A pediatric nurse, also known as a certified pediatric nurse or CPN, is a registered nurse (RN) who has received additional training in the care of children. These nurses may have completed a pediatric nursing master’s degree. A certified pediatric nurse practitioner (CPNC) is a related field in which RNs earn a master’s or doctoral degree and have different responsibilities and rights than nurses. CPNs or CPNCs can work as pediatric nurses in a variety of settings, though studies show that the majority of CPNs work in hospitals.
In a hospital, pediatric nurse jobs may entail providing the majority of care for sick children and working in areas where children are critically ill, such as the pediatric intensive care unit. They can also work on any children’s unit, where they will provide care to children as directed doctors or nurse practitioners. They keep an eye on patients, report any changes to doctors, collect blood or urine for lab work, and give shots or start intravenous lines. Pediatric nurses also spend time with families in this setting, educating them about health issues and supporting them during the difficult time that occurs when a child is admitted to the hospital. They also provide direct support to patients assessing pain levels and advocating for them.
It’s worth noting that many CPNs seek additional training, particularly if they plan to work in pediatric hospitals or outpatient clinics. They may have worked in the fields of pediatric cardiology, pediatric oncology, or pediatric neurology. Most of the time, these nurses will only work with patients who fall into their area of expertise. Although this isn’t always a requirement for pediatric nurse jobs in hospitals, the additional specialization may make people more appealing job candidates. This type of specialty is sometimes learned on the job rather than through additional education.
CPNs work in a variety of settings, including hospitals. Pediatric nurses work in a variety of settings, including clinics, and may be part of the staff of a busy pediatrician or family practice office. They will usually conduct initial assessments of patients, provide some parent education, and take blood or urine samples (occasionally) or perform well-child testing such as vision and hearing tests. Unfortunately, because pediatric nurses must also administer immunization injections, they are not always greeted with enthusiasm their young patients.
Aside from hospitals, some pediatric nurses work in schools. Some may work as school nurses, performing basic disease screenings on children. If a child becomes ill or injured, they may also provide direct patient care. However, many school nurses, especially in large elementary school districts, only spend a day or two per week at each school. They may not always be available to provide medical advice or assess children.
A pediatric nurse may spend some of her time at home caring for sick or critically ill children. Pediatricians may be in charge of end-of-life or hospice care. Some may also work with children who are recovering from a serious illness or who are chronically ill at home.
Many pediatric nurses work in the field of education. There could be a lot of pediatric nurse jobs available in this area. Pediatric nurses may teach classes on pediatric nursing at nursing schools due to their advanced experience. Some nurses also teach other nurses about various procedures or techniques, allowing those who are taught to provide better patient care and possibly pursue a pediatrics specialization.
It’s crucial to discuss the CPNC, which is a related specialty to CPN. CPNCs, like many CPNs, have a master’s degree and may have a doctorate. The pediatric nurse practitioner, unlike the pediatric nurse, has a supervisory role in the medical process. CPNCs have the ability to diagnose conditions, speak directly with parents about diagnoses, and typically prescribe medications and treatments. They may work in many of the same places as CPNs, but they have a higher level of responsibility that allows them to direct nursing care and order tests. Even though they come to this supervisory role from a nursing perspective, nurse practitioners are often thought of as part of the physician team.