Pediatric nursing is an exciting field that can offer you many job options and a rewarding career working with children in a medical setting. The following is everything you need to know about online pediatric nursing programs.
What Is an Online Pediatric Nursing Degree Program?
Pediatric nursing is a profession in which nursing professionals provide preventative and acute care to infants, children, and young adults. Preventative care might include things such as routine checkups and vaccinations. Acute care would comprise treating and caring for children after an accident, surgery, or illness. According to Maryville University, a pediatric nurse is often responsible for several specific duties regardless of the setting or place of employment.
- Order and interpret lab tests
- Assist with surgeries
- Provide physical examinations
- Prescribe medications
- Record health histories
- Promote preventative care practices
- Create and help patients follow their treatment plans
When taking an online program, the nursing student would finish most coursework over the internet. This means students need to have their own computer and possibly a printer. In general, online learning includes viewing online lectures, listening to audio recordings, and engaging in virtual training. Some lectures and classes are live, while others are pre-recorded so that students can log in at their convenience. In addition, webcam meetings and virtual chatting boards give students the opportunity to connect with instructors and peers.
Note that since nursing requires hands-on duties such as suturing and starting IVs, some in-person training is necessary. Many online pediatric nursing programs are for individuals who already have some nursing experience. Because of the necessity of hands-on learning in the nursing profession, most online programs are hybrid and will require some in-person clinical experience and lab work along with online learning.
Why Choose an Online Pediatric Nursing Degree?
Northeastern University explains several benefits of learning online. An online education often enables you to self-pace learning and better manage your time because you create your own class schedule. Learning to work online will help you improve virtual communication skills, and it will help you gain more computer and technical skills that often translate into practical, on-the-job abilities.
An online program allows you the ease and flexibility of learning from the comfort of your home. You can also take classes and work on completing your degree from virtually anywhere; this could include while you’re traveling or relaxing at the local coffee shop. Pursuing an online degree will let you save on transportation and potential childcare costs while still receiving an education.
Enrolling in an online program also gives you varied learning options, with many if not all options available across institutions. Many schools and programs will hold some classes live, which means you can interact with instructors and other students in real time. As well, some classes are available whenever you’re available to log on, which provides greater convenience.
There is higher earning potential when pursuing an online nursing degree, both while you’re taking the program and after completing it. When taking an online program, you might still continue working part time or even full time, depending on what type of program you’re working on. After you finish the program, getting a career in pediatric nursing will likely open many new doors, offer excellent job opportunities, and increase your earning power.
How Much Does a Pediatric Nursing Degree Cost?
Costs vary widely and normally depend on several factors. One major factor is whether the student takes in-person or online classes because the program’s location is something that affects in-person degrees but not online degrees. As well, in-state tuition is usually a lot less expensive than paying for a program that’s in another state. However, since an online degree is available anywhere, the campus location usually isn’t an issue for students choosing this route.
Another aspect to consider is whether the school is public or private. Private schools will usually cost more than a public school, although some online degree programs, regardless of whether the school is public or private, charge a distance learning fee.
Next, there are three types of pediatric nursing degrees. The following are the different types and how much it may cost for each one:
- Bachelor’s Degree in Pediatric Nursing – A four-year bachelor’s degree program may cost anywhere from $40,000 to $100,000. Note that a student can often complete a four-year program in less than four years when working online.
- Associate’s Degree in Pediatric Nursing – An associate’s degree is usually a two-year program and might cost anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 per year. Nursejournal.org states that the overall cost for this type of degree averages $6,000 to $20,000.
- Licensed Practical Pediatric Nursing Certification – A licensed practical nurse (LPN) is a certification program that can take one to two years to complete. The cost to get an LPN averages about $10,000, but it can range from as low as $5,000 to as much as $30,000, depending on the program.
- Miscellaneous Costs – Besides the actual cost for the degree program, there are other costs to consider. A student will need to pay for books, any necessary medical supplies, and fees for various tests, certifications, and licenses.
How Much Do Pediatric Nursing Majors Make?
Pediatric nursing is a field in which a person can often expect to make an above-average income. According to PayScale, pediatric nurses average $28.08 per hour in the United States. The low end of the scale was $20.89, while the upper end was $41.93. Specific pay will depend on how much education an individual has and what type of degree they earned.
A licensed practical nurse (LPN) makes an average of $45,710 annually or $21.98 per hour, according to RegisteredNurseRN.com. A registered nurse in pediatrics can expect to make at least $30.00 per hour. A nurse practitioner has an average annual salary of $91,324. These are average salaries. A person could expect to make a significantly higher income when working overtime or in a specialty field.
How much a nurse makes will also depend on where the person works. There are states where income is substantially higher than in other areas of the country. Of course, an individual will need to take the cost of living into account as well. In general, states such as New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maryland, and Hawaii offer the highest salaries for all types of nurses, including pediatric.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) offers some general information regarding nursing salaries. They state that the average salary for registered nurses in 2020 was $36.22 per hour. This hourly pay was for someone holding a bachelor’s degree. Nurse practitioners with a master’s degree saw an hourly wage of $56.57 in 2020.
