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Is it better to become a nurse or pediatrician? Why?

My name is Chastity V. and my goal in life is to become a pediatrician. I am doing research about pediatricians and have a lot of unanswered questions. I hope this website will help me--I hope you will be able to help me.

#pediatrics #medicine #pediatrician #nursing #doctor


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Dr. Frank’s Answer

Pediatric nurses and pediatricians provide medical care to children under the age of 18. Pediatricians are licensed medical doctors who've completed medical school, while nurses have completed undergraduate education and secured licensure.


A natural rapport with children may be the most important reason to pursue a career as a pediatric nurse. ... The ability to distract a child is perhaps as important as earning their trust, especially when you are administering immunizations or inserting IV lines.

So if you like working with children One advantage of being a pediatric nurse is the ability to work primarily alongside children, reassuring them when they are afraid of medical tests or even staying in the hospital. An additional advantage of working closely with children is that you can offer hope and care to the children you are treating.

On the other hand a pediatrician more financial security and benefits. Benefits vary by employer, but pediatricians typically have health insurance, dental and vision coverage, paid time off and retirement benefits. Other possible benefits include life insurance, disability insurance, paid professional memberships, tuition reimbursement and employee wellness services.

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Lisa’s Answer

First off it would depend on finances and support you currently have. To become a pediatrician means you will need to be in school for many years and have a large amount of student loan debt.

Nursing is a much easier road in terms of education and debt. You can still care for the pediatric population, and possibly in a much more fulfilling manner.

It all depends on what you can handle effectively and what is your biggest dream.


Good luck.

Thank you, but what do you mean by "you can still care for the pediatric population and possibly in a much more fulfilling manner"? Chastity V.

I meant you can be a pediatric nurse. And provide nursing care Instead of medical care. Nurses develop profound connections with patients and families. It’s very rewarding to make a difference in a life of a child in that manner. Lisa Fiorello BSN, RN, CCRN

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Michelle’s Answer

Hello Chastity,

What a wonderful career choice! No matter which direction you decide pediatric nurse or pediatrician I believe you will be happy. Both disciplines are facing current shortages so job demand is high, you will have a job when you graduate. Your student loans are going to be significantly higher pursuing your MD, and reimbursement rates for pedi-docs are known to be some of the lowest of all the professionals. You can obtain your Associates in nursing and take the NCLEX, obtain a job with decent income have lower student loan debt and then continue on in school becoming a FNP. Nurse Practitioners are also in high demand and provide care for all ages groups. Ultimately it is your choice, but if you feel you are unsure I would recommend the nursing route, because there are more opportunities to pursue. Good luck to you!

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Patty’s Answer

Hi Chastity,

I also wanted to be a pediatrician or so I thought. I ended up changing my mind. The only person who can decide what is right for you is you.

Think about why you want to get into each profession and if you can be in that role for countless years or not? List the pros and cons for each.

Think of where you can do the greatest good. The nursing field has countless possibilities and is always evolving. It is also a profession which is greatly respected.

Good luck to you regardless of what you choose!

Patty Born

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Rachel’s Answer

To be a pediatrician, you will spend a minimum of 11 years in school after high school versus 4 years to be a nurse. I would shadow both professions as much as possible while you are still in school to help make the decision for yourself about what role you would like to play in the healthcare field.

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