Pediatric nursing is a medical practice specialty that encompasses the care of children and adolescents. Pediatric nurse practitioners usually focus on preventative medicine including checkups, exams, and immunizations, but they are also the first people parents go to when their children have ear infections, tonsillitis, chicken-pox, and other common childhood ailments.
Pediatric nurses must be knowledgeable about the factors of child development and growth in order to provide comprehensive care. Programs prepare students to become nurse practitioners while specializing in the care and treatment of the pediatric and adolescent population.
Degree Options and Career Information
Curricula for pediatric nurse practitioner programs can include both classroom and clinical experiences, and will cover health assessment, physiology, pathophysiology, family and child development theory, and nutrition. Coursework also focuses on illnesses common in underserved populations.
Some programs offer a specialty in acute care pediatrics, in which students are trained to manage critically ill infants, children and adolescents. Advancement in the career comes from work experience and specialization in specific areas of children’s medicine which may require more formal education.
- Pediatric Nurse Requirements: To practice as a PCP you must be a licensed RN, complete a master’s or doctorate degree with a specialization in acute care, and pass the National Board certification.
- Work Environment: PCPs can work in doctor’s offices, clinics, hospitals, surgical centers, and other health care settings.