Your future in pediatric nursing
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Your Future in Pediatric Nursing. A Professional Development Resource from the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board. Who is PNCB?. National nursing certification board established in 1975 by: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

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Your Future in Pediatric Nursing

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Your future in pediatric nursing

Your Future in Pediatric Nursing

A Professional Development Resource from the

Pediatric Nursing Certification Board


Who is pncb

Who is PNCB?

  • National nursing certification board established in 1975 by:

    • The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

    • The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP)

    • Association of Faculties of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (AFPNP)

  • Largest certification board for nursing professionals who care for pediatric populations.

  • Strengthening care for children is at the heart of everything we do!


Why pediatrics

Why pediatrics?

No matter where pediatric nurses practice, their primary concern is the welfare of the child and family.

- Wong’s Nursing Care of Infants and Children

You know you are a pediatric nurse when you get excited each day that you come to work because you get to experience one of the most endearing, resilient, and beautiful patient populations.

- Nicole Lehr, RN, CPN


Why pediatrics1

Why pediatrics?

The greatest trust anyone can give you is to trust you to care for their child. Pediatric nurses get that kind of trust every day.

Every dayyou take care of children is a privileged day – a day you are shown utmost trust, and given the greatest learning opportunities and the greatest opportunities to experience the entire spectrum of life.

- Vicki Stringfellow, MSN, CPNP-AC/PC, NNP-BC


Where pediatric n urses work

Where pediatric nurses work

Besides hospitals, primary care offices, and schools, pediatric RNs thrive in…

  • Home health care

  • Military settings

  • Specialty clinics

  • Public health

  • Juvenile detention centers

  • Mission and disaster efforts

  • Consultant, research, and faculty positions

Photo credits: Getty Images (top); L. Klein and L. Brunk, RN, CPN, Aultman Working on Wellness (middle), Centers for Disease Control (bottom)


Have an interest in peds

Have an interest in peds?

  • Ask faculty about pediatric nursing roles

  • Enroll in pediatric nursing courses

  • Ask your student leaders for guest speakers who are pediatric nurses so they can discuss their career choices

  • Talk to pediatric nursing professionals in your community about the challenges and rewards of their specific roles

  • Seek out clinicals or intern/extern programs that focus on or include pediatric populations

  • Consider working for local hospitals that care for pediatric populations


More ideas

More ideas

  • Consider joining online forums like allnurses.com to discuss peds nursing

  • Find free and low-cost online learning opportunities with peds nursing content like:

    • PNCB – all peds (RN and advanced practice): http://www.freepedsce.org

    • Medscape – use search feature to find “pediatrics”: http://www.medscape.org/nurses

    • Nursing Spectrum – sometimes features peds: http://ce.nurse.com/FreeCE.aspx

    • Advance for RNs – usually a few low-cost peds modules: http://nursing.advanceweb.com/CE/TestCenter/Main.aspx


While job hunting

While job hunting

  • Highlight any peds-related experience on your resume

  • Ask potential hospital employers if they offer a pediatric RN residency program or other specialized training

  • Consider short-term volunteer opportunities (e.g., youth summer camps)


After you re hired

After you’re hired

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions

  • Seek out a mentor as you learn the ropes

  • Take advantage of employer-sponsored learning activities

  • Continue to look for pediatric learning opportunities to strengthen your knowledge


Connect with peers

Connect with peers

Consider joining a professional association, like the Society of Pediatric Nurses (SPN) - www.pedsnurses.org

  • Network locally with others in your role

  • Develop collegial relationships

  • Discuss work-related issues

  • Find near-by CE opportunities and conferences

    SPN also offers a student membership category.


Become a leader

Become a leader

  • Think about precepting new graduates after you’ve settled into your role.

  • Volunteer for committee leadership in a professional organization on a local, state, or national level.

  • Consider your personal role in the future of pediatric nursing and help chart the course for the next generation of new nurses. Help the role thrive.


Consider certification

Consider certification

Certification is a formal assessment of your knowledge and expertise.

After you gain work experience, you can apply to sit for a national board certification exam.

Parents and caregivers are becoming more aware of certification.

Certified Pediatric Nurses at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas.


Why certify

Why certify?

Nurses seek certification for many reasons:

  • Potential financial benefits from employers

  • An edge on advancement and future job opportunities

  • Increased confidence in clinical skills

  • Personal sense of accomplishment

  • Recognition from employers, colleagues, and the public

  • Evidence of professional growth

  • Links to greater job satisfaction and empowerment


Salary and growth

Salary and growth

The Nursing2011 Salary Survey reports that nurses certified in a specialty earn an average of $10,200 per year more than nurses who are not.

I see nurses grow into advanced titles in a hospital setting such as pediatric clinician when they earn certification credentials.

- Raquel Engolio RN, MSN, CPN

Assistant Professor,

Our Lady of Holy Cross College


Impact on patients

Impact on patients

Nurses who are nationally certified carry a body of knowledge that directly impacts patient outcomes. Patient outcomes are a large part of advancing on the clinical ladder.

- Debbie White, MSN, MSA, RN, ACNS-BC, NEA-BC

Vice president and chief nursing officer

Saint Luke's Hospital, Kansas City, MO

From State of Nursing Salaries: 2011


Employers and certification

Employers and certification

Many employers consider certification to be an important professional development milestone.

