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What is the advancement potential?

I want to be a pediatric nurse. My goal is to be done with school by 35 and be on the road to advancement opportunities, making more than $75k a year.Change
#nursing, #money, #txst

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Sonia’s Answer

You can likely make between $60K-$80k as a pediatric nurse - depending on the hospital and experience, etc. Pediatric Nurse Practitioners have the ability to make more than $100K according to various sites. Getting a post grad degree will also increase your potential to earn more than $100K. Again, this varies on the location and experience.
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Camie’s Answer

Hi Jenn! That is exciting! Becoming a nurse is a wonderful lifelong career. I am fairly certain you can be done with school by age 35, and there are different ways to get there. The length of education will depend on if you want to be become a registered nurse "RN" or a licensed vocational nurse "LVN". In short, you can do more as a RN than a LVN (for example, as a RN you can give a patient intravenous "IV" medications in the hospital but LVNs cannot) since there are more classes you'd need to complete as a RN than LVN; also most hospitals will only hire RNs and not LVNs (some still do but majority favors hiring RNs). You would need to complete a series of courses through an accredited program - which can be done either through a 2-year junior/community college program or 4-year university that offers nursing degree. You get your license as a RN or LVN after taking a nursing exam called "NCLEX". Kind of like the SATs but the questions are focused on nursing and patient care.

As a pediatric nurse you have many options on where you could work in. If you like taking care of children and babies in the hospital, getting a job at a local children's hospital should not be difficult. Most hospitals will offer "new graduate nurse" program for nurses who have just gotten their licenses; these programs are great and are structured to help you become more comfortable in your field. In the hospital usually you work in shifts that last either 8 hours, 10 hours, or 12 hours. In the outpatient clinic setting (non-hospitals), pediatrician offices may be looking for RNs though I think most of them hire nursing assistants or medical assistants instead. You can also work for school districts overseeing the health and well being of children and teenagers.

Regarding your nursing salary, the best area in the US to get paid as a nurse is probably San Francisco Bay Area in California. You can easily find a pediatric registered nurse jobs at minimum of $90k yearly without much experience; however it is very expensive to live there. Check out Glassdoor Website for salary comparisons across different cities. Even in places like Alaska, I think nurses make between $70-90k yearly.

There is definitely potential for advancement in nursing field! One way is working up the ladder, if you enjoy working with people and helping them find their potential; you start off working as a floor nurse, then you can work to become a charge nurse (basically the floor nurses' leader). From there you may work your way up to becoming an assistant nursing manager and eventually nurse manager. Large organizations also hire nursing directors who have demonstrated years of experience managing teams of nurses.

Another way to advance as a pediatric nurse is to get your nurse practitioner degree (usually that is at a Master's or Doctorate's level). Master's level program usually takes about 2 years to complete while a doctorate's level program (either Doctorate of Nursing Practice "DNP" or Doctorate of Philosophy "PhD") takes about 4 years to complete. What you do as a nurse practitioner is different from a registered nurse; you get to call the shots and serve as a primary care provider. As a nurse practitioner you can diagnose and prescribe medications, without a physician's direct supervision (depending which state you live in).

Camie recommends the following next steps:

I recommend volunteering at a clinic or hospital to learn more about what nurses do.
I recommend finding out local nurses' society and meetings; sometimes they are open to public - I recommend attending.
Go to career fairs and speak to nursing recruiters
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