Career & Finances | Original Content | Specialties

Making a Difference as a Pediatric Nurse: Do You Have What It Takes?

  • It takes a special person to be a pediatric nurse. Do you think you have what it takes?
  • The job a pediatric nurse must do can be so rewarding, yet, it can also take both a physical and emotional toll.
  • Check out Nursing CE Central to see if you have what it takes to own the role of a pediatric nurse!
Morgan Curry, RN/BSN

Morgan Curry, BSN / RN

Intensive Care, Outpatient Surgery, Aesthetics, Education, and Nursing Leadership

August 13, 2021
Simmons University


Do you have a love for children and want to make a difference in their lives?  

There are so many rewarding aspects of becoming a pediatric nurse; however, it is not for the faint of heart. 

It can also be a struggle.  

As an up-and-coming nurse, I knew I wanted to work in pediatrics; it was the sole reason of me going to nursing school in the first place.  

However, things quickly changed for me. 

I accepted my first job offer as a cardiac ICU nurse, and then shortly after became a mother.  

Now, I could not imagine being a pediatric nurse.  

Do you have what it takes to make a difference as a pediatric nurse? Let’s find out! 

If you are passionate about nursing and taking care of children, there is nothing that can stop you!  

What Requirements/Certifications Do I Need?

There are several steps you must take to become a pediatric nurse.  

Herzing University lists the four items you must mark off your checklist if you are interested in pursuing a career as a pediatric nurse, let’s take a look: 

  • Understand the specialized role of a pediatric nurse 
  • Earn your nursing degree, and pass the NCLEX-RN examination 
  • Gain experience in a pediatric facility 
  • Take the Certified Pediatric Nurse (CPN) exam (this is not a requirement to become a pediatric nurse). 

Depending on where you are in your nursing career now, these steps may not seem so far away.

If you are passionate about nursing and taking care of children, there is nothing that can stop you!  

Where Can I Work?

The Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB) highlights just a few examples of places where you can work as a pediatric nurse; some of these include: 

  • Children’s hospitals 
  • Community hospitals 
  • Schools 
  • Home health care 
  • Military facilities 
  • Specialty clinics 
  • Special needs daycare for children 
  • Public health agencies 
  • Primary care practices 

There are so many different roles that you can have as a pediatric nurse in all ages and specialties of practice from psychiatric, primary care, oncology, and even the OR.  

 It truly takes a special person to do the job that pediatric nurse does, and every one of them has my respect.  

What Is the Salary Like?

According to, the average pediatric nurse’s yearly salary ranges from $66,500 to $84,000. Doesn’t sound too bad, right? 

Plus, you get to be around children and babies all day long!  

So decent pay, opportunities for advancement and specializations, plus your passions for helping young children can all come to fruition as a pediatric nurse.  

Common Characteristics of a Pediatric Nurse

Regardless of if you have children of your own or not, taking care of this unique and fragile population can be challenging; not only physically, but mentally, too.  

There are some hard things to consider that you may encounter in your role as a pediatric nurse. Do you have the character traits that typically align with those in the pediatric nursing profession? 

  • Do you have the patience to deal with a child that is being uncooperative or who is scared?  
  • Do you have the patience to deal with their parents who are frightened, lashing out, overbearing, or asking an immense number of questions? 
  • pediatric nurse

Emotional Strength
  • How will you handle seeing a child in pain or actively dying?  
  • Do you have children of your own? And if you do, will you see their faces in your patient who has come into the ER presenting signs of physical abuse; can you control the emotions you may feel in this moment? 
  • Do you have compassion for your patient’s family and the ability to remain calm and collected when there is so much fear and uncertainty in their prognosis? 
  • Can you calm a child when they are about to undergo a painful procedure or receive a chemotherapy treatment? 

Now of course, these are all very dramatic and heavy questions, but these are common scenarios that you may be involved in as the pediatric nurse, and you must be prepared for it.  

Personally, as a nurse and a mother of two, I can confidently admit that I could not handle the job.  

 It truly takes a special person to do the job that pediatric nurse does, and every one of them has my respect.  

Nonetheless, if you are thinking of entering pediatric nursing, think long and hard about what specialty you want to work in and truly take the time to consider how you would handle the situations I previously mentioned.  

Now, I know I have only shared the bad, but there is SO much good!  

I am sure you already know that, and it is a strong determining factor in your decision to begin your pediatric nursing career. Just remember, not any one field of nursing can always be sunshine and rainbows. 

But, when a nurse is passionate about their job, it truly shines through in the care they provide no matter the instance.  

I believe in you, and you will touch so many lives as a pediatric nurse!  

Love what you read?
Share our insider knowledge and tips!

about the author

Morgan serves as the Course Curriculum Executive Editor and Content Manager at Her extensive background in a Level I Trauma Hospital setting provides vast clinical insight into high octane clinical care, along with a deep understanding of specialized areas of nursing such as heart and lung transplants, ECMO, and cardiac surgery recovery.

Morgan’s professional versatility also extends into the highly sought-after field of aesthetic nursing, with comprehensive experience in the Plastic Surgery field; including nurse leadership in PACU, PERI-OP, and OR departments.

Read More

Cerebral Aneurysm: The Silent Killer

Cerebral Aneurysm: The Silent Killer

Diagnoses Cerebral Aneurysm: The Silent Killer Learn how a cerebral aneurysm, defined as an abnormal bulging/ballooning of a blood vessel, can hemorrhage or cause increased intracranial pressure. Understand the genetic, lifestyle, and preexisting conditions such as...