Some recommend or require certification for advancement on the clinical ladder.

Certified nurses on staff are an important quality indicator for hospitals seeking Magnet® recognition.

Children’s Medical Center of Dallas reception honoring certified nursing professionals during Nurses Week.


Interview tip

Interview tip

During interviews, ask prospective employers what benefits are available for nurses who become certified.

Even though newly licensed RNs can’t certify until they have enough experience, asking the question gives you an idea of how an employer values – and rewards – professional development.

It also shows you’re thinking ahead about your professional growth.


Who certifies with pncb

Who certifies with PNCB?

  • General Pediatric RNs

  • Pediatric Emergency RNs in partnership with the Board of Certification for Emergency Nurses

  • Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioners

  • Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioners

  • Pediatric Primary Care Mental Health Specialists


What s required to certify

What’s required to certify?

PNCB’s Certified Pediatric Nurse (CPN) exam is based on experience.

To apply, you will need:

  • 1800 hours of pediatric clinical practice

  • A current, active, unrestricted RN licensein the U.S., Canada, or U.S. territory at the time of application

    Q: Do you need a BSN to take the exam?

    A: No. You can hold a Diploma, Associate’s Degree, or Bachelor’s Degree in nursing.


How do you prepare

How do you prepare?

Visit www.pncb.org to explore resources like…

  • Exam content outline/test blueprint:describes all subject areas covered by the exam and questions per category

  • Reference list

  • Exam tips

  • Free sample questions

  • CPN Exam Prep: a practice test developed by PNCB with in-depth rationale for answers


Faqs about preparing

FAQs about preparing

Q: Can PNCB recommend the best text book?

A: PNCB can’t endorse specific texts or review courses, but we recommend using onepeds nursing textbook you’re familiar with. Know someone who has tested? Ask them what texts or other resources they felt was most helpful.

Q: Do I need to take a review course?

A: Review courses are not required to sit for the exam.

Q: I have test anxiety. How can I better manage that?

A: PNCB offers an online test-taking strategies module that may help. This learning activity at www.pncb.org also discusses how to create a study plan. The tips included can be applied to any exam (e.g., NCLEX).


Cpn exam scoring

CPN exam scoring

  • Pass or fail notification is provided before leaving the testing center. Official result are mailed 2-3 weeks after you test.

  • You have 3 hours to answer 175 multiple-choice questions:

    • 150 are scored

    • 25 are non-scored to pilot test newly written questions

    • You will not be able to tell the difference between scored and non-scored questions

  • The 5-year average for the CPN pass rate is 84%.


Comparing nclex

Comparing NCLEX

Q: Is the CPN exam like the NCLEX?

A: While there are similarities (e.g., testing on a computer in a secure, proctored environment), there are also differences.

The CPN exam only asks multiple choice questions, while NCLEX contains alternate item formats (fill in the blanks, hot spot items, etc.). With the CPN exam, you can also return to questions and change an answer before final submission.

PNCB does not use adaptive testing, which can vary the number of questions a testers sees, and ends when competence is determined. The CPN exam does not end until 3 hours are up, or unless the tester submits answers before that time limit.


How is certification maintained

How is certification maintained?

CPN renewal, or recertification, is an annual process. Each year, CPNs document 15 completed contact hours of continuing education (CE) or accepted equivalents.

CPEN recertification is every 4 years. CPENs document 100 completed contact hours of CE or accepted equivalents, or they can re-take the initial exam.

Q: Is it expensive to keep up with the education?

A: It depends. Conference CE usually costs more than online CE. Some online CE is free or very low cost. Some employers offer CE for free or reduced costs. All certification boards charge a fee for recertification.


Subspecialty certifications

Subspecialty Certifications

Certifications beyond general peds are available from other certification boards too:

  • Pediatric Emergency Nursing

    Jointly offered by the PNCB and the Board of Certification for Emergency Nurses

  • Pediatric Critical Care

    American Association of Critical Care Nurses Certification Corporation

  • Pediatric Oncology

    Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation

  • Pediatric Hospice and Palliative Care

    National Board for Certification of Hospice and Palliative Nurses

  • School Nursing

    National Board for Certification of School Nurses


Future career pathways

Future Career Pathways

There’s always room to grow in nursing!

  • Manager or other leadership positions

  • Clinical educator roles

  • Earning a Master’s or Doctorate for

    • Teaching

    • Research

    • Advanced practice (e.g., Nurse Practitioner or Clinical Nurse Specialist)

      Read “A Day in the Life” interviews with pediatric nursing professionals in a variety of roles.


Resources from pncb

Resources from PNCB

Even before you’re certified, you can grow professionally with PNCB!

  • Free CE

  • National Calendar of Continuing Education Opportunities

  • Glossary of Nursing Acronyms

  • A list of respected pediatric nursing textbooks


More resources

More Resources

The Institute of Pediatric Nursing (IPN) is a non-profit organization of pediatric nursing organizations and children's hospitals created in 2009 to address issues that impact quality care for children and their families.

Visit www.ipedsnursing.org to learn more about this unified voice for pediatric nursing.

In-depth video about what pediatric nurses do and where they practice:

http://youtu.be/uCO3RVauyUU

Video of the history of pediatric nursing:

http://youtu.be/FsoEqRZ-fA0


Good luck

Good luck!

We wish you much success in your future nursing career!

www.pncb.org


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