Career Definition of a Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
A pediatric primary care nurse practitioner specializes in providing healthcare for children from birth through young adulthood. While a nurse practitioner does provide the services of a typical nurse--patient interaction, note taking, and providing care, comfort, and reassurance during a patient's healthcare appointment--they also go above and beyond that role, possessing the ability to assess and diagnose, as well as recommend treatment and diagnose illnesses, often without the oversight of a physician. This often makes a nurse practitioner a convenient choice for patients looking for a holistic and, sometimes cost-effective, treatment path.
|Educational Requirements||Master's or doctoral degree|
|Job Skills||Calmness and communication skills, attentiveness, diagnostic and problem solving skills, relationship building, a genuine and trustworthy nature|
|Median Salary (2017)*||$103,880 (Nurse Practitioners)|
|Job Outlook (2016-26)*||36% increase (Nurse Practitioners)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor & Statistics
Career Outlook & Salary
The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) reports that the median salary for nurse practitioners in 2017 was $103,880. This is commensurate with a nurse practitioner's higher level of experience, and often more specialized niche, than that of a typical registered nurse. Salaries for pediatric nurse practitioners specifically will typically reflect increases correlating to years of experience, as shown in the table below:
|Years of Experience||Median Salary (2019)|
Annual pay for nurse practitioners will also vary by geography. The BLS lists the highest earning states in this profession as California, Alaska, and Hawaii, with mean wages of $126,770, $125,140, and $122,580 respectively. In Alaska and Hawaii these higher wages could reflect the shortage of candidates, given those states' relatively low populations.
Differing earnings potential may also exist between the types of location a pediatric primary care nurse practitioner is employed within. A small private clinic may provide higher earning potential than an under-funded metro-area hospital, for example, and some nurse practitioners may even run their own practices, which could provide further earning opportunities.
A shortage of nurses in general has led to continued demand for talented and experienced practitioners, and as primary care physicians continue to become more specialized, an opportunity gap arises for nurse practitioners to fill the void. The BLS expects employment in this role to grow by 36% from 2016 to 2026.
In the realm of pediatric nursing specifically, as advancements in healthcare technology continue, the general health of our children increases (from 2006 to 2015, the infant mortality rate decreased by 11.9% per 1,000 live births), and people generally become more aware of the benefits of preventative healthcare, the field continues to experience strong growth.
Here are some links to related careers in the field of nursing and pediatrics: