How To Become A Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Do you love working with kids? Are you passionate about helping people? Being a pediatric nurse practitioner might just be the career for you.

Pediatric nurse practitioners are like regular nurses, except that they have taken special exams and studied further so they could work with kids and teens.

They’re trained to educate people about children’s well-being, document their health history, do physical examinations, order tests and procedures, prescribe medicines and give treatment. They also teach kids and teens on how to take care of themselves.

Sounds like a good career? Here’s how you’d get there:


pediatric nurse practitioner


1. Get Your Nursing Diploma or Degree.

You’ll have to study for four years to get your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. But there are other ways as well: complete a two to three-year diploma from a hospital school of nursing or a two-year associate degree program from a community college or university. Although getting your BSN degree is the most preferred way, the two other options will still make you eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN.



2. Pass the NCLEX-RN.

Only when you pass the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN) will you become a Registered Nurse (RN). The exam is to make sure that you are fit to practice as a nurse, and you’ll be getting your license to show for. You may immediately work as an RN after, or you may choose to study further.



3. Get your MSN.

To get your Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), you’ll have to complete a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program (PNPP) leading to the Master of Science degree. If you’re a working RN, schools will help you arrange a schedule so that studying will not get in the way of your job.


Colleges and universities offer full-time or part-time pediatric nurse practitioner programs. And best of all, these courses could be taken online. Most prefer to study online as you manage your own time and pace.  Just remember: the more subjects you study for, the lesser the time it takes for you to finish the program. Full time students finish in about 2 years; part-time students finish in 3 years, approximately.


The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and a host of other organizations offers scholarships for graduate and post-graduate students. In addition to that, there’s also government financial aid for graduate students. You may also check with the financial aid office of the school you plan to attend about the graduate student scholarships they offer.



4. Get Certified.

To become a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, you’ll have to apply to certifying boards to show that you’ve got what it takes to become one. Apply to either the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). You’ll need to have an active RN license and a master’s degree from a pediatric nurse practitioner program to be eligible for certification.



5. Become a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

As a certified pediatric nurse practitioner, you are the first person parents call when their children get sick or have health-related issues. In fact, you’ll see your patients more than they will see their doctors,  so it’s important that you’re good at your job (your certification is proof of that).


The average salary for a pediatric nurse practitioner is $81,080 per year. It’s not the only thing that’s good about this career. Statistics show that job outlook is at 26%, faster than average, which means that for the next ten years, finding a job will not be a problem for nurses. Good, right?


Pediatric nurse practitioners may find work in doctor’s offices, hospitals, outpatient centers and schools. They can also set up their own practice and provide health care service to kids and teens at their own homes. On top of that, they can also teach in colleges and universities; there are so many career possibilities.


If you are a critical thinker who is also caring, sympathetic and responsible, and one who is genuinely interested in helping sick kids, then you could become a good pediatric nurse practitioner. You’ll not only get paid well, you’ll be in a very rewarding career that’s helping kids live better, disease-free lives.

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