplish.
Jun 30, 2023

What type of personality do you need to be a pediatric nurse? ›

It's likely that you'll need to advise or teach the child's parents/carers what they'll need to do to treat the child at home. Respect, sensitivity and empathy are also important characteristics for a child nurse. Respect, sensitivity and empathy are also important characteristics for a child nurse.

Should I go into pediatric nursing? ›

You Get to Work With Kids

They may love the quirks that children can bring to the day, and they know that their job is meaningful, respected, and crucial to the well-being of their patients. Pediatric nursing is important, whether in a pediatrician's office or a hospital.

How do you know if you are fit to be a nurse? ›

You're detail oriented.

Nurses also need to be able to quickly assess patients' symptoms and determine the best course of action. ¹ If you're someone who pays close attention to detail and enjoys keeping things organized, nursing could be a great fit for you.

How do I know if I would be good at nursing? ›

Compassion and empathy

Why do you want to be a nurse in the first place? If your first answer is because you live to help others, that's a good sign. Nurses must possess a fundamental desire to care for their fellow humans and an ability to empathize with patients and families who may be scared, stressed, or in pain.

What are the most important qualities of being a paediatric nurse? ›

The following are examples of some of the most important skills a pediatric nurse can have:
  • Relationship building. Pediatric nurses often begin working with a child when they are an infant or a toddler. ...
  • Basic nursing. ...
  • Technological skills. ...
  • Empathy. ...
  • Attention to detail. ...
  • Communication. ...
  • Confidentiality and ethics. ...
  • Time management.
Sep 7, 2022

Why do people like being a pediatric nurse? ›

Working in pediatric nursing is the best of both worlds for those who love nursing and children. You get to truly make a difference, caring for the future of the world while spreading smiles and comfort. In addition, being a pediatric nurse comes with the following perks: Earning a great income.

Why would you want to work in pediatrics? ›

Being a pediatrician may be a good career choice for people who enjoy working with children. Talking with children often may also be beneficial to be able to remember the perspective children have about the world.

What are the 6 C's of nursing? ›

The 6 Cs – care, compassion, courage, communication, commitment, competence - are a central part of 'Compassion in Practice', which was first established by NHS England Chief Nursing Officer, Jane Cummings, in December 2017.

What makes pediatric nursing unique? ›

Pediatric nurses fulfill all of the same roles as general nurses, including bedside care, managing nursing interventions, and facilitating education. What makes a pediatric nurse different from other nursing staff is that they represent the best resource to support optimal child health.

Is it hard to be a pediatric nurse? ›

A career as a pediatric nurse can be fulfilling but challenging. You'll work with children and their families at some of their most vulnerable times, which require empathy, patience, and strength.

What are the disadvantages of being a pediatric nurse? ›

The fast-paced environment, long hours, and heavy workload can lead to burnout if self-care is not prioritized. Difficult Situations: Pediatric nurses often have to deal with difficult and heartbreaking situations, such as the loss of a patient or witnessing child abuse.

What are the risks of being a pediatric nurse? ›

Cons of being a pediatric nurse
  • Communication problems. Nurses listen to their patients' concerns and answer their questions about medical procedures and treatments to help them understand their plans of care. ...
  • Frustrated parents. ...
  • Stress. ...
  • Workplace hazards. ...
  • Schedule. ...
  • Lengthy education process. ...
  • Death of patients.
Feb 1, 2024

How old are most pediatric nurses? ›

Pediatric Nurse age breakdown
Pediatric Nurse YearsPercentages
40+ years59%
30-40 years28%
20-30 years14%

Why do some people want to be a pediatric nurse? ›

As a pediatric nurse, you have the opportunity to help your young patients and their families navigate some of the most difficult journeys in their lives. If you love children and have a passion for providing care, pediatric nursing might be exactly the job you're looking for.

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