How to Become a Pediatric Nurse in Florida

August 30, 2021
Janelle Thomas MSN, RN
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Becoming a nurse is both a fulfilling and challenging career choice. It requires selflessness and diligence, but one thing remains the same — you will make an impact in your patient’s life. But, there are several different branches of nursing to explore. From hospitals to home health care, the age of your patients can vary greatly. And, caring for geriatrics can be completely different from pediatrics, with different skill sets and expectations required. So, if you like caring for children in particular, how can you begin a career in pediatric nursing?

What is pediatric nursing?

A pediatric nurse serves children who have various medical and surgical conditions — from acute to chronic. This can include young patients who need constant monitoring and invasive procedures, such as in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) or in their own homes. Nurses in these areas have the advanced knowledge necessary to care for children who are critically ill or severely injured.

Pediatric nurses ensure that their children develop and grow to their full potential. As such, their duties include caring for sick and injured children, administering immunizations, monitoring development, and counseling parents. While their responsibilities are similar to those of other nurses, they must take a different approach because of their patients’ young age and developmental level.

Benefits of Pediatric Nursing

There are many reasons to work in pediatric nursing, so how do you know if it’s the right career path for you? First, look at the benefits of being a pediatric nurse, then decide if they appeal to you. Some of these benefits include:

  • Working with children
  • Giving kids a voice
  • Being a part of their health journey
  • Seeing your patients get better
  • Becoming a part of your child’s family
  • Earning competitive pay
  • Experiencing job satisfaction

Pediatric Nursing Salary in Florida

The hourly rate and salaries for pediatric nurses fluctuate and vary on a number of factors. How much you can make as a nurse depends on factors such as:

  • City
  • Education
  • Certifications
  • Additional skills
  • Experience in the profession

Requirements for a Pediatric Nurse

Similar to other nursing positions, pediatric nursing requires the completion of training, degrees, and certifications. To obtain a position in pediatric nursing, first, you’ll need to earn your nursing degree.

Earn Your Nursing Degree

A path to a nursing degree can come in many forms and last anywhere between 12 months to three years. The most common paths include:

  • A licensed practical nurse (LPN) to Associate in Nursing degree
  • An Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) degree
  • An LPN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program
  • A BSN degree
  • An online RN to BSN program
  • An accelerated nursing program (BSN degree)

Pass the NCLEX-RN Exam

Once you have a nursing degree, you’ll be required to take the National Council Licensing Examination or NCLEX-RN. You’ll need to pass this exam before becoming an RN. The exam is only open to students who have already completed a nursing program and focuses on your knowledge of four specific areas of nursing, such as:

  • Safe, effective care environments
  • Health promotion and maintenance
  • Psychosocial integrity and how to cope with the stresses of being a nurse
  • Physiological integrity and your ability to deliver proper nursing care

Become a Registered Nurse (RN)

Once you’ve passed the NCLEX-RN exam, then you can begin searching for a job as a registered nurse. At this point, you can find a position as a pediatric nurse at a company that is willing to train you for any missing skill sets — such as Care Options for Kids. Otherwise, you’ll need to improve your experience in another environment first.

Start Your Career as a Pediatric Nurse

Once you’re licensed, you can begin applying for seasoned pediatric nursing positions. This includes positions in:

  • Home health care
  • Private practice physicians’ offices
  • Clinics
  • Hospitals
  • Surgical centers
  • Schools
  • Community organizations

Other Paths to Become a Pediatric Nurse

While RNs have less oversight in the pediatric nursing field, they aren’t the only nurses who can achieve jobs in the field. LPNs can also apply for jobs in the pediatric nursing field and receive training on the job. Many nurses in Florida are choosing this path and working while pursuing their RN degree. This allows them to do what they love sooner and helps them earn the money they need to pay for additional schooling if desired.

Join the Care Options For Kids Team!

Are you ready for meaningful work that comes with benefits and not burnout? Join the compassionate care team that helps children and families live their best lives. Our clinicians provide best-in-class pediatric nursing, therapy, and school-based services. We bring individualized care to children where they live, work, and play. We have opportunities in homes, schools, and clinics across the country.

Apply at Care Options for Kids now. We make it easy to get started, so you can begin making a difference as soon as possible.