The Future of Pediatric Nursing
While nurses are equipped to provide care for patients of all ages, tending to the needs of young patients requires a specific skill set. Whether you’re an established nurse who is passionate about pediatrics or are just looking to enhance your career in nursing, consider earning an advanced degree in pediatric nursing.
So, what is pediatric nursing? Pediatric nursing is a specialization that focuses on the medical care of young patients ranging from infancy to late teenage years. Specifically, the field centers on the growth and development that occurs during these years.1 Pediatric nurses work alongside many different kinds of healthcare professionals in a variety of settings, including hospitals, doctor’s offices, clinics, surgical settings, and schools.2
Since medical environments can be very scary for children, pediatric nurses must possess a unique set of traits along with a specialized clinical skill set. A pediatric registered nurse will be required to perform nursing duties as needed, such as monitoring vital signs, administering medicine and treatment, and offering bedside care, but they will also need to be able to remain comforting and sensitive to the emotional needs of their young patient.3 They may also need to provide care for children who have distinctive conditions or disabilities, or provide services such as scheduled immunizations and vaccinations.
So, what’s in store for the future of pediatric nursing? There are a few key factors that are influencing the future of this specialized field and driving the demand for specialty nurses.
Growth of Child Population
According to the Institute of Pediatric Nursing, it is estimated that by 2050 there will be nearly 80 million children in the United States.4 As the child population continues to grow, so too will the demand for pediatric care. The U.S. healthcare system is already growing increasingly complex, and for children and teenagers with special healthcare needs, appropriate care and support from certified pediatric nurse practitioners will make a difference in their treatment.
Challenges Around Economic Disparity
In addition to the growing child population, the ever-present challenges from economic disparity continue to affect child wellness and the field of pediatrics. As of 2021, 12.2 million children lived in families with incomes below the U.S. poverty level.5 Children who live in poverty face a greater risk of health issues.5
Pediatric Nurse Shortage
Along with the challenges surrounding population growth and poverty, a nursing shortage continues to prevail within the healthcare industry. Pediatric RN jobs can be counted among the positions that are in great need of being filled. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for nurse practitioners is projected to grow 40% through 2031.6 Among current nurse practitioners, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) reports that only approximately 3.7% are certified in pediatrics.7
While these statistics may seem daunting, there are ways to remedy the uncertainty. Entering pediatric nursing requires a degree, and Walden University offers comprehensive programs to embark on your pediatric nursing career. Walden’s programs include the MSN in Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Primary Care, the DNP in Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Primary Care, and a Post-Master’s Certificate in Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP) Primary Care.
Become a Pediatric Nurse at Walden
When you’re ready to focus your nursing career on pediatric care, Walden University’s online school of nursing puts earning a pediatric nurse practitioner primary care degree at your fingertips. When you enroll in the accredited university’s online MSN Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP) Primary Care specialization, you can enjoy a flexible learning platform that allows you to balance work and other responsibilities as you prepare for a rewarding role working with pediatric patients.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering an Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) online degree program with a specialization in Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Primary Care. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.
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