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Pediatric Nursing Classes

Pediatric Nurse

Pediatric Nursing

Pediatric nursing means nursing of children, including newborns, babies, young children and adolescents. Pediatric nursing is a specialized nursing training: The nursing of young children and babies is different than that of adults. Children's bodies are still growing; the onset of symptoms and illness may be very sudden; taking care of children has to take into account also the level of understanding and maturity of the child; and you also have to be in contact with the child's family and other caregivers. The approach to the child must be more holistic.

In order to become a pediatric nurse you have to first become a nurse. A general practice pediatric nurse will usually be a registered nurse (RN) who received on-the-job training to work with children. You can also become a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Pediatrics (CNS), taking care of children with some chronic or acute illness, such as cancer, CP, or special needs children. A CNS will usually be a registered nurse with an advanced degree (Masters or doctorate degree) focused on some special pediatric need, who received a special CNS certification.

Another type of pediatric nurse is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP). That is a nurse practitioner (NP) who took a specialized training to work with children. A PNP training will include also training related to disease management, prevention and assessment.

Pediatric Nursing Classes

When following your pediatric nursing training, you will usually have to take, among other classes, the following pediatric topics, which may be given either in one general course, or several courses each addressing one or more of the included topics:

  • Pediatric Theory:
    • Basic pediatric nursing
    • Partnership with children and families as clients
    • Developing therapeutic partnership relationships with childbearing families
    • Pediatric pharmacology
    • Pediatric health promotion & protection
    • Cultural & ethical issues in pediatric end-of-life care
    • Impact of genetics on pediatric health & illness

  • Pediatric Clinical:
    • Pediatric health assessment
    • Symptom assessment & management
    • Pediatric physiologic development
    • Child development & alteration in behavior
    • Pediatric nutrition
    • Common pediatric pathophysiology
    • Pediatric acute care
    • Medication administration
    • Attitudes that enable nurses to work with children and their families

Pediatric Nursing Programs

As mentioned above, there is more than one possible training program for becoming a nurse working with children. Most pediatric nursing programs will require you to be already a registered nurse with at least one year of experience. Following are the some of the available programs:

APPN (Advanced Practice in Pediatric Nursing)

Graduates of this program have specialized in pediatric primary health care and chronic illness for infants, children and adolescents, and are prepared to pass the certification exams to become Pediatric Nurse Practitioners.

APNN (Advanced Practice in Neonatal Nursing)

Graduated of this program have specialized in providing health care to neonates and their families, both to healthy babies and neonates with chronic or acute illness. During the program they would have completed their Masters degree in nursing. They can choose to become either Nurse Practitioners (NP) or Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS).

ACPNP (Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner)

Graduates of this program have decided to specialize in acute care treatment. They learn clinical management of acutely and critically ill children.

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