Careers at First Glance
A pediatric oncology nurse is an individual trained to work with children who have been diagnosed with some form of cancer or a blood disease. They are registered nurses knowledgeable in their areas of specialty and are often highly skilled in providing chemotherapy and biotherapy. A nurse practitioner is a professional healthcare provider who puts an emphasis on the whole health and well-being of their patient(s). Many can work independently and prescribe medications, order lab tests and specialize in a variety of areas that may include pediatric health. The chart below provides more information:
|Job Title||Typical Degree||Median Salary||Job Outlook (2016-2026)|
|Pediatric Oncology Nurse||Bachelor's||$101,000 (certified pediatric oncology nurse) 2019**||15% growth* (all RNs)|
|Nurse Practitioner||Master's||$107,030 (2018)*||31% growth*|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Statistics (BLS); **Payscale
Pediatric Oncology Nurse Salary
The median wage of a certified pediatric oncology nurse, also referred to as a clinical nurse specialist, was found to be $101,000 per year, on Payscale.com in 2019. According to the BLS in 2018, one of the top industries for registered nurses (RNs) in general was the government sector, which paid $78,390 per year, or hospitals, which paid $73,650, median. The lowest 10% in this profession were found to be earning less than 50,800 per year and the highest 10% earned $106,530, median, per year, said the BLS.
Due to healthcare professions being 24/7 hour jobs, many RNs work around the clock covering shifts that may vary. This could include working evenings, weekends and holidays. Some RNs even work on call, which means that they may be called into work at short notice.
Job Description of a Pediatric Oncology Nurse
A pediatric oncology nurse will need to first attend a bachelor's program and become licensed as an RN. Then this individual will be able to get their certification in Pediatric Hematology Oncology Nurse (CPHON) while gaining additional clinical experience. Registered nurses assess patient conditions, administer medicines, and assist in performing diagnostic testing. Pediatric oncology nurses coordinate patient care, incorporating evidence-based practices and technology into their plans, and assisting patients and families with navigating each step of the treatment.
Nurse Practitioner Salary
According to the BLS, the median salary for a nurse practitioner in 2018 was $107,030 per year. The majority of the advanced RNs work full-time in physician offices during normal business hours. Some nurse practitioners have irregular schedules, however, and work overnights, weekends, and holidays. Depending on the scope of a nurse practitioner's position, they may also work on call.
Job Duties of a Nurse Practitioner
To become a nurse practitioner, you will have to obtain at least a master's degree in nursing, and some nurses also pursue a doctoral degree in the field. Furthermore, you will need to gain experience and advanced clinical training beyond the RN qualification. Some of the general duties of a nurse practitioner include counseling, diagnosing and treating ailments, prescribing medications, maintaining patient care, and educating patients on a variety of health issues.
There are a variety of other options that you can consider if you are interested in pediatric oncology nursing or becoming a nurse practitioner. Below are four additional careers in medicine to explore.