Pediatric endocrinology focuses on the hormones of children. It is just one of the numerous nursing specialties available to nurse practitioner students and current practicing nurse practitioners (NPs). Registered nurses (RNs), with the right combination of certifications and experience, can also work in pediatric endocrinology. This is a fascinating healthcare field. Nurses who pursue this specialization learn how the different hormonal systems in the body work together to help children diagnosed with endocrine disorders and diseases.
In this article, we will cover:
- What is a pediatric endocrinology nurse?
- Job duties of a pediatric endocrinology nurse
- Education requirements
- Licensure and experience requirements
- Pediatric endocrinology nurse certification
- Job and salary outlook
What is a pediatric endocrinology nurse?
A pediatric endocrinology nurse is a healthcare professional specializing in the treatment of children under the age of 18 diagnosed with endocrine disorders. Some of the most common pediatric conditions include Addison’s Disease, Cystic Fibrosis, diabetes mellitus, hypoglycemia, and diabetes. These disorders and illnesses can impact a child’s growth and development. Pediatric endocrinology nurses are part of a healthcare care team that is tasked with creating treatment plans for their patients in order to achieve optimal results by helping patients manage their conditions.
Job duties of a pediatric endocrinology nurse
Pediatric endocrinology nurses work with the child patient and his or her family in treating their endocrine condition. When medication therapy is part of the plan, pediatric endocrinology nurses ensure families understand the benefits, side effects, and recommended dosage.
Some other common duties for this nursing specialty include:
- Conducting physical assessments
- Drawing blood for lab testing
- Inserting catheters in pediatric patients
- Monitoring prescription medications
- Assessing and monitoring vital signs
As with any nursing position, additional responsibilities may be assigned depending on the healthcare employer.
Education requirements for pediatric endocrinology nurses
Pediatric endocrinology nurses are registered nurses (RNs) or nurse practitioners (NPs) with special certification in the field of endocrinology. It takes several years to become a certified pediatric endocrinology nurse because of the required education, experience, certification, and professional licensure.
The first step in the journey is to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from an accredited nursing program. It takes about four years to earn a BSN when attending nursing school full-time. Nurses who already hold their RN licensure can fast-track their BSN education to about 18 months. In addition to standard courses for all nursing professionals, a BSN program also teaches leadership skills. Nursing students may want to include courses focused on the endocrine system, diabetes, and pediatrics to prepare them for their goal. Enrolling in bridge programs such as the BSN to MSN and RN to MSN provides nurses with a deeper understanding of subject matter at an accelerated pace. Obtaining an MSN will also help a nurse be more attractive to future employers.
Nursing students that choose to become nurse practitioners (NPs) must earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). Advanced practice nurses will soon need a DNP for entry-level positions which is marked change to obtaining an MSN as it adds years to school and experience. There are two bridge programs that can help speed up the time spent earning a DNP: BSN-to-DNP and MSN-to-DNP.
Licensure and experience requirements for a pediatric endocrinology nurse
After completing a BSN program, nurses must obtain their registered nurse (RN) licensure if they do not already have it. To become a licensed RN, nurses must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). The NCLEX-RN includes four main test categories:
- A safe and effective care environment
- Health promotion and maintenance
- Psychosocial integrity
- Physiological integrity
Once nurses obtain their RN licensure, they must work in the field for a few years. Seeking out nursing roles that build a strong foundation in pharmacology, IV skills, and pediatric care can provide valuable experience. Hospitals with pediatric endocrinology units also offer excellent opportunities.
Pediatric endocrinology nurse certification
Certification is not required to work as a pediatric endocrinology nurse as there are no specific certifications for this field. However, there are certifications in pediatrics and endocrinology conditions that can make nurses more attractive job candidates.
- Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES) credentials are offered through the Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists. Eligible candidates must meet the required hours for clinical experience and earn 15 hours of continuing education in diabetes within the two most recent years. Passing an exam is the final step. Credentials must be renewed every five years.
- Pediatric Nursing Certification (PED-BC) credentials are offered through the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Eligible candidates must have 2,000 hours of clinical pediatric experience, plus 30 hours of continuing education within the three most recent years. The certification must be renewed every five years.
Pediatric endocrinology nurse salary and job outlook
Registered nurses (RNs) with endocrinology skills and certifications make on average $94,807 annually. Top wage earners with the highest levels of education and experience can earn as much as $154,000. The highest-paying cities for pediatric endocrinology nurses include:
- San Mateo, Calif. – $118,778
- Berkeley, Calif. – $114,888
- Daly City, Calif. – $114,568
- Richmond, Calif. – $111,285
- Stamford, Conn. – $108,082
Demand for pediatric endocrinology nurses is expected to grow by 31 percent between now and 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).