Masters in Nursing Pediatrics
There are two options for a graduate nursing degree in pediatrics: the program for pediatric nurse practitioner and the program for pediatric clinical nurse specialist. A Masters in Nursing for Pediatrics can lead to a career as a nurse practitioner working in a physician's office and often, functioning as a physician. Graduates who land in a pediatrician's office usually see patients, make diagnoses, provide treatment, write prescriptions, and provide consultation for parents on managing the illness or injury at home. Nurses who enjoy working with children will excel working in a medical practice and providing primary care. Pediatricians usually welcome the addition of a nurse practitioner to the staff, because they can pick up routine visits leaving the doctor free to concentrate on children that are seriously ill or that require advanced treatment.
A Masters in Nursing Pediatrics degree in clinical nurse specialist will usually lead to employment as a nurse manager or administrator in a pediatrics hospital ward or in a large medical practice devoted to the treatment of children and adolescents. Some nurses with this degree will work in a critical care unit for children or find employment managing some element of a clinic that treats children. A clinical nurse specialist is more likely to work with nurses and medical professionals than have direct contact with the patients in a specialization like pediatrics. On the other hand, managing or working as a coordinator in a large pediatrics clinic will put you in touch with dozens of patients every day.
The curriculum for either of these degrees will include classes on neonatal care, on pediatric diagnostics, and on practice-oriented topics such as the treatment of children and infants in rural settings. As with many advanced practice nurse programs the Masters in Nursing Pediatrics will include courses in statistics and perhaps in epidemiology, since so many of the common afflictions associated with pediatrics are spread through contact with other children. There will be a practicum requirement for most graduate programs in pediatrics of up to five hundred hours; in some cases the school of nursing will insist that applicants have some experience in pediatric nursing as working RNs.