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How many years of schooling is required to become a pediatric nurse?

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Raquel’s Answer

Hi Bella, there are multiple routes you can take to become a pediatric nurse.
The simplest route is to get an associates degree from a community college to become an R.N. You can also go straight to a four year university and get your bachelors to become a BSN and R.N. Both programs will get you R.N. licensure and you will be able to practice as a nurse. The associates program is often shorter and cheaper than getting a bachelors, but many hospitals are moving towards requiring BSN degrees, so that is something to keep in mind. If you ever want to advance your career and go back to school to become an NP you will also have to have a bachelors. After getting your R.N. licensure you will be qualified to work as a pediatric nurse. However, many hospitals don’t hire new graduates to specialty areas like pediatrics. Some have apprenticeship programs where you work limited hours in the hospital while still in school, many of these programs have positions in the specialty areas of nursing and open the door to working there right after graduation. If hospitals in you area have apprenticeship programs you could apply for a pediatric position and increase your chances of starting in pediatrics right off the bat. If not, most hospitals will allow you to transfer to a more specialized unit after around 2 years of experience. So you could work on a medical-surgical floor for two years and then get your dream of being a pediatric nurse.

Best of luck!

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Thomas’s Answer

It takes about 4 years.

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Sanober’s Answer

Hi Bella!

To become a pediatric nurse, you would need a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from an accredited nursing school, and an RN license. Pediatric units do not require you to have a certification before starting, and you can gain your CPN (Certified Pediatric Nurse) while practicing in a pediatric hospital with sufficient working hours. It would take a total of four years after high school to become a pediatric nurse, as that is the normal duration of nursing school with no prior college degree.

Best of luck :)