A pediatric nurse must offer the proper maintenance care to a child. Depending on the specific pediatrics office or environment that they work, most accurately define the roles that they are to assume. In pediatrics nursing, the nurse is responsible for the developmental screenings. Part of this aspect includes measuring the height, weight, and other preliminary measures that mark a child’s growth and development. Nurses in pediatrics are often responsible for collecting laboratory samples. A pediatric nurse will also perform further routine tests and screenings such as checking a child’s temperature, heart rate, blood pressure levels, and respiratory rates. He or she may be responsible for conducting the more basic eye exams, as well. A pediatric nurse is also in direct contact with the parents, so they are to offer the parents the support that they need. In pediatrics nursing, a pediatric nurse may be instructed to interpret laboratory results. Those nurses that work in acute care pediatrics may also conduct in depth physical assessments of any given child.
There are several ways become a pediatric nurse. You can become a LPN, an RN, or obtain your Bachelor's in Nursing. A Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) takes approximately one year. Your scope of practice varies with the state that you live in. In my state, Indiana LPNs cannot start IVs, but can give medications, with the exception of a few specific medications. While the track to becoming an LPN is the shortest, your opportunities are also limited. For example a lot of hospitals are not hiring LPNs so they are limited to nursing homes. A Registered Nurse (RN) is the next type of nurse that you can become. Typically, this takes approximately two years to achieve. Nurses who go through a RN program receive either a nursing certificate or an associate's degree in nursing (ADN or ASN). Registered nurses can work in many areas and have a wide range of privileges. RNs are the most flexible when it comes to areas in which you can work. Another option is to complete a four-year program in nursing which gives you a bachelor's Degree in Nursing in addition to an RN license. More and more facilities prefer nurses with their BSN. To obtain your BSN you can either go to a four-year college or you can obtain your RN and then go to a bridge program and obtain your BSN. The following to links are just example curriculums for these program options. http://catalog.vinu.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=1&poid=270&returnto=50 https://wwwapps.ivytech.edu/cgi-bin/curr/gpprogram_list.cgi# http://www.iun.edu/bulletin/schools/chhs/schools-divisions/nursing/bachelor/curriculum.shtml After obtaining the option of nursing you desire the next step is becoming a pediatric nurse. One of the easiest ways to become a pediatric nurse is to apply to work in a site that serves pediatric patients and receive your specialized training there where you work. The hospital where I hope to work offers a 3 month intern program for new nursing graduates that include both classrooms and clinical training specifically in pediatrics. Becoming a Certified Pediatric Nurse (CPN) once you have graduated, you can also take an exam to become a Certified Pediatric Nurse. There are also special classes that address Pediatrics. These include Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) through the American Heart Association, the Emergency Nurse Pediatric Course through the Emergency Nurses Association (see: www.ena.org), and Emergency Medical Services for Children. You can also become involved in the Society of Pediatric Nurses (see: www.pednurse.org).
The total cost of the program varies depending on which school you attend. The following is just an example of Tuition and fees from Indiana University Northwest.
Admission Application – UG/US Citizen$35.00
Undergraduate-Resident$195.53 per credit hour
Undergraduate-Nonresident$547.22 per credit hour
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