What Are the Pros and Cons of Being a Pediatric Nurse? 987839088534212 [9:30 AM] Katie Iglewski

Most of us choose a profession based on similar factors, like the skills and talents we possess, and the potential salary the job provides. 

Every profession has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. So in addition to salary expectations and our own abilities, it makes sense to consider the pros and cons of a job before spending money on an education and jumping in with both feet.

If you love serving children and their parents in a medical setting, you may be considering a pediatric nursing career. To help you decide if this is the career for you, take a look at our overview of pediatric nursing, including areas of pediatric nursing, requirements needed to become a pediatric nurse, and some common advantages and disadvantages of working in this career. 

And if you want to travel while working as a pediatric nurse, we’ll show you how you can start your pediatric travel nurse journey with Trusted Nurse Staffing!


Table of Contents



An Overview of Pediatric Nursing 

Before we get to the travel part of nursing, let’s take a look at some pediatric nursing basics to give you a clear idea of what a pediatric nurse is, what the job involves, and the requirements necessary to work as a pediatric nurse.


What Is a Pediatric Nurse?

As a registered nurse, a pediatric nurse specializes in the care of children from infancy to adolescence. A child’s medical care involves a team, so pediatric nurses work along with family members, doctors, and other healthcare providers to make sure children are receiving the most thorough medical care possible.

In addition to working directly with children, pediatric nurses play a key role in facilitating quality communication between guardians, doctors, and other specialists.

Responsibilities of a pediatric nurse may include:

  • Performing examinations
  • Giving medications in correct dosages
  • Monitoring pain levels
  • Communicating with doctors, patients, and family members
  • Administering vaccinations and following immunization schedules
  • Drawing blood
  • Measuring vital signs and keeping accurate records
  • Performing evaluations for signs and symptoms of abuse
  • Providing care before and after surgeries
  • Recording health histories and other relevant notes


pros and cons of pediatric nursing


Areas of Pediatric Nursing

Because of the wide age range and the pediatric medical arenas, pediatric nursing is a vast field with a number of specialty areas for nurses to consider. Here are just a few:

  • General pediatric RN: General pediatrics involves routine medical care, including treating different conditions and illnesses like pneumonia, post-surgical conditions, ear and sinus infections, and more. 
  • Neonatal and pediatric ICU nurse (NICU/PICU): Infants and children in the intensive care unit require specialized care that NICU and PICU nurses provide.
  • Labor and delivery nurse: These nurses care for both the mother and child during and after the delivery. 
  • Pediatric oncology nurse: These nurses provide special care for children who have been diagnosed with cancer.
  • Pediatric home care nurse: Sometimes, children need nursing care at home, and pediatric home care nurses provide vital services like giving medications, taking vitals, and assistance with other treatments, including breathing machines or feeding tubes.
  • School nurse: Children get sick and injured at school, and a school nurse may be the first person to assess these situations and provide the immediate care they need. 


What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Pediatric Nurse?

Before specializing in pediatrics, a nurse will need to earn an RN undergraduate degree and pass the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX-RN). To become a pediatric nurse, an RN will then need to:

  • Gain experience in the field, usually at least two years
  • Obtain pediatric nurse certification

Nurses can gain pediatric nurse certification through either the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB) or the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

Being certified, whether in pediatrics or some other nursing field, provides the confidence that a nurse has specialty knowledge beyond the RN licensure. It may also come with higher compensation, the ability to advance, and recognition by employers, coworkers, and patients.


pediatric nurse pros and cons


What Are the Benefits of Being a Pediatric Nurse?

Pediatric nursing can be both a rewarding and challenging career. Every nursing position comes with good days and bad days, but focusing on the benefits can make even the hardest days worthwhile. 

Let’s take a look at four of the top benefits of working as a pediatric nurse:

  1. Working with children
  2. Diversity in responsibilities
  3. Job security
  4. Job satisfaction


Working With Children

Imagine working with pediatric patients from the time they are born until they move into young adulthood. The rewards of providing care for pediatric patients on such a long journey are unrivaled. Not only are you able to provide essential care, but you are also able to form lasting relationships with patients and families.

Much of the work of a pediatric nurse may be routine, and those regular procedures are absolutely necessary when providing medical care to young patients. But imagine the immense honor it would be to have a hand in caring for a child in critical need — maybe even saving their life. Seeing young lives saved and changed is a huge motivator when it comes to working as a peds nurse.

Kids can easily become nervous or scared about unfamiliar procedures, surgeries, or spending time in the hospital. Not only does a pediatric nurse see to their patients’ physical needs, but they are also able to provide compassionate care and support when things get a little scary for their patients or family members.

The joys of being a part of keeping a child healthy or bringing them back to health are undeniable.


Diverse Job Responsibilities 

If you are a nurse who enjoys a variety of work duties and would struggle to perform the same tasks over and over again, pediatric nursing may just be up your alley.

When it comes to caring for pediatrics patients, variety is the name of the game. 

Because of the possible wide age range of patients, a peds nurse can be sure she’ll be providing a number of different services. For example, an infant with an ear infection will require different care and treatment than a teenager with mononucleosis or a 12-year-old boy with a sports injury.

Pediatric nurses need a broad knowledge of childhood diseases, treatment, and development, which prepares them well for the diversity of services they provide.


Job Security

Pediatric nurses — as well as nurses in general — continue to be in demand. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment rate of registered nurses is projected to grow 6% from 2022 to 2032 — faster than the average for all occupations.

