How to Become a

Pediatric Nurse

The complete career guide to be a Pediatric Nurse: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $101,260
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 35.3%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Creativity Focused
    Career Attribute

Pediatric nurses provide medical care and assistance to children from ages birth to teens.  They take care of children by providing care, monitoring health, administering medication and performing minor procedures while working in conjunction with other healthcare professionals.

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What is a Pediatric Nurse?

The following responsibilities are common for Pediatric Nurses:

  • Identifies any changes in a child’ symptoms and intervenes when necessary
  • Maintains confidentiality and privacy between the patient and themselves
  • Analyzes and anticipates and problems or issues in the patients status
  • Evaluates child for any signs of neglect or abuse
  • Provides supportive care to children and family of patient

A Day In The Life

Pediatric nurses give assistance and care to ailing or injured children.  They work as part of a healthcare team that includes physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals to assess, plan and provide care for the child that may be suffering from a varying degree of illnesses or injuries.  Their specialized training allows them to provide young patients and their families with both emotional support and medical care.

These individuals have a multitude of daily tasks.  Their responsibilities vary greatly and are different depending on the patient and the patients needs.  They will take care of the children before and after any operations and surgeries that the child may need.  As well as administering any medication that child may need, including medications, blood transfusions or IV fluids.  They also spend the majority of their day monitoring the patients by taking their blood pressure, temperature, pulse and resperations.

Typical Work Schedule

Most of the pediatric nurses follow a full-time working schedule for 8 – 12 hours 5 days a week. They usually have to rotate around shifts in order to provide care around the clock including weekends and evenings. Accordingly, the job can get more stressful compared to most other jobs and does not provide much space to maintain life/work balance. However, some nurses working in community services organizations may follow more traditional working hours. In addition, working in clinics or private offices will generally restrict the working hours to daytime only although recently more pediatric sites are offering extended evening and weekend hours.

Projected Job Growth

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of registered nurses in general, including pediatric nurses, is expected to increase by 7 % from 2019 to 2029. This is higher than the average growth for all other jobs during the same period. There are currently around 22 nurses per 100,000 children representing around 13% of all registered nurses. There is actually shortage of available nurses in general and pediatric nurses in particular in the country. Specializing in pediatric nursing and gaining the necessary certifications will likely provide job security because pediatric nurses are highly sought by many employers and different children hospitals making this job quite rewarding.

Gaining experience and having enough credentials in a high demand area like pediatrics can give you an edge in finding a rewarding position in this career. Additionally, you may consider working in rural and medically underserved areas which is usually more financially rewarding.

Typical Employers

According to the Institute of Pediatric Nursing, the most common employer for pediatric nurses are primary care outpatient clinics where around 50% of them are working. They can also work in subspecialty clinics and hospitals. Additionally, you may also choose to work in schools and home care providing support to children with disabilities or special needs. Another option is to work in academia where you develop new methods and guidelines for nursing.

Career Progression


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How To Become a Pediatric Nurse

Pediatric nurses are required to complete and undergraduate nursing program as well as pass their states’ required national licensing programs.  Most undergraduate nursing programs do not offer specialty programs, so they usually get started by taking a pediatric nursing job that is available.  From there, the healthcare facility will offer on-the-job training programs to prepare new nurses with specialized pediatric knowledge and training.  As nurses gain more experience and complete continuing pediatric certification education programs, they can become certified and licensed in pediatrics as a Registered Pediatric Nurse.

Pediatric Nurse Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range




High Range


How do Pediatric Nurse salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Pediatric Nurse's can make an average annual salary of $101,260, or $49 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $84,860 or $41 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #66 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Pediatric Nurse. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Pediatric Nurses

  • 13.5%   Doctorate
  • 77.7%   Masters
  • 5.8%   Bachelors
  • 1%   Associates
  • 1.2%   College
  • 0.6%   High School
  • 0.3%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Pediatric Nurse job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 44,800 jobs for a total of 171,700 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 35.3% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #7 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most Pediatric Nurses

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Offices of physicians 57,400 23,500 24%
General medical and surgical hospitals; private 27,100 6,300 6%
General medical and surgical hospitals; local 4,100 500 1%

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