Nursing is a great career for advancement, and with so many roles now available, it can be hard to choose which is the next step for you. Choosing a nurse practitioner (NP) role allows you to undertake many of the responsibilities of a doctor, without losing the holistic style of nursing that you enjoy.
There is a massive need for pediatric nurse practitioners (PNP), making this a great role for anyone that would enjoy working with children. Here we take a more in-depth look into the role of PNP and the many benefits of this career change.
The Main Roles of a PNP
The PNP role is intended to assist with the ever-growing gap in healthcare of the pediatric population. There is a massive need for improved pediatric healthcare to ensure acute illness episodes are treated quickly and do not end up in premature and avoidable deaths. As more children than ever are living with health conditions that we once couldn’t treat, the need for PNPs will grow.
As a PNP, you will be responsible for your own group of patients and therefore will need an acquired skill set to do so. The main roles of a PNP include:
- Accurately prescribe and amend when required, according to pediatric medication regulations
- Diagnose acute illnesses in children and young people
- Mentor both patients and their families to become a leader in their own health, e.g. teaching diabetic children how to care for their diabetes, how to carb count and how to appropriately take insulin
- Caring for children with ongoing health needs and amending care plans as necessary
- Monitoring vital observations and checking for signs of deterioration
- Referring to the correct services, including mental health services for children suffering from mental health problems
- Perform special diagnostic tests that can help to diagnose and treat many childhood conditions
As a PNP, you will have a lot more responsibility and you will work alone much more, making decisions based on your own clinical judgment and evidence-based practice.
Benefits of Choosing a Career as a PNP
Becoming a PNP provides many benefits, both for yourself and for the pediatric population. If you believe that you would work well with children and their families, or already do so, it may be the most interesting and exciting career choice for you. Here we take a look at some of the many benefits that become available to you as a PNP:
- You get to work with the pediatric population – For many nurses looking for a career change, working with children is a great option if you know that you can do it. Whether you are a parent or not, if you have the skill set to be able to put children and families at ease, provide great quality healthcare, and can calm children in situations that may frighten them, you are already in good stead to become a PNP.
- You will gain a higher degree – Every nurse should be looking for the next way to improve their practice and expand their knowledge. If you enjoy learning and want to push yourself to the next level, gaining a DNP-PNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) allows you to gain the highest level of degree there is within nursing. This is a respected and acknowledged degree worldwide.
- You will earn more – If you want to provide a better life for your family and for yourself, advancing your career means you can use your skillset and knowledge to earn more money. As a registered PNP, you can look at earning around $92,950 a year. This may increase or decrease slightly depending on the state you work in, and whether you choose to work in the private or public sector.
- PNP roles are very diverse – As a nurse, a ward setting can at times become monotonous. If you want to break away from that mold and step into a career where no two days are the same, a PNP role could be right for you. PNPs work in a variety of healthcare settings, therefore you don’t have to stick to a hospital setting. You may choose to work in the community, in a school, or in a doctor’s practice, seeing on average around 3-4 patients an hour.
- You will always be required – As stated earlier, there are not enough pediatric healthcare professionals available to care safely for the expanding pediatric population that suffers with both acute and chronic illnesses. As a PNP, you will find a job wherever you go and can use this to your advantage if you want to move state. You can rest safely knowing that the degree you have earned will be in great demand and you will always have job security.
Studying for a PNP Degree
With so many advantages, it is no wonder more nurses are choosing to go down the DNP-PNP route. The pediatric acute care nurse practitioner programs from Baylor University allow practicing RNs with a BSN and the correct experience to study online to become a PNP. You will be a leader in improving pediatric healthcare, learning important skills in:
- Nursing leadership – Utilize and learn new leadership skills to work with a multi-disciplinary team, finding new ways of achieving best practice.
- Advocacy – As a PNP, you will advocate for the global health needs of the pediatric population, specifically those in low-income areas who are more prone to illness.
- Evidence-based strategies – Employ new technologies and information systems while delivering the best in healthcare.
With coursework being completed mostly online, this degree is one of the best for busy nurses who have many other work and life commitments.
If you want a career in which you can care for families and children who need your expert help, then look no further. If you have the relevant experience needed to take on this role, there is no better time than now to begin studying. With an ever-expanding population and the need to expand nursing knowledge, becoming a PNP is a great choice for nurses wanting to learn more and earn more.