Paediatric nursing can be both challenging and rewarding. While there is a lot of joy to be found in caring for children on a daily basis, the emotional strains are also very significant.
Being able to maintain your composure both for the patients and their parents is essential.
When looking at paediatric nurse jobs, you need to decide whether you can take on the emotional strains that come with the position.
Most paediatric nurses working for the NHS complete a BSc in Child Nursing. During the first year, you study the same modules as Mental Health and Adult Nursing candidates. During the second and third years, you specialize in child health.
In some cases, those who already hold an undergraduate degree can complete a graduate entry nursing course. Such courses last for around 2 – 2.5 years, and as such, they are quite fast paced. In many cases, the degree you hold before you complete a graduate entry nursing course must have a significant amount of scientific content.
As far as nursing goes, children’s nursing offers some of the most diverse working conditions. Many work in paediatric units in hospitals, while some may offer care in a day centre. A few paediatric nurses are attached to GP’s surgeries, while some work in children’s homes. Whether you’re visiting a child in their home or caring for them in a hospital, you can rest assured that no two days will be the same.
The most common child nurse employer in the UK is the NHS. Most children who require medical care will receive it in an NHS hospital. As such, you can search and apply for jobs via the NHS Jobs website.
A growing number of people are choosing to purchase medical insurance in the UK, which means there are some opportunities in the private sector. One of the most popular private care employers is Bupa, which covers both fully private hospitals, and NHS hospitals that have a private section. In addition, you may find that you can secure extra work as an agency nurse. This usually means attracting a higher per-hour fee, although your shifts may be sporadic and you may not see the same faces on a daily basis.
Another popular option for those who want to become a paediatric nurse is to find work abroad. The NHS’ training is known worldwide for its excellence, which means you can apply to become part of the Australian, New Zealand, or Canadian skills shortage list. In addition, you may also want to consider looking at charities like Merlin and Medicins Sans Frontieres, both of which hire trained and experienced nurses for their humanitarian missions. When applying for such jobs, it’s worth considering that the pay is much lower, and the conditions are harsher.
Regardless of where you work as a paediatric nurse, you can look forward to a career that never fails to be rewarding.