Purpose and Mission
Paediatric nurses are trained to provide medical care for infants, children and adolescents. Keep in mind that children are not just small adults. Children’s developing bodies have special needs, and paediatric nurses understand how to meet these needs.
Of note, paediatric nurses typically work in schools, hospitals or community centres, and work with children of all ages and their parents/caregivers to promote good health. Paediatric nurses can choose to take additional training and specialize in areas including intensive care (PICU nurses), oncology (cancer nursing), mental health or child development.
Given that paediatric nurses are employed in various roles at public or private hospitals, clinics, schools and universities, they may report to a variety of supervisors including a nurse manager or a chief of service or department head.
Many experienced paediatric nurses have direct supervisory responsibilities, such as responsibility for the nursery or training and evaluating other nurses or members of the healthcare team. Less experienced paediatric nurses tend to be focused on patient care responsibilities.
Paediatric nurses are almost always experienced registered nurses (in most cases with a bachelor’s degree) who have undertaken extra training to become a paediatric nurse. Note that employers tend to prefer PICU nurses who have earned one of more relevant professional certifications
Also note that all RNs and midwives are required by regulation to have a current Nursing Registration with the AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioners Agency) to work hands-on with patients.
Responsibilities of a Paediatric Nurse
The primary job responsibility of a paediatric nurse is assessing the nursing needs of the child, taking into account their medical, social, cultural and family circumstances, and arranging for or providing care as needed.
Being able to communicate with both children and their parents is an important part of the job.
Paediatric nurses work as part of a team including doctors, play staff, psychologists, nutritionists, and social workers.
Typical work responsibilities for a paediatric nurse include: