Becoming a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

A nurse practitioner (NP) is a medical professional that has had more extensive training and school experience than an average registered nurse (RN). Not only do they differ from registered nurses through their credentials, but also in terms of patient care. Registered nurses are not permitted to provide one-on-one primary health care to patients, while nurse practitioners are. A nurse practitioner is able to take the place of a doctor in most cases, often times being recruited as a patient(s)’ main health care provider. Or, in the case of a pediatric nurse practitioner, a child’s main health care provider.


There are a number of different specializations for a nurse practitioner to focus their career on. These include psychiatric/mental health, women’s health, adult, acute care, family, and pediatrics. Pediatric nurse practitioners specialize in providing health care to children. Those who specialize in pediatrics perform a number of duties, including: documenting health history and performing physical exams, planning a child’s care with parents and the child’s health care team, performing some tests and procedures, answering questions about health problems, treating and diagnosing common illnesses, assisting with management of chronic illnesses, changing the plan of care with a child’s doctor as needed, teaching families about the effects that certain illnesses could have on their child, teaching kids about self-care and healthy lifestyle choices, writing prescriptions and ordering any tests that need to be done, teaching other health care members and local groups about children’s health care, and providing referrals to community groups.

The average salary for a pediatric nurse practitioner is about $95,000 to $98,000 per year. Depending on the type of nurse practitioner a person chooses to be, their salary will either be higher or lower. For example, an emergency room nurse practitioner makes upwards of $105,000 per year due to their specialization and their work environment. The more credentials and experience a person has, the higher their salary is going to be.

Becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner requires the same credentials as every other nurse practitioner. First, those interested in pursuing the career must obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. From there, they must achieve a master’s degree also in nursing, and then take a certification exam.

Once the certification exam has been completed, the individual can then practice as a pediatric nurse practitioner. It is important that every couple of years individuals renew their credentials by taking more courses or re-doing their certification so that they are able to stay up-to-date and credible. For those looking to become a pediatric nurse practitioner, there are a number of review courses being offered either online, at home, or in a classroom setting. Many review courses offer full manuals and audio CDs with the review material on them so that you can listen to it anywhere.

Becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner can be a very rewarding venture. Helping to provide children with the health care they need is something to be proud of, and many people from all over the world pride themselves in this profession that they have chosen.