What Is the Salary of a Pediatric Nurse?

Pediatric nurses are registered nurses (RNs) who specialize in caring for children. Salaries vary depending on setting, location, years of experience and educational level. Read on to find out more about how much these nurses make. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Salary Overview

Salaries for pediatric nurses are based on a number of factors, such as number of years of experience, location, employer and level of education. In April 2014, PayScale.com reported a median wage of $49,383 for these professionals. Most pediatric nurses earned salaries that ranged from $30,075-$79,721. However, entry-level workers had a lower salary range of $24,275-$68,597 and a median wage of $48,281.

Location

While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn't report salary information specific to pediatric nurses, it did report that RNs typically earned higher salaries in the Northeast and West Coast than in the Midwest or the South in May 2013. According to the BLS, average salaries for the five top-paying states were:

  • California: $96,980
  • Hawaii: $85,380
  • Massachusetts: $83,720
  • Alaska: $83,640
  • Oregon: $80,440

Additionally, California and Massachusetts had high RN employment levels. RNs made the least working for states that included Tennessee, Nebraska, West Virginia, South Dakota, Iowa and Alabama. These places offered average salaries of $32,800-$56,920.

Industry

The BLS reported that average wages for top industries employing RNs in May 2013 included the following:

  • General hospitals: $70,590
  • Physicians' offices: $62,850
  • Home healthcare services: $66,910
  • Skilled nursing facilities: $62,010
  • Outpatient care centers: $74,100

On the other hand, RNs made some of the highest average wages working for industries with lower employment levels, such as insurance employee and benefits funds ($78,600), other transit and ground passenger transportation ($86,780) and the federal government ($79,190).

Education Information

You can obtain a nursing degree at the associate's, bachelor's and master's degree levels. Associate's 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 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.

Certification

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).

Employment Outlook

With advancing medical technology and the large, baby boomer generation moving into advancing age, the need for qualified registered nurses is high. A report by the BLS estimated an overall 19% growth in employment for RNs for the years 2012-2022. Employment of RNs in outpatient care centers, home health care and residential care facilities is expected to increase. Having a bachelor's degree and work experience can improve your job prospects, although there should be favorable job prospects overall.

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