The Pros and Cons of Being a Pediatric Nurse

June 3, 2022
Janelle Thomas MSN, RN
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Anyone looking for a rewarding, in-demand career that makes a difference should consider pediatric nursing. A pediatric nurse plays a key role in administering care in a wide variety of settings, from hospitals to doctor’s offices to homes. Not only do pediatric nurses help doctors in the diagnosis and treatment of a range of conditions and injuries, but they are also often the primary point of care for both children and parents.

This means nurses help children and families feel at ease and guide them through the treatment process. Pediatric nurses must have a special set of communication skills in addition to the clinical knowledge needed to help these special young patients.

Pediatric nursing is a growing profession, and there is currently a nursing shortage across the entire health care industry. While becoming a pediatric nurse is a great way to learn a set of high-demand skills that can help ensure steady work, this is not a career for everyone. If you are interested in being a pediatric nurse, it’s important to understand both the advantages and drawbacks that can come with it.

The Major Pros & Benefits of Being a Pediatric Nurse

There are so many clear-cut benefits to being a pediatric nurse. Additionally, there are many pros that can be a surprising part of the profession. Here are the biggest advantages that pediatric nurses report from their job:

  • Working With Children: If you want to work with children, being a pediatric nurse is a great fit, as it truly makes an impact, like teaching and childcare. So many nurses love being able to put kids at ease and make them smile on a daily basis.
  • Truly Making a Difference in People’s Lives: Nursing is an entire job category where the primary role is helping people who are sick and injured. The satisfaction from helping kids learn about their condition and helping them get effective treatment can be very high for pediatric nurses.
  • Job Security: Nurses, including pediatric nurses, are always in demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that demand for registered nurses (RNs) will grow 15% by 2026, while licensed practical nurse (LPN) job growth will be 9% by 2030. No matter what degree, certification, or specialty you pursue, there will be job opportunities.
  • Flexibility: Pediatric nurses can work in hospitals, clinics, doctor’s offices, surgery centers, schools, homes, and many other settings. Additionally, you can find part-time work, full-time work, nights, weekends, or roles where you can make your own schedule.
  • You Are Trusted and Appreciated: Did you know that nurses are the most trusted profession, and have been for an amazing 20 years, according to Gallup polls? The pride, joy, and satisfaction you can get from belonging to a profession that children and their families look up to and trust can be hard to put into words.

The upsides to pediatric nursing are significant, but any nurse will tell you that it is a calling. You should only become a nurse if you are serious about it and willing to put in the work.

Realistic Cons Any Pediatric Nurse Should Know

Like any job, pediatric nursing has its share of downsides too. Don’t rush into a pediatric nursing career without being aware of the following potential downsides:

  • Resistance and Communication Barriers: The truth is that working with children is not always sunshine and roses. Remember being scared to go to the doctor to get a shot when you were a kid? Pediatric nurses have to deal with children who don’t want treatment, and who can’t or won’t talk to you about it, every single day. Any pediatric nurse has to be calm, patient, and really good at reaching children to be successful.
  • Emotional Attachment: Whether it’s seeing a child dealing with a small injury or treating children with advanced chronic illnesses and conditions, pediatric nursing can be heart-wrenching. Going into pediatric nursing because you love children can make it hard if you become too attached. Over the long term, learning to separate your emotions from your ability to help children in need is key to the job.
  • Physically Hard Work: Although some specific roles are more challenging than others, pediatric nurses in any function will generally spend a lot of time on their feet, have to lift and move equipment and patients, and need to be able to stay focused to ensure the safety and health of their patients.
  • Stress and Burnout: The emotional toll and hard work involved add up to nursing burnout being a very real hurdle in the profession. Pediatric nurses who can be happy and successful over the long haul need to be able to balance work and life, manage stress, and find the right position for their unique personality and skills.

The Benefits of Being a Pediatric Nurse

With home health growing on a yearly basis, pediatric home health nursing offers many nurses the right balance of flexibility and stability, while making a difference in the lives of children who need help.

Getting into the field of pediatric home health offers the following advantages for nurses:

  • One-on-one patient care
  • Flexible schedule and hours
  • Working in a home setting
  • Attractive benefits

Nurses working in home health care get the chance to refine and grow their skills as the main point of care for patients and their families. You can have a positive effect on people’s lives every day on the job.

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.