To grow up to be healthy in mind and body, infants and children need support and dedicated care. In addition to adult attention, they must receive quality healthcare from experienced professionals. Healthcare providers specializing in pediatric care leverage years of training and education to guide parents and other family members on how to best care for children, protect them against disease, and ensure their minds and bodies are functioning well. They also help children establish positive habits, setting them up for a lifetime of good health.
One important career in pediatrics is pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP). Pediatric nurse practitioners are high-level nursing professionals who are trained with advanced medical knowledge and skills, as they have earned a certification to work specifically with children and infants. Thousands of pediatric nurse practitioners all over the country work in children’s hospitals, outpatient facilities, and even their own practices in certain states.
There are many reasons for becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner –– job impact, personal satisfaction, and salary, to name a few. Continue reading to discover some of the top benefits of becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner and how to move your career in this direction.
1. PNPs Work with Children
Practicing pediatric medicine is different from working in other specialties. While adults understand the need for healthcare and can tolerate long exams and tests, children don’t always understand why they must undergo a procedure, receive a vaccination, or have their blood tested. Pediatric nurse practitioners use creativity, empathy, and communication in their work every day, keeping their young patients calm and happy. Many health practitioners enjoy this opportunity to spend time with children and put them at ease, setting the tone for healthcare and treatment throughout their lives.
2. PNPs Make a Positive Impact
When asked why they became a pediatric nurse practitioner, many in this field would say they wanted to make a positive impact on others’ lives. Families who come to pediatric nurse practitioners are in need of expert guidance from a professional who understands the physical and emotional needs of children and their families. This gives PNPs the opportunity to make a positive impact on a family’s situation, by either assuaging their fears or helping treat an illness. Offering guidance, treatment options, and the best care possible allows nurse practitioners to leave their offices feeling good about what they do for a living. In fact, studies have shown that pediatric nurse practitioners who work in a children’s hospital have very high job satisfaction, according to the news outlet Clinical Advisor.
3. PNPs Are in Demand
Another reason to become a pediatric nurse practitioner is the booming job market. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 189,100 nurse practitioners working in the United States as of May 2018. The BLS projects a 28% increase in the employment of these professionals between 2018 and 2028 — more than five times the projected national job market growth rate (5%) during that span. There’s a real need for nurse practitioners of all kinds in the U.S. healthcare landscape. Increasingly, NPs can practice with more autonomy as more states grant them the ability to work without the oversight of a doctor in response to a national deficit of experienced medical providers.
4. PNPs Are Advanced Professionals
Not just anybody can become a pediatric nurse practitioner. Getting to this level of nursing practice requires years of education, training, clinical hours, and passing a certification exam. Nurse practitioners often start their careers as registered nurses (RNs), usually equipped with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). They might gain experience through employment in any number of environments –– hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient facilities, doctors’ offices, and substance abuse facilities, to name a few. They then go back to school to earn an advanced degree, such as a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). All aspiring NPs must then earn a certification and complete training in their specialty. By the time they’re ready for practice, nurse practitioners have spent years preparing for the job. The level of education and expertise required is often a motivating factor for professionals who aspire to practice at a high level.
5. PNPs Have High Projected Salaries
According to the BLS, the median annual salary for nurse practitioners was $107,030 as of May 2018, though this average can change with geographic location and experience. That median annual salary is significantly higher than for all health diagnosing and treating practitioners ($80,990). Earning a six-figure income in today’s economy allows nurse practitioners to live comfortably even in large, expensive metropolitan cities, as well as in rural areas, where they are especially in demand.
Discover More About Becoming a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Why become a pediatric nurse practitioner? The opportunity to make a difference in the lives of children, job satisfaction, and high earning potential are just a few of the compelling reasons. Registered nurses who enjoy working with children and aspire to become highly educated leaders in their field may find that this job is well suited to their interests and talents. Explore how Maryville University’s online pediatric nurse practitioner programs can help you take the next step in advancing your nursing career.