what is a paediatric nurse?

As a paediatric nurse, you focus on children's medical care from infancy to teenage years. Your role is important since children's health is different from adults'. When children are developing and growing, they need adequate care and attention. You usually work as part of the multidisciplinary team to provide medical care and support children during treatment.

Your role may involve administering childhood immunisations or vaccinations and ensuring children are updated with the vaccination schedule. You also communicate with children and their families and make them comfortable throughout the treatment. You explain the health condition to the parents and help them talk to their children about the changes that a condition brings.

Sometimes, a paediatric nurse teaches other health professionals about children's health. You may work in hospitals or accompany the community nurse to administer vaccinations to children in communities. Your job also involves conducting clinical research on various health conditions affecting children in a specific region. The research helps you discover appropriate treatment methods for some conditions.

As a paediatric nurse, you are likely to work in a hospital, paediatric clinic or school. You can also work in care homes or hospices for children with terminal illnesses. Some paediatric nurses work for social services or government agencies to help children in social care.

Would working in health as a paediatric nurse suit your interest in working with children? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a paediatric nurse role.

paediatric nurse jobs

paediatric nurse salary

According to National Careers, the median salary of a paediatric nurse with minimal experience is £25,654 per year. When you have a couple of years of experience, your earnings can increase to around £39,026 annually.

Your salary includes medical and life insurance. You also get benefits like paid holidays and house and transport allowances. Some hospitals pay higher hourly rates for overtime hours.

how to increase your salary as a paediatric nurse

Employers pay higher salaries to paediatric nurses with exceptional skills and knowledge. As a paediatric nurse, you can increase your salary prospects by advancing your education. Since all paediatric nurses are registered, you already have a degree and a few certifications. If you add a master's degree or advanced certification, you can negotiate higher pay.

Specialising in areas like paediatric intensive care units or emergency rooms earns you a higher salary than someone working in a clinic. Other specialisations that increase your compensation package are paediatric oncology and cardiology. Apart from specialisation, you can improve your work experience through voluntary work and internships. Being a paediatric nurse is challenging, and if you practice for a couple of years, you will have the confidence to take on more responsibilities and earn more.



types of paediatric nurses

Types of paediatric nurses depend on the area of specialisation, including:

  • neonatal nurse: your job is to provide care and support to infants. You specialise in children born prematurely or with congenital disabilities, heart deformities and infections. You are likely to work in neonatal intensive care units monitoring babies' vital signs and educating parents on their child's illness and progress.
  • developmental disability nurse: as a paediatric nurse, you can specialise in providing care to children with developmental disabilities like autism, Down's syndrome, Rett syndrome and Asperger's syndrome. You may assist with feeding and bodily functions. You also help in developing a child's communication skills.
  • palliative paediatric nurse: your job is to care for terminally-ill children. You relieve suffering and provide the best quality care. You also prepare the families for the inevitable and assist with the necessary medical equipment for providing life support.


working as a paediatric nurse

Working as a paediatric nurse requires a lot of dedication and passion for providing specialised care. You also handle various specialised roles.


education and skills

Become a paediatric nurse with the following educational qualifications:

  • university course: you can become a paediatric nurse by completing a children's nursing degree from the Nursing and Midwifery Council. Some degree providers allow you to juggle nursing specialisations alongside the children's nursing degree. If you have a degree in a health-related subject, you can join children's nursing in the second year. You need 3 A Levels or a Level 3 diploma in nursing for the bachelor's degree.
  • apprenticeship: you can pursue a nursing associate higher apprenticeship if you already work in a healthcare setting. The apprenticeship takes four years and combines coursework with on-the-job training. You need 4 to 5 GCSEs to join the apprenticeship.

skills and competencies

The qualities needed by a paediatric nurse include:

  • communication skills: as a paediatric nurse, you need exceptional verbal and written communication skills. You have to create and write forms for patient needs and update a patient's file. Verbal skills help you communicate with children effectively and ease their fears during medical procedures.
  • interpersonal skills: as a paediatric nurse, you work with other healthcare professionals to administer patient care. You need teamwork skills to ensure the patient receives treatment on time. People skills also help you deal with parents experiencing a stressful time. You need to form a trusting relationship and support child patients and their families.
  • technology: as a paediatric nurse, you may deal with chronic and terminal illnesses. Sometimes, your role involves taking care of patients on life support. You need expertise in operating various medical equipment.



FAQs about working as a paediatric nurse

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