Pediatric Nursing Schools
Pediatric nurses specialize in the care and management of children. In order to maximize the skills of those in this career field, pediatric nursing schools exist to provide specialized training and education about the needs of young patients. Because a child’s body is still growing and can be quite different from an adult’s body, these schools are necessary to provide the advanced training that normal nurses do not possess.
What These Schools Teach
Pediatric nursing schools usually offer a master’s degree or advanced certificate in pediatric training. Nurses who graduate from one of these programs become pediatric nurse practitioners, or PNPs. The specific courses taught at these schools include the pathology of pediatric illnesses, psychological techniques used to help children who may be scared or unwilling to go through certain procedures, and the interaction of key medications with young bodies. In addition to an emphasis on the difference between children and adults in treatment, there will be courses to help communicate effectively with parents of young children, many of whom may be very frightened themselves.
It will take some time to enter into a pediatric nursing program. You need to first acquire a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, or BSN. Then you need to have clinical experience and certification as a nurse. After you have the experience as a practicing nurse, you can apply for a master’s program. After completing a master’s degree, you can become a pediatric nurse by applying for certification with the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board, or PNCB.
Top Ranked Schools
The list below presents the top-ranked schools for pediatric nursing. These schools will give you the best possible combination of education and hands-on experience and boast the highest success rate among graduates on PNCB exams.
• Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut
• University of California in San Francisco, California
• University of Texas in Austin, Texas
• University of Washington in Seattle, Washington
• New York University in New York, New York
• University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan
• University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, North Carolina
• East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina
• University of Illinois in Chicago, Illinois
• University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Typical Fees and Assistance
Becoming certified as a pediatric nurse can be quite costly. The average cost to acquire a BSN will be between $35,000 and $40,000 per year in tuition plus another $500 to $1,000 in supplies. A master’s degree can cost an additional $25,000 to $35,000 per year plus up to $1,000 in textbooks. Finally, certification with the PNCB costs $130 and will need to be renewed on occasion. There are fortunately ways to mitigate these costs. Several pharmacy companies, such as Johnson & Johnson, offer scholarships, and membership in the Society of Pediatric Nurses can help provide additional aid. If you are already employed as a nurse, your employer might also be willing to help you pursue a master’s degree.
Pediatric nursing colleges provide one of the most rigorous course loads in the nursing world, but also prepare you for a career that is quite essential. As the birth rate in the United States continues to skyrocket, more pediatric nurses will be needed, so your best bet is to prepare now for what is certain to be a challenging and interesting career.