The Ins and Outs of Traveling as a Pediatric Nurse and How to Find Assignments That Fit

Published: March 21, 2023
A Magnet Medical pediatric traveler engaging with a patient.

Nursing can be a richly rewarding career move— and can be amplified by all the doors opened by becoming a healthcare traveler. However, deciphering which field suits you takes some serious thought. If you’re contemplating a career in pediatric nursing or are looking into becoming a traveler (or both), here is a quick rundown of things to know before diving in.

What is a pediatric nurse?

In general, pediatric nurses work collaboratively with pediatricians and specialists to provide care treatment to children from birth to age 18. Unlike other nursing areas, however, they must be knowledgeable about various conditions and how to communicate them to different developmental stages of life. Many of their patients are nonverbal or uncommunicative, so pediatric nurses can play a pivotal role in how their patients view and interpret their relationship with medical treatment for the rest of their lives.

There are five types of pediatric healthcare professionals:

  • Pediatric RNs: Duties include providing routine checkups for children of all ages, helping families cope with stress, developmental screenings, giving immunizations, and treating illnesses.
  • Neonatal nurses: Duties include providing care for newborns born prematurely, with infections, heart deformities, or congenital disabilities in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
  • Developmental Disability pediatric nurses: Duties include assisting children with feeding, bodily functions, independent mobility, and educating and supporting parents.
  • Pediatric Palliative Care nurses: Duties include communicating with parents, assisting with medical equipment, and coordinating care for terminally ill children.
  • Pediatric Endocrinology nurses: Duties include maintaining records, performing physical assessments, inserting catheters, and working with doctors to develop treatment plans for children with various endocrine disorders (diabetes, thyroid disorders, etc.).

How to become a pediatric healthcare traveler

Like most specialties, those looking to enter the pediatric nursing field will have to earn a degree as an RN and pass the NCLEX exam. Registered Nurses who want to further their credentials as pediatric nurses need to have a minimum of 1800 clinical hours before becoming certified by the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board and must also pass the Certified Pediatric Nursing certification exam. Advanced Practice Registered Nurses can also enhance their credentials by seeking certification as Acute Care Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (CPNP-AC), as Primary Care Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (CPNP-PC), or as Pediatric Primary Care Mental Health Specialists (PMHS).

How to succeed as a pediatric nurse

Success is, of course, subjective, but those who thrive in pediatric nursing tend to be individuals with the following skillsets and traits:

  • High-level critical thinking
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Playful
  • Compassion
  • Highly observant (can identify signs of abuse or symptoms of unresponsive children)
  • Patient
  • Compassionate
  • Mentally resilient

Working with kids in any industry can be challenging, especially in an emotionally charged environment like healthcare. Not only are these nurses working with the patients themselves, but the parents as well. It’s, therefore, crucial that individuals who choose to travel as pediatric nurses can hit the ground running while retaining the gentle touches necessary for the role.

Benefits of becoming a pediatric travel nurse

  • Financial & job security: Pediatric care will always be needed. The Bureau of Labor Statics states that overall employment of nurses is projected to grow 52% between 2020-2030. As the population increases, the need for pediatric nurses will continue to grow, ensuring the availability of open positions.
  • Flexibility in education requirements: Pediatric nursing comes with some flexibility in educational requirements. Individuals can complete schooling as registered nurses or continue to gain licensure as nurse practitioners at any stage in their careers.
  • Diverse experiences: The approach to childcare is expansive, and no two children are the same. This guarantees day-to-day variety in each assignment and opportunities to gain well-rounded knowledge for the future.
  • The opportunity to create positive healthcare experiences: Unlike adults, pediatric nurses can establish and encourage healthier habits earlier. Additionally, younger patients might not understand what’s happening and will seek out someone to trust. Providing positive experiences in healthcare settings can influence how they perceive what can be an intimidating environment.

The pediatric nursing job outlook

Depending on assignment location, experience, and contract, the average salary for a pediatric nurse in the US is roughly $72,945 per year, which boils down to $35.07 per hour.

According to Zippia, here are the top ten best-paying cities for pediatric travel nurses as of 2022:

  1. Los Angeles, CA
  2. New York, NY
  3. Washington, DC
  4. Reno, NV
  5. Portland, OR
  6. Seattle, WA
  7. New Brunswick, NJ
  8. Chicago, IL
  9. Philadelphia, PA
  10. Raleigh, NC

The top five in this list are also said to be the current most in-demand cities for nursing.

How Magnet Medical can help you find the best assignment to fit your traveling goals

Magnet is fully invested in making the traveler experience a smooth one because the work you do is hard, and you shouldn’t have to worry about the behind-the-scenes stuff. We’re here to help 24/7/365.

As of this publication, Magnet Medical staffs the following pediatric nursing modalities:

  • Intensive Care Unit NICU
  • Pediatric RNs
  • Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)
  • Postpartum

Having a job where you get to work with kids, travel, and have flexible hours sounds like a dream come true— but it can’t always guarantee peace of mind, so we also ensure that our travelers have the following benefits:

  • Medical
  • Dental
  • Vision
  • Continuing education reimbursement
  • Certification reimbursement
  • License reimbursement
  • 401K, competitive pay packages & disability benefits

Want to learn more about what Magnet’s team of recruiters can do to further your career goals? Contact us today!

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