How To Become A Paediatric Nurse In Australia?

Students want to know how they can become pediatric nurses in Australia.


Do you enjoy working with children and are passionate about increasing their well-being? If yes, a career as a paediatric nurse could be a great way to advance your nursing career.


Paediatric nurses are healthcare professionals who provide specialized care for children at each stage of their development, from infancy through late teens.


They conduct various clinical nursing tasks that include direct patient care, performing physical assessments, managing medication, and offering clinical support to patients and their families.


To work as a Paediatric Nurse in Australia, you need to be a Registered Nurse. Consider completing an undergraduate and postgraduate qualification in paediatric nursing to get the essential skills and knowledge to work in a paediatric setting.


Additionally, pass the National Council Licensure Exam and register with the Nursing and Midwifery Board to gain a paediatric nurse license.


Do you want to pursue a highly valued and rewarding job in the healthcare sector? Then, keep reading this blog. Here we will explain what paediatric nursing entails, what skills and qualifications you need, and the steps to begin your professional journey as a paediatric nurse in Australia.



1. What Is A Paediatric Nurse?


Paediatric Nurse, also called Children’s Nurse, are registered nurses offering medical support to children. They are valued for their empathy towards their patients, expertise, and courage in the face of illness.


Health education and prevention hold prime importance in paediatric nursing. Besides caring injured and ill patients, paediatric nurses spend a lot of time educating parents and other caregivers about ways to care for their children and protect their health.


They also design home care plans to assist families in meeting the needs of their children. These specialized nurses complete advanced-level training in paediatrics and collaborate with physicians and other health care providers related to children’s health.



2. What Does A Paediatric Nurse Do?


The responsibility of a paediatric nurse is to provide nursing care for infants, teens, and young patients who are ill and require special care.


Here is a complete listing of what is expected from them daily:


  • Talk to patients to make them feel secure and safe in a healthcare environment 

  • Communicate with children of different developmental levels and abilities about their symptoms 

  • Evaluate the patient’s vital signs, including temperature, blood pressure, and pulse rate

  • Perform physical examinations, change dressings, take urine, and blood samples, measure vital statistics, order diagnostic tests and provide routine care 

  • Record symptoms and medical histories of patients 

  • Interpret test results to diagnose and design age-appropriate treatment plans and medications

  • Administer minor procedures or medications

  • Coordinate follow-up medical care

  • Educate patient and family members about medical issues based on the child’s symptoms and lab results and discuss available treatment options

  • Collaborate with physicians, other nurses, and related healthcare professionals to create personalized care plans for children with severe conditions 

  • Visit schools to perform health assessments, vaccinate children, and provide routine health screenings

  • Prescribe drugs, interventions, and treatments

  • Set up, attune, and troubleshoot medical tools and equipment, such as ventilators or oxygen tanks for patient care

  • Offer emotional support to help the child overcome the anxiety of a difficult medical procedure



3. Paediatric Nursing Skills


In addition to nursing skills, a Paediatric Nurse should also be skilled in working with infants, children, toddlers, and teenagers.


If you aspire to work in this role, here are the following prerequisite skills you need to have:


  • Enjoy working with children of all age groups

  • Good communication skills 

  • Understanding

  • Patience

  • Able to connect quickly with patients

  • Quick thinking

  • Able to stay calm under pressure

  • Fearless

  • Emotional strength

  • Positive, and encouraging attitude

  • Meticulous 

  • Careful

  • Observation skills

  • Able to make children comfortable

  • Interpersonal skills

  • Problem-solving skills

  • Proactive listening 

  • Proficient in operating medical equipment and understanding results



4. Qualifications To Become A Paediatric Nurse In Australia


Are you interested in the job profile and want to know how to become a paediatric nurse after high school? You must be a registered nurse in Australia before working in Paediatric Nursing.


Here are the qualifications to pursue this role:


  • Obtain a 2–3-year Associate of Science in Nursing degree

  • Complete the 3-year full-time Bachelor of Nursing program 

  • Pass the National Council Licensure Examination and Register with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia to become a licensed paediatric nurse

  • Do an internship or residency program to gain adequate on-the-job experience in nursing care (for children and infants) in accredited medical institutions.

  • Obtain a master's degree in paediatric nursing to become an advanced practice RN. Many Paediatric Nurses complete specialized paediatric nursing short courses in child health, psychology, and development to treat paediatric patients, communicate with children, and anticipate their requirements.



