A pediatric nurse practitioner is a registered nurse who has completed advanced training in the area of diagnosis and treatment of common medical conditions as well as pediatrics. For typical childhood and adolescent concerns, a pediatric nurse practitioner can provide the same level of care as a pediatrician. Pediatric nurse practitioners provide well-child care and administer immunizations as well as:
- Take medical histories
- Give examinations
- Diagnose illnesses
- Administering medications
- Order labs and radiographic tests, and interpret the results
- Counseling families on health care issues
According to the American Nurses Association, pediatric nurse practitioners can do 60 percent to 80 percent of what a pediatrician can do, and at a fraction of the cost. Nurse practitioners often have more time to spend with patients during visits than doctors do.
In addition to completing a nursing program, a pediatric nurse is required to pass the national licensing examination (NCLEX-RN) exam, finish a one-year internship at a hospital pediatric department and pass the Certified Pediatric Nurse exam.
Entry level pediatric nurses receive an average salary of $42-51,000 while an experienced pediatric nurse averages a salary of $48-73,000.
American Nurses Association, 2009
Pay Scale, 2009
American Nurse Credentialing Center, 2009