2 answers

What is the difference in study/job between a Pediatric Nurse and a Pediatrician?

Updated Walnut Creek, California

I want to work in Pediatrics, but I don't know what's the difference between a Pediatric Nurse and a Pediatrician. Does one require more schooling? And what does each job does that differ from one another? #pediatrics #pediatric-nursing #pediatrician #pediatric-nurse

2 answers

Cathleen’s Answer

Updated

The main differences are in duration of education and levels of responsibility. A pediatric nurse completes a bachelor's degree in nursing (usually 4 years), must pass a National licensure exam and then can work as a nurse. A pediatrician is a medical doctor (MD) who specializes in pediatrics. The pediatrician must complete college (4 years), then graduate from medical school (4 more years), then complete an internship (2-3 more years) before the pediatrician can begin to practice. In responsibility, the nurse will deliver nursing care which would be helping with activities of daily living (bathing, hygiene), physical assessments of the patient, giving medications that are prescribed by a health care provider (MD, CRNP or PA), report any changes in the patient status to the provider and provide health teaching. The pediatrician, as an MD, will perform physical examinations, order lab tests and medication, diagnose and treat illness, perform medical procedures and provide health teaching to a lesser degree. Essentially, the pediatrician is autonomous whereas the nurse can provide nursing care but can only deliver medications and perform some procedures if these are ordered by a health care provider. Hope that helps!

Sean’s Answer

Updated
The short answer is that both involve taking care of infants and kids, however the schooling and care provided is much different. For a Nursing degree you are looking at 4 years and to be an MD you are looking at 8 to 10 years of schooling. In the long run the pay scales do reflect this difference in schooling. Nurses tend to be more hands on with patients and will spend lots of time with them, where as MD's tend to spend less time with the patients and more time looking over and managing the care. Hope this helps.
Updated
Thank you very much! Your explanation really clears up a lot of questions that I have. I think I might go for a Pediatric Nurse then