5. Steps To Become A Paediatric Nurse In Australia


Follow the below steps to gain the necessary qualification to become a licensed Paediatric Nurse in Australia:



Step 1: Obtain An Associate Of Science Degree In Nursing


You need extensive education to become a paediatric nurse. Start by completing an Associate of Science in Nursing degree. It is a 2-3 year course that teaches how to treat children with frequent or acute conditions.


Students also learn factors that influence the overall well-being of children, such as sleep, nutrition, etc.



Step 2: Complete A Bachelor Of Science In Nursing


To build a solid understanding of the role, study for a 3-years full-time Bachelor of Science in Nursing.


In this course, you will learn about nursing principles, clinical nursing skills, pharmacology, anatomy, pathophysiology, and nursing care for children and families. 



Step 3: Get A Paediatric License


Graduates of a nursing program must pass the National Council Licensure Examination to gain a paediatric nurse license from the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. The test comprises questions on the below four categories:



  • Psychosocial integrity

  • Health promotion and maintenance

  • Safe and effective care environment

  • Physiological integrity



After successfully passing the exam, you will get the license to work as a paediatric nurse in Australia. 



Step 4. Prepare A Paediatric Nurse’s Resume And Cover Letter


Once you clear the exam and obtain the license, you are all set to apply for jobs. Create a well-structured and concise resume that emphasizes your nursing qualifications and certifications, skills learned during nursing qualification, and work experience with kids.


A strong resume will make you stand out from your competitors. Also, create a job-specific and concise cover letter that lists your strengths and abilities and why you are an ideal candidate for the position.



Step 5: Get Nursing Experience


Recruiters often prefer Paediatric Nurses with specialized training in working with young children. They may require entry-level professionals to work closely with experienced nurses before starting to work independently in this profession.


Next, obtain practical experience as a registered nurse through an internship or residency to learn and build high-value transferable skills that will help you in other future healthcare professions.



Step 6. Complete A Relevant Postgraduate Course


Registered nurses can study for postgraduate paediatric nursing courses in Australia to specialize in areas like paediatrics and mental health and become advanced practice registered nurses.


The degree will widen your skills and knowledge, give you a competitive edge, and improve your job promotion chances.



Step 7. Become A Certified Registered Nurse (RN)


Registered nurses can go further to obtain certification from the Paediatric Nurse Certification Board.


They must meet the board-specified eligibility criteria to take the certification exam.



6. Pediatric Nurse Course Australia



Paediatric Nursing Unit – Victoria University


Completing an undergraduate degree specializing in “Paediatric Nursing” is the first step to embarking on a journey in paediatric nursing.


Students learn paediatric nursing practice principles and the essential skills and knowledge to provide care for paediatric patients. The unit also includes the application of evidence-based practice, critical thinking, and ethics.



Graduate Certificate In Paediatric Nursing


It is a specialist qualification in Paediatric Nursing meant for RNs that equips them with specialist skills and advanced knowledge to work in the paediatric nursing environment.


Students understand the requirements of the ill child and explore evidence-based care (of babies, children, teenagers, and their families), practice, communication, and ethics in a paediatric setting.


The course develops a sound understanding of the scientific knowledge in paediatric nursing and enables students to apply it to medical practice, using a child and family-focused approach. Studying the course also encourages ethical and professional understanding of medical practice for better patient outcomes.


The Graduate Certificate in Paediatric Nursing comprises a theoretical understanding of the different aspects of paediatric nursing and guided supervision at an employing hospital. The combination of theoretical and clinical learning helps students maximize their learning and confidently apply their knowledge to practice.


Undertaking this course at the Australia College of Nursing offers a unique combination of electives that enables students to explore several other areas of paediatric nursing, such as General Paediatrics, Paediatric Intensive Care, and Paediatric Emergency.


Do you want to know how to become a paediatric nurse practitioner? After completing the Graduate Certificate in Paediatric Nursing course, students get the clinical competence to practise paediatric nursing per the Australian Standards of Practice for Children and Young People’s Nurses.


The course leads to work opportunities in clinical management, clinical education, and specialist nursing positions.


