Becoming a Certified Pediatric Nurse

According to information provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 10 year outlook for nurses for the period 2014-24 is faster than average for other occupations in the United States. There were more than 2.7 million nurses employed in 2014 alone, earning a median pay of $67,490 or $32.45 per hour. There are approximately 25,000 certified pediatric nurses (CPNs) in the U.S. today. 

Becoming a certified pediatric nurse requires you to obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing in order to become certified. If you are considering what career path to pursue as a college student, graduate, or a person looking to change careers, it is important to understand what it takes to become a CPN. It is also important to know the specific duties and responsibilities of a CPN and if it is the type of career you should consider pursuing.

What it takes to become a CPN

Becoming a certified pediatric nurse requires completion of a degree as a registered nurse, once an advanced practice registered nurse has completed specialized graduate clinical and diagnostic training, he/she can make the transition from rn to np. You must sit for and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses or NCEX-RN exam in order to do so. This examination tests your core competency in order to qualify you to become registered with a state’s licensing board as a nurse.

Successful completion of the NCEX-RN is then followed by several years of practice in nursing. This experience should include work in pediatrics or work with young and small children. It is necessary to gain this level of experience in order to meet the qualifications of a CPN. Additionally, testing will be performed to determine your mastery in the areas of psychosocial, physical, and assessment of the family; the promotion of pediatric health; teh management of illness and clinical problems; and, understanding the professional role of the certified pediatric nurse as rn to np.

Duties and Responsibilities

When you pass the exam, you will engage in care that can be provided in a variety of settings. These settings include a hospital, family clinic, and even educational setting such as a college or university. CPNs engage in evidenced-based practices centered around providing family care. You will promote best health care practices for your patients, assist in the management of illnesses of an acute or chronic nature, and, wellness advocacy of infants, children, and the family. 

You may be called upon to conduct patient evaluations, provide training and education to other pediatric nurses (who are not certified), provide management, and engage in research. These are some some of the duties and responsibilities you should expect if you choose to pursue this level of certification.

Is Becoming a CPN Something to Consider?

The need for registered nurses will be great over the next 10 years. It is important to meet the challenges of this field by obtaining the necessary credentials that allows you to best apply your skills and passion. If you have an ability to work well with families and children, especially infants, consider becoming a CPN.

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