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What is a Pediatric Nurse? The School Leaver Guide

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What is a Pediatric Nurse?

Also known as a paediatric nurse, you will work with children of all ages who are experiencing difficulties from a variety of conditions. You will be integral in assessing the nursing needs of each child, observing their medical, social, cultural and familial circumstances.

What does a Pediatric Nurse do?

Children’s nurses have a broad variety of responsibilities, including:

  • Assess, review and report on the condition of individuals

  • Prepare patients for operations

  • Record general medical care (e.g. pulse, temperature and respiration values)

  • Ensure that medical records are updated

  • Set up drips and blood transfusions

  • Administer drugs

  • Respond to emergencies

  • Explain treatment and procedures to parents, guardians and/or carers to get consent for treatment

  • Support patients and close relatives

  • Observe strict hygiene and safety rules and ensure that visitors are complying with them

Skills & interests required for a Pediatric Nurse

Key skills for a children’s nurse include both technical knowledge of medical care and treatment, as well as excellent interpersonal skills, including empathy and sensitivity when dealing with child patients and their families. You will also need to be emotionally resilient as you will be confronted with upsetting emotional scenarios on a frequent basis. You will need to be accurate and able to follow the direction of more senior nurses and clinicians.

- Collaboration
- Communication
- Flexibility
- Motivation
- Organisation
- Self-Confidence
- Teamwork
- Verbal Communication

Working hours

Your standard working hours in the NHS will be 37.5 hours a week, with the potential to work some overtime.

Work base

Most work will take place in a hospital or in home or community settings.


You may have to escort children between hospitals. As for travelling overseas, it is unlikely; however, there may be opportunities to do so for conferences.

Salary ranges & earning potential

Salaries for newly qualified nurses start in the NHS Band 5 pay structure, making your starting salary £21,692. As you progress through your career, your salary may rise to Band 6 or 7, which ranges from £26,041 to £40,964.

One of the highest paid positions in nursing is a nurse consultant, which can be achieved with additional qualifications and experience. The Band 8a salary for a nurse consultant ranges from £39,632 to £47,559.

Education requirements

You are required to have a degree or degree apprenticeship that is registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). You may be able to get accreditation of prior experiential learning if you have a degree in another health or medical-related subject.

Useful subjects to study at school

  • Biology

  • Chemistry

  • Medical sciences

  • Psychology

  • Social work

  • Child development

  • Midwifery

Useful resources

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)