Pediatric Nursing Certification

Several types of pediatric nursing certification are available for registered nurses. Explore the certifications you could earn and the eligibility requirements for each, which usually include a combination of education and work experience, along with a passing score on an exam. Get info on advancement opportunities for registered nurses with pediatric nursing certification. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Pediatric Nursing Certifications Are Available?

In order to become a pediatric nurse, you will first need to complete an educational program in nursing and earn licensure as a registered nurse (RN). You can gain licensure through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) by passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN).

Obtaining LicensurePassing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN)
Professional CertificationCertified Pediatric Nurse (CPN) and Registered Nurse-Board Certified (RN-BC)
Certification RequirementsAssociate's or bachelor's depending on the state, passing the NCLEX-RN exam, and passing the CPN or RN-BC exams
Common CoursesHealth issues in children, pediatric pharmacology, child development, pediatric nutrition, special problems and working with adolescents
Job Outlook (2016-2026)15% growth (for registered nurses)*
Median Salary (2018)$71,730 (for registered nurses)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

There are also advanced pediatric nursing certifications offered by the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB) and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). The PNCB offers the Certified Pediatric Nurse (CPN) designation and the ANCC offers the Registered Nurse-Board Certified (RN-BC) designation with a specialty in pediatric nursing.

How Do I Become Certified?

Eligibility to take the exam through the NCSBN varies according to your state of employment. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that associate's and bachelor's programs are the most common levels of education required (www.bls.gov). Your state nursing board will also establish the minimum amount of supervised, clinical work that is required to take the NCLEX-RN.

The NCLEX-RN is a written exam that can cover topics regarding safety, integrity, infection control, pharmacology, reducing risk, comfort and health maintenance. Certification and licensure renewal requirements are also determined by your state of employment.

To qualify for the CPN exam, you will need to be an active registered nurse (RN) and complete 1,800 hours in pediatric nursing. The CPN exam will cover four categories, including assessment, health promotion, management and professional role skills. You can expect to answer questions regarding physical assessment, psychosocial issues, illnesses, behavioral issues, chronic care and end of life support, documentation and communication techniques. If you wish to renew your certification, you will need to complete contact hours every year.

To be eligible for the RN-BC exam, you must have two years RN experience, currently work as an RN, have 30 continuing education hours and have at least 2,000 clinical hours in pediatric nursing. To earn the certification, you must pass a written exam covering ethics, nursing processes, communication with patients, health promotion, leadership, developmental sciences and life situations. Renewal takes place every five years. To maintain certification, you will need to complete developmental hours.

What Further Educational Opportunities are Available??

There are no undergraduate degree programs directed specifically towards pediatric nursing. However, you can find master's degree programs and post-master certificates focusing specifically on pediatric nursing. These programs can include courses covering health issues in children, pediatric pharmacology, child development, pediatric nutrition, special problems and working with adolescents. These programs might help fulfill pediatric clinical hour requirements for certification.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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