There are more than 75.2 million children in the U.S. today and this figure is expected to increase to 81.7 million over the next decade. Unfortunately, there are a number of top health problems affecting children across the U.S. today that could have an impact on these figures. Childhood obesity, smoking, drugs, psychological stress, depression, eating disorders, suicide, autism, childhood cancer, and food contamination are just a few. Fortunately, because treatment options are quite different for children than they are for adults, there is an entire field devoted to caring for children’s health needs.
Pediatrics is the branch of medicine concerned with the care and development of children and with the prevention and treatment of children’s diseases. The doctors and nurses that work in this field are qualified to work with both adults and children, but they specialize in the prevention and treatment of children’s diseases. While all doctors and nurses are qualified to work with both children and adults, most facilities separate the two.
Working with sick or injured infants and children calls for a somewhat different set of personal attributes that are common among pediatricians and pediatric nurses. Pediatricians and pediatric nurses must be patient, they must be passionate about working with children, and they must have the ability to communicate with children at all age levels. Because pediatric nurses meet with or talk to dozens of parents on a daily basis, they must also be skilled at communicating with parents about their child’s condition, health, and treatment in a clam and effective manner.
In addition to special personal attributes, pediatric nurses must have a specific educational background and training. Most pediatric nurses complete a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) followed by a master of science in nursing (MSN) with a focus in pediatric care. This means, aspiring pediatric nurses must complete anywhere from 5-6 years of study, which includes supervised clinical experience in pediatrics. Pediatric travel nurses must also obtain the RN (registered nurse) or the LPN (licensed practical nurse) designation. Each state has its own licensing requirements, so you must contact your state nursing board for details. To locate your state nursing board click here for listings or visit the Nursing Center at www.nursingcenter.com.
The path from nursing student to pediatric nurse is a long and arduous one, so many nursing students never make it to graduation. Others may take several additional years to complete the program. As a result, nursing schools have a tough time keeping up with the demand for skilled pediatric nurses. To help with staffing needs, hospitals, clinics, private practices, and other health care facilities routinely call upon pediatric travel nurses to fill the void. So, if you are one of the lucky few that make it to graduation, you can look forward to an unlimited number of travel nurse opportunities.
Pediatric travel nurses must have the same qualifications and skills as home-based nurses, only pediatric travel nurses travel across the U.S. to fill in at facilities that are short staffed. Pediatric travel nurse assignments usually last a minimum of 13 weeks, but it is not uncommon for an assignment to last up to 26 weeks or more.
Pediatric travel nurses are in high demand all over the U.S., but the demand is highest in the nations 30 largest metropolitan areas. These include: Phoenix, AZ., Los Angeles, CA., Riverside, CA., Sacramento, CA., San Diego, CA., San Francisco, CA., Denver, CO., Washington, DC., Miami, FL., Orlando, FL., Tampa, FL., Atlanta, GA., Chicago, IL., Boston, MA., Detroit, MI., Minneapolis, MN., Kansas City, MO., St. Louis, MO., Las Vegas, NV., New York, NY., Cincinnati, OH., Cleveland, OH., Columbus, OH., Portland, OR., Philadelphia, PA., Pittsburgh, PA., Dallas, TX., Houston, TX., and Seattle, WA. Travel nurse agencies dispatch pediatric travel nurses to these large metropolitan areas and other areas by way of auto or plane, depending on where the travel nurse is located.
Once the pediatric travel nurse has been offered an assignment, the travel nurse agency pays for transportation to and from the assignment, housing, meals, health insurance, and savings. Pediatric travel nurses also receive a number of bonuses such as signing bonuses, completion bonuses, and referral bonuses. In addition, pediatric travel nurses can expect to earn around 15 percent more than home-based pediatric nurses depending on experience, facility, and agency. The average median salary for pediatric nurses is $59,571. It is important to note that pediatric nurses tend to learn less overall than most other nurses.
To become a pediatric travel nurse, you should begin by enrolling in an accredited nursing program. Nursing programs are readily available at 2-year and 4-year colleges, universities, technical schools, and career schools. Once you have located a program of interest, all you have to do is check to make sure the program is accredited by a recognized agency such as the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Check with the U.S. Department of Education for an official list of agencies at www.ed.gov.
Once you have completed your program(s) and supervised clinical experience, you may sign up with one of more than 300 travel nurse agencies across the U.S. A simple Google search will provide listings for travel nurse agencies in your area. In the meantime, just a few top travel nurse agencies include:
For more information about pediatric travel nursing, or to keep up with the latest news and trends in travel nursing visit Travelnursing.com.