What Is the Job Outlook for Pediatric Nursing Degree Holders?
Most nursing careers expect to see a significant demand during the next several years. Pediatric nursing is no exception. The more certifications and training a pediatric nurse has, the more likely it is that they will have job options available. There is currently a shortage of qualified nurses in the country. Therefore, the job outlook for pediatric nurses will almost certainly increase, with growth predictions stating that the demand for registered nurses will grow 19 percent by 2028.
Scholarships for Pediatric Nursing
College Scholarships lists a variety of scholarships available for those pursuing a career in pediatric nursing. There are stipulations for some of the scholarships, though. Stipulations might include things such as graduating in two years or maintaining a minimum GPA. Scholarships are available for those with financial needs, those who excel academically, and those who are in underrepresented categories. Students can also apply for government scholarships and faith-based scholarships. Nurse.org has an extensive list of scholarships available. A few of these scholarships for pediatric nursing include:
- Army Nurse Corps Association Scholarship – This scholarship is for individuals who are serving or have served in one of the armed services branch. Having a parent, child, or spouse in the service also qualifies an individual.
- National CPR Association Scholarship – The first place scholarship awards $3,000 to the author of the winning essay.
- Nightingale Awards of Pennsylvania – The winners of this nursing scholarship recently split $30,000 among eight individuals.
- Perinatal Graduate Nursing Scholarships – This scholarship, which is worth $5,000, is part of the March of Dimes.
When seeking scholarships, you want to take your time. This means you should study each type of scholarship to see which one would meet your specific needs or apply to your specific situation. Since there are stipulations and requirements for some scholarships, you want to make sure you fit the criteria before taking the time to fill out and send in the application.
Even if you don’t receive a scholarship, you may have other options for paying for nursing school. FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This program determines eligibility for federal assistance, which may come as work/study programs, loans, or grants. Sometimes, an employer may partner with different learning institutions to offer financial assistance. If you currently have employment, contact your Human Resources (HR) representative to see if your employer has any programs that will help you pay for your nursing education.
FAQs About Pediatric Nursing Degrees
The following are a few frequently asked questions regarding pediatric nursing degrees.
- Online Programs – Pediatric nursing programs have most of the training and education online, at least at the beginning of the program. Students will watch lectures and interact with peers and instructors online.
- Hybrid Programs – A hybrid program is one in which students spend part of their time online and part of their time in a classroom or clinical setting. Hybrid programs might include some classes completely online, while others will offer traditional, in-person learning. An individual class is sometimes hybrid, which means some of the lectures happen online and other aspects of learning occur in person.
- Bridge Programs – Nursing License Map states that bridge programs can help nurses advance from one level of nursing to another. For example, an LPN may take a bridge program to advance to an RN level. There are bridge programs available for every level from CPN to LPN to RN, and all the way to advanced degrees for nurse practitioners and those holding master’s degrees.
Accelerated Programs – An accelerated program is usually for someone who already has a non-nursing degree and wants to change careers to nursing. For example, someone who has a four-year degree in business or music would not need to take another full four years to receive a bachelor’s degree in pediatric nursing. The accelerated program may last anywhere from 12 months to two years to get the four-year pediatrics nursing degree. Having a minimum GPA and passing entrance exams are sometimes necessary for acceptance into an accelerated program.
A pediatric nursing degree offers several benefits.
- Meaningful Career – An online pediatric nursing program will help you prepare for a meaningful career working with children in a variety of settings.
- High Salaries – Salaries for pediatric nurses are above average and often increase with specialized certifications. While you’ll almost certainly make a higher income with more experience, pediatric nursing is a career in which you will make a higher than average salary from the start compared to many other career options.
- Many Job Options – The nursing field is expanding, with a lot of options for those specializing in an area such as pediatrics. Having a pediatric nursing degree will give you many choices regarding where you want to work. Places that need nurses include hospitals, schools, private practices, and many community organizations.
Different Career Levels – Nursing is one field that has many levels and specializations. Starting with Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), a person can advance to a Licensed Professional Nurse (LPN) or Registered Nurse (RN). There are also more advanced degrees and levels to achieve, such as getting a master’s degree in nursing or becoming a nurse practitioner. Depending on how much education and training you want, you will find a variety of levels of nursing available.
The following are the cost considerations when getting a pediatric nursing degree.
- Costs Depend on Type of Degree – As stated earlier, there are different levels of nursing certifications and degrees. It will almost always cost more to get a bachelor’s degree or complete a four-year program than to get a two-year program or a certification program.
- Costs Depend on Type of Program – Accelerated programs, for example, may have different costs compared to programs that take longer. Getting a specialty degree or certification may cost more as well. Each program will require a certain amount of equipment, such as a stethoscope or specific types of uniforms. Some programs may require students to take more lab-related classes with extra fees for time spent in the lab and for using various equipment and supplies.
Costs Depend on Classes Taken – Students sometimes pay for semesters or credits taken. Classes are worth different credit hours, and costs for each credit hour might range anywhere from $250 to $450. If a single class is worth three credit hours, a single class could cost over $1,200.