What Are the Requirements for Pediatric Nurse Licenses?

Pediatric nurses become licensed by passing the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse. Before sitting for this exam, you must earn a diploma, associate's or bachelor's degree in nursing. All registered nurses in the U.S. are licensed through this process, regardless of their specialty area. Find more specific information about the requirements to become a licensed nurse in this article. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Becoming Licensed as a Registered Nurse (RN)

Pediatric nurses are registered nurses (RNs) who provide care to children and adolescents at doctor's offices, hospitals and other medical facilities. Regardless of specialty, prospective RNs must complete an accredited nursing program and pass the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN) exam, administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN).

All 50 states and the District of Colombia require practicing RNs to be licensed, and pediatric nurses may hold a license in more than one state simultaneously. The Nurse Licensure Compact Agreement allows a nurse who is licensed in his or her state of permanent residence to practice in member states without obtaining additional licensure.

Important Information About This Career

Median Annual Salary (2014) $66,640 for registered nurses
Job Outlook (2012-2022) 19% for registered nurses
Key Skills Organizational and speaking skills, physical stamina, critical thinking
Work Environment Hospitals, doctor's offices, nursing care facilities, in-home healthcare and many other settings

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Earning a Nursing Degree

You can earn a diploma, associate's or bachelor's degree in nursing. Graduates of diploma and associate's degree programs often use their training to gain entry-level employment before continuing their education in bachelor's degree programs.

Additionally, if you have undergraduate degrees in another field, but you would like to move into nursing, an accelerated bachelor's degree program may be an available option. Another option is earning a master's degree in the field. Graduates of master's programs are eligible for certification in advanced nursing specialties, such as:

  • Clinical nurse specialist
  • Nurse anesthetist
  • Nurse-midwife
  • Nurse practitioner

Optional Certification

Registered nurses interested in working in pediatric nursing can become certified as a pediatric nurse through the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board. Certifications are available for pediatric nurses, emergency pediatric nurses and pediatric nurse practitioner-primary care, acute care and mental health specialist. Earning certification requires meeting education and training requirements and passing an exam.

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