The Institute of Pediatric Nursing estimates that there will be nearly 80 million children in the U.S. by 2050 — that’s 80 million children needing medical care. And with healthcare needs for children and teenagers growing more complex, indeed, the job outlook for pediatric nurses is promising.

No matter what your nursing specialty is, job security in the nursing field is almost a given.

Are you ready to take your nursing specialty on the road? Pediatric travel nurses are also in demand across the country. To find a pediatric nursing assignment in your desired location, Pronto can help. 

Once you find an assignment that piques your interest, let Trusted Nurse Staffing be the travel nurse agency that supports and encourages you along your pediatric travel nursing journey.


retired nurses returning to work


Job Satisfaction 

There’s no way around it — when your job gives you the opportunity to serve, educate, and care for children and their families, day in and day out, satisfaction levels remain high. No doubt, some days are tougher than others, and challenges abound, but the satisfaction that comes with helping someone heal can’t be beat.

Job fulfillment is key to thriving in a career, and pediatric nursing may be one of the most fulfilling careers on the planet.


What Is the Hardest Part of Being a Pediatric Nurse?

It’s ironic that the factors that make pediatric nursing a fulfilling career can also be the hardest thing about being a pediatric nurse. Caring for pediatric patients (and their families) during critical illnesses can be both rewarding and challenging. Emotional burnout is real for pediatric nurses and may well be the hardest part of being a pediatric nurse.

Factors that may contribute to this type of burnout include:

  • Emotional highs and lows
  • Providing support to despairing parents
  • Communicating difficult news to patients and caregivers
  • Managing patient anxiety
  • Reporting suspected abuse
  • Dealing with loss

Help is available to nurses experiencing burnout. Ask for help from your employer or travel nurse agency or request further training. Remember how important it is to take care of yourself, so make the following activities your main priorities when burnout is rearing its head:

  • Take breaks
  • Rest
  • Exercise
  • Eat well


Potential Cons of Being a Pediatric Nurse

As with any other profession, challenges abound when you’re a pediatric nurse. When thinking about whether peds nursing is the right fit for you, consider some of the potential drawbacks that may come along with the job:

  • Long shifts
  • Exposure to viruses and other pathogens
  • Challenges in communication with children
  • Managing the frustrations of parents
  • Stress
  • Additional education/certifications required
  • Witnessing the suffering and/or death of critically ill children


pediatric nursing pros and cons


Benefits of Being a Pediatric Travel Nurse

Pediatric nursing brings loads of benefits on its own, but pediatric travel nursing takes the benefits to another level.

Some of the most attractive benefits of traveling as a pediatric nurse include:

  • Traveling to many new locations doing the job you love
  • Earning excellent pay and benefits
  • Making new professional and relational connections
  • Housing stipends and other bonuses
  • More time off
  • Control over your schedule

Working as a pediatric nurse with Trusted Nurse Staffing delivers all these benefits and more, including our newest benefit — student loan assistance. After working with Trusted Nurse Staffing for 30 days, pediatric travel nurses receive tax-free student loan reimbursements of up to $5,250 every year.

Learn more about what Trusted Nurse Staffing has to offer and search for jobs on Pronto to get started.


pros and cons of being a pediatric nurse


Competitive Pay

Generally, travel nurse salaries are higher than those of staff nurses, making competitive pay one of the strongest draws to travel nursing.

According to ZipRecruiter, pediatric travel nurses in the U.S. make an average of $76,348 a year. Of course, salaries vary based on several factors, but the location is one of them.

States paying the highest pediatric travel nurse salaries include:

  • Washington ($90,548)
  • New York ($81,522)
  • Vermont ($79,895)
  • California ($77,396)
  • Massachusetts ($75,666)


Diverse Work Environments 

Pediatric travel nurses have the opportunity to work in an array of settings. 

Do you prefer the fast pace of the ER? Pediatric travel nurses work there. 

Or maybe a doctor’s office is more your style. Pediatric travel nurses are needed there, too.

Take your pick! Pediatric travel nurses work in all kinds of facilities, including:

  • Hospitals
  • Pediatrician offices
  • Clinics
  • Surgery centers
  • Homes
  • Schools
  • Rehabilitation units
  • Critical care flights


Control Over Your Schedule

Working as a pediatric travel nurse gives you more control of your schedule than if you were working in a staff position. Though most shifts last 12 hours, it’s possible to find 8- and 10-hour shifts as well. Depending on the job setting, you may even have the opportunity to set your own schedule. 

As a travel nurse, you also have more control over how long you spend in one facility. Though most travel nurse assignments are 13 weeks, you can find assignments with shorter durations. If you like your current assignment, it’s possible to extend that assignment and continue working in an environment you love.


Interested in Being a Pediatric Travel Nurse? Let Trusted Nurse Staffing Help You Find Your First Assignment

If you’re currently a pediatric nurse and are ready for some travel and adventure, let Trusted Nurse Staffing help you get to work doing a job you love in a location you’d love to visit.

Our recruiters put our nurses first, and your goals, desires, and job placement are our number one priority. We are committed to supporting you on your travel nurse journey, from securing your first assignment to negotiating pay to finding a new assignment or extending your current one. We are here for you!

Our benefits are plentiful and include:

  • Competitive salaries
  • Health and dental benefits
  • 401(k)
  • Housing and meal stipends
  • Student loan assistance
  • Loyalty program
  • Wellness benefits
  • And more

Don’t wait! Start your pediatric travel nurse career today and have the time of your life serving the youngest of patients.


pros and cons of being a pediatric nurse