What Is the Salary of a Pediatric Nurse?
Pediatric nurses are registered nurses (RNs) who specialize in caring for children. If you like working with children and are interested in nursing, you might consider a career in pediatric nursing. Salaries vary depending on setting, years of experience and educational level. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Salary for a Pediatric Registered Nurse
With advancing medical technology and the large, baby boomer generation moving into advancing age, the need for qualified registered nurses is high. Salaries are based on a number of factors, such as number of years experience, location and level of education.
According to an August, 2011 salary survey by Payscale.com, in your first year as a pediatric nurse, you could expect to earn between $35,608 and $54,045 annually. Those with 1-4 years of experience earned between $19,968 and $77,930. With 5-9 years of experience, you could expect to make between $20,608 and $67,748.
Pediatric nurses typically earn higher salaries in the Northeast and West Coast than in the Midwest or the South. According to Payscale.com in August of 2011, some of the salaries for states ranged as follows:
- California: $20,203-121,645
- Georgia: $40,337-61,042
- Texas: $30,000-71,291
- Pennsylvania: $32,398-69,287
Education and Certification Information
You can obtain a nursing degree at the associates, bachelors and master's degree levels. Associate degree programs typically take two years to complete, and cover the basics for the nursing degree and a few general education courses. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nurses with an associate's degree may have limited opportunities for advancement (www.bls.gov).
A bachelor's degree program is a 4-year program offered by a college or university, and includes more clinical experience, along with coursework in critical thinking, communication and leadership. If you have a bachelor's degree and are interested in further education, you can apply to a master's degree program in nursing. A master's degree may allow you to become a pediatric nurse practitioner - a level that is higher than that of registered nurse, with more responsibility and a larger salary.
Along with formal educational requirements, you must obtain a license to become a practicing nurse from your state of residence. Obtaining a license requires the passing of a comprehensive written examination, which determines that you have achieved a minimum level of competency. Nurses can specialize in pediatric care by seeking employment in an office or hospital that deals primarily with pediatric patients. Once you have experience, you can become certified as a pediatric nurse through the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (www.pncb.org).
A report by the BLS estimated an overall 22% growth in employment for RNs for the years 2008-2018. While employment of RNs in physicians' private offices was expected to grow by 48%, employment in hospitals was expected to grow just 17%. The BLS cites a greater focus on preventive care and advancing medical technology as key factors in this difference in employment growth.
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