Caring for infants, children and adolescents is the primary focus of the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. These nursing professionals are responsible for a wide range of health care tasks, including the diagnosis of a child’s illness or the status and treatment of an injury, infection or other health concern. Pediatric Nurse Practitioners perform many of the functions of a physician, including the creation of treatment plans, referrals to specialists, and follow-up care, in addition to advising and supporting the family members and caregivers directly related to an ill child.
Pediatric Nurse Practitioners are advanced practice nurses that have specialized in the health care and treatment of people under age 18. As a Nurse Practitioner, these professionals may have the ability to work autonomously, depending on state regulations, and are often found within medical offices, working directly with doctors. Pediatric Nurse Practitioners often perform well child examinations, including developmental screenings, school and athletics physicals and immunize children.
A Pediatric Nurse Practitioner typically has attained a Masters In Nursing, along with certifications or specialized instruction in pediatric care. Many Registered Nurses enjoy the convenience of online nursing schools and accelerated nursing programs in order to attain the experience, certifications and education necessary to practice as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. In addition, Nurse Practitioners are some of the best paid health care providers.
Payscale.com reports that the average salary for a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner is around $80,000 annually, depending on location and experience.
The ability to address the healthcare needs of children requires patience, dedication and the ability to communicate with parents, caregivers, the child and any other medical professionals, pediatricians or doctors. Pediatric Nurse Practitioners provide vital medical care for some of the most vulnerable patients, helping to increase overall wellness and health, from well child examinations through life-threatening illness or injury.