Consider taking this course in any of the following reputed universities:




7. How Long Does It Take To Become A Paediatric Nurse?


To become a paediatric nurse, you need to complete a 2 to 3-year Associate of Science in Nursing degree and a 3-year undergraduate degree majoring in Paediatric Nursing.


Additionally, complete a 1-year master’s program in Paediatric Nursing. Next, complete the National Council Licensure Examination to secure a Paediatric Nursing license. Thus, it takes around seven or more years to start working as a Paediatric Nursing in Australia.



8. Work Conditions Of Paediatric Nurse


A Paediatric nurse in Australia works in various health care settings, including acute care departments. Some also work for community groups in schools and private practice to cater to the medical needs of children who have limited access to health care.


The usual workday of a paediatric nurse can be hectic. These professionals often work with ill children, and the profession can be exhaustive and emotionally draining. Due to this reason, they need to take good care of themselves.


The working hours for paediatric nurses can differ based on the facility they work. Those working in large hospitals and emergency care units might work irregular hours, including weekends, public holidays, and shifts.


Paediatric nurses generally work in teams with physicians specializing in family medicine or paediatric. The job also involves frequent interaction with the patient’s family members.



9. Where Does A Paediatric Nurse Work?


Paediatric nurses work in a range of health care environments to offer medical needs and care to children from birth through youth. These include:


  • Schools

  • Medical and surgical hospitals

  • Doctor’s offices 

  • Family homes

  • Free-standing children’s hospitals

  • Routine care clinics 

  • Community groups

  • Organizations that provide preventive and outpatient health care services for children (< 18 years)

  • Outpatient speciality care centres

  • Government agencies

  • Paediatric urgent care and emergency departments



After gaining several years of experience and expertise, some Paediatric nurses also choose to run their private practice. Those employed in schools may need to travel to different schools.



10. Areas Of Specialization For Paediatric Nurses


Paediatric nurses can advance their careers by specializing in offering medical treatment to children with specific health issues.


Those interested can consider the below specialities in paediatric nursing:


  • Trauma 

  • Endocrinology

  • Oncology

  • Cardiology

  • Perinatal

  • PICU (Paediatric Intensive Care Unit)

  • Neonatal

  • NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit)

  • Emergency care

  • Labour and delivery

  • Trauma

  • Gastroenterology

  • Orthopaedics

  • Lactation

  • Paediatric Registered Nurse

  • Home healthcare

  • Midwife



11. Job Outlook For Paediatric Nurses In Australia


The growing children population, increasing childhood illnesses, the need for inpatient and outpatient coverage during a hospital stay and a nursing shortage indicate a strong career outlook for Paediatric registered nurses in Australia.


It will result in a significant increase in the requirement for qualified paediatric nurses over the next ten years. The more nursing certifications, experiences, and specializations a paediatric nurse has, the better will be their job prospects in Australia.


Moreover, the robust demand for paediatric nurses will enable them to practice in various healthcare settings and any state in Australia.


As the overall need for registered nurses grows, the employment of nurses in this specialization will grow much quicker than the average of other professions in the foreseeable future.



12. How Much Salary Does A Paediatric Nurse Earn In Australia?


In general, the paediatric nursing salary depends on various factors such as:


  • The level of education

  • Relevant certifications

  • Experience

  • State or territory they are in

  • Specialization

  • Place of employment



Paediatric nurses are paid per the Australian Industrial Relations Commission pay rates, including work leave privileges. The paediatric nurse's salary in Australia is on average AU$76,497 per year or hourly AU$39.68.


Paediatric nurses having specializations work in large hospitals and healthcare settings with higher salaries. Moreover, Paediatric Nurses with several years of experience working in a large facility usually earn more than Entry-level Paediatric Nurses.


Here is what you can expect to earn as a paediatric nurse with varying experience:


  • Early career Paediatric Nurses with (1 to 4 years of experience) earn AU$35.00 per hour

  • Mid-career Paediatric Nurses with (5 to 9 years of experience) earn AU$38.76 per hour



13. Conclusion


Paediatric nursing can be a challenging but highly valued, rewarding, and emotionally fulfilling career. Working in this role, you get the chance to treat and support children with chronic illnesses and conditions. By helping them improve their symptoms, you can bring a positive difference to their lives.


Aspiring paediatric nurses must know that pursuing this profession requires dedication, hard work, and preparation. Becoming a Registered Nurse specializing in a paediatric nursing field can improve your entry into this profession.


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