How to Become a Pediatric Endocrinology Nurse
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What does a pediatric endocrinology nurse do? This rewarding career has many options based on education, certification, and experience.
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The path to pediatric endocrinology nursing is very specialized, treating a niche group in the youth population. Registered nurses (RNs) often pursue a career in this field because it allows them to combine their love for children with their passion and desire to improve patients' health. Due to an increase in childhood autoimmune disorders including childhood diabetes and precocious puberty, the demand for pediatric endocrine nurses is on the rise.
This guide will cover the steps to become a pediatric endocrinology nurse, salary ranges and job outlook for RNs, and the benefits to certification and advanced education.
What Is a Pediatric Endocrinology Nurse?
These specialized nurses treat and manage endocrine disorders in a patient population from birth to 18 years of age, sometimes beyond. The most common metabolic disorder in children and adolescents istype 1 diabetes. Other conditions include hypoglycemia, growth hormone deficiency, thyroid complications, tumors, and hormonal imbalances.
Pediatric endocrinology nurses develop a collaborative treatment plan with the healthcare team to include diagnosing, assessing, planning, and implementing. Implementing might include testing, treatments, and dispensing medications. Then, they evaluate the patient's response to treatment.
In addition to managing patient care, pediatric endocrinology nurses educate the patients and families on how to effectively manage the disorder and to make healthy lifestyle choices. Many families must learn how to give complex medications at home and the learning curve for those dealing with these disorders is steep.
For these reasons, it is critical that pediatric endocrinology nurses possess excellent teaching and communication skills. Nurses will be required to educate parents and guardians on the process of administering insulin injections, testing blood glucose levels, inserting a catheter for an insulin pump, and setting up sliding scale insulin doses.
A pediatric endocrinology nurse can work in professional environments such as hospitals, pediatrician offices, and outpatient clinics. Roles for this skilled nursing path include nurse practitioner (NP), clinical nurse, diabetes management nurse, diabetes educator, or endocrinology testing nurse.
Steps to Becoming a Pediatric Endocrinology Nurse
Essential steps to this role include earning a nursing degree, passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), getting nursing experience in pediatrics and endocrinology, and searching for employment.
You may also consider becoming a certified diabetes care and education specialist (CDCES) to open the door to further opportunities. Program and licensure requirements may vary depending on state/employer.
Earn an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).
An ADN takes two years and is the minimum amount of schooling required to become an RN. A BSN typically takes four years. Both are available on campus and online.
Pass the NCLEX Exam.
Once an aspiring nurse receives a degree, getting licensure is the next step. To get an RN license, a nursing graduate must register for the NCLEX-RN.
Gain Experience in Pediatric and Endocrinology Nursing.
Consider Becoming a CDCES or Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE).
While not mandatory, these may be a valuable certification option for nurses to improve career opportunities. Eligibility requirements to apply for the CDCES exam include an active license, registration, or certification in a specific discipline.
It also requires two or more years experience in your discipline and a minimum of 15 approved continuing education hours on diabetes.
The use of an agency recruiter, who has an inside track to job openings, is an excellent means to find full-time positions in this role. Other avenues include using various job boards to identify active job postings and reviewing qualifications from company career pages.
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Pediatric Endocrinology Nurse Education
Earning an ADN is the minimum requirement to work as a pediatric endocrinology RN, but a BSN is preferable by most employers.
An ADN is a two-year program to become an entry-level nurse. Being the shortest route to becoming an RN, this degree is advantageous for a nurse looking for a quick route to entering a nursing career. Although this is the minimum eligibility for the NCLEX-RN licensure, employers usually prefer a BSN.
High school diploma with a GPA of 2.0 or higher, official transcripts, SAT or ACT scores, a resume, personal essay, and recommendation letters
Health assessments, professional issues in nursing, microbiology and immunology, medical-surgical nursing, pediatric nursing, and maternal-newborn nursing
Time to Complete
Assessment of patients, performing sterile dressing changes, inserting foley catheters and nasogastric tubes, suctioning, taking vital signs, administering medications, starting intravenous lines (IVs), charting, and educating
A BSN is a four-year nursing program. Benefits to this degree include the opportunity for administrative and management positions, a seamless advancement to a master's or doctoral program, and critical thinking skills that offer high-quality nursing care.
High school diploma with a GPA of 2.5 or higher, official transcripts, SAT or ACT scores, a resume, personal essay, and recommendation letters
Pharmacology, chemistry, nutrition, anatomy, pathophysiology leadership and management, research and statistics, nursing informatics, community health nursing, and psychology
Time to Complete
Assessment of patients, critical thinking skills, inserting foley catheters and nasogastric tubes, suctioning, taking vital signs, administering medications, starting IVs, charting, and educating
Nursing students also have the option of enrolling in an accelerated BSN program. These programs can be completed as quickly as 1-2 years. The tradeoff is that these programs are often considerably more challenging compared to a four-year program due to the condensed curriculum.
Pediatric Endocrinology Nurse Licensure and Certification
An RN licensure is needed for a career as a pediatric endocrinology nurse. Prerequisites to an RN license include holding an ADN or a BSN and passing the NCLEX-RN. Recertification is maintained by completing annual continuing education requirements.
There is not a specific certification option for pediatric endocrinology nursing. Having certification is not required for this role. However, becoming a certified diabetes instructor or completing a certification program from the Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists (ADCES) may be beneficial.
CDCES credentialing validates credibility and specialized knowledge in diabetes. The ADCES offers certification programs with time commitments of 6-10 continuing education hours in different disciplines.
Any of these certifications can lead to more attractive job opportunities and higher salaries.
Working as a Pediatric Endocrinology Nurse
A great avenue for licensed nursing graduates searching for a job in pediatric endocrinology is nursing recruiting services. Agency recruiters often have confidential information on positions that are not available to the public. Researching active job postings on job board sites or on the career page on company websites are other sources.
Work setting can play a role in a pediatric endocrinology nurse's salary. Other factors include education, certification, and experience. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not identify compensation and outlook information specific to pediatric endocrinology nursing.
However, the data would be consistent with the general RN annual salary and outlook information according to the BLS. The BLS details wage estimates for RNs ranging from 10% at $59,450 to 90% at $120,250 with a median annual wage of $77,600.
Furthermore, the BLS projects employment for RNs to grow 9% from 2020 to 2030.
Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a Pediatric Endocrinology Nurse
What is the fastest path to becoming a pediatric endocrinology nurse?
The fastest career path for a pediatric endocrinology nurse is to earn an ADN and pass the NCLEX exam.
What degree is best to become a pediatric endocrinology nurse?
A master of science in nursing degree is the best degree for pediatric endocrinology nurses. This advanced degree allows a nurse to function in roles such as an NP or clinical nurse specialist (CNS).
Who do pediatric endocrinology nurses work with?
This specialized nurse works with a team of healthcare professionals. This panel may include physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, social workers, dieticians, and CDCES nurses.
What career advancement opportunities are available for pediatric endocrinology nurses?
Advanced opportunities available for a pediatric endocrinology nurse include nurse administration, NP, or CNS.
Page last reviewed February 28, 2022
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