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Become a Pediatric Nurse

This article is shared from Forbes.

If you remember the scraped knees and splinters from childhood, you might also recall reluctant trips to the doctor’s office. You were thoroughly examined, patched up and sent home—likely by a pediatric nurse.

Pediatric nurses are cornerstone figures in many children’s healthy development. They provide medical care to children of all ages—from newborns to high schoolers—to ensure they grow to become healthy, thriving adults. If caring for kids and administering superhero Band-Aids sounds like the career for you, here’s how to become a pediatric nurse.

What Does a Pediatric Nurse Do?

Pediatric nurses provide continuous care to children as they develop into adulthood. These professionals are responsible for ensuring children’s overall health and wellness of children and tending to individual medical issues as they arise.

Pediatric nurses are equipped with the same medical skills and knowledge as nurses who treat adults. But they also require a deep understanding of and empathy for children. They must know how to relate to teenagers, handle newborn babies and keep kiddos calm—all while delivering excellent medical care.

Role and Responsibilities

The day-to-day responsibilities of a pediatric nurse are diverse. A typical day depends on patients’ ages and conditions, but common responsibilities include:

  • Carrying out physical assessments
  • Administering vaccines
  • Scheduling regular appointments and coordinating follow-up medical care
  • Performing diagnostic tests and analyzing results
  • Monitoring patients’ conditions, behaviors and vital signs
  • Communicating care plans and next steps to patients and their family members

Pediatric nurses should have soft skills as well, like excellent bedside manner, an appreciation for children, plenty of patience and strong communication abilities. Pediatric nurses are responsible not only for caring for children but for keeping their patients’ parents and guardians up to date with any medical developments.

Work Environment

Pediatric nurses are needed in various medical settings. They most often work in children’s hospitals but can also be found in community hospitals, government agencies, school settings, mental healthcare facilities, rehabilitation centers and urgent care facilities.

Working hours for pediatric nurses vary by location. In most hospitals, pediatric nurses work 12-hour shifts—give or take a few hours, depending on the patient demand. Some medical facilities operate with a three-shift model. If that’s the case, pediatric nurses generally work 10-hour shifts.

In private clinics, local doctors’ offices, school settings and government agencies, most pediatric nurses work between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Some clinics might extend their working hours to weekends.

How to Become a Pediatric Nurse

Training to become a pediatric nurse can be a somewhat lengthy and demanding process. Educational requirements are stringent, and you’ll need to undergo several exams to obtain a degree and licensure. Sumner College offers a BSN. 

Get an Education

Obtaining a nursing degree is the first step to becoming a pediatric nurse. You can earn either a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) or an associate degree in nursing (ADN). If you’re deciding between an ADN vs. BSN