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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.

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 May 2019, PayScale.com reported a median wage of $60,575 for these professionals. Most pediatric nurses earned salaries that ranged from $33,000-$84,000. However, entry-level workers had a lower salary range of $30,000 - $81,000 and a median wage of $52,602.

Important Facts About Pediatric Nurses

Training Related work experience and continuing education recommended for advancement
Key Skills Situational awareness, problem solving, clear written and spoken communication, critical thinking, close listening, social nuance, empathy
Work Environment Hospitals, physicians offices, government agencies
Similar Occupations Nurse practitioners, physicians assistants, nurse midwives, licensed vocational nurses, licensed practical nurses

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 2018. According to the BLS, average salaries for the five top-paying states were:

  • California: $106,950
  • Hawaii: $98,080
  • District of Columbia: $92,350
  • Massachusetts: $92,140
  • Oregon: $91,080

Additionally, California has high RN employment levels. RNs made the least working for states that included Tennessee, Kansas, West Virginia, South Dakota, Iowa and Alabama. These places offered average salaries of $34,940-$63,100.

Industry

The BLS reported that average wages for top industries employing RNs in May 2018 included the following:

  • General hospitals: $77,730
  • Physicians' offices: $67,790
  • Home healthcare services: $71,850
  • Skilled nursing facilities: $67,370
  • Outpatient care centers: $79,230

On the other hand, RNs made some of the highest average wages working for industries with lower employment levels, such as phramaceutical and medicine manufacturing ($95,400), the federal government ($89,430), business schools and computer and management training ($85,920).

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 15% growth in employment for RNs for the years 2016-2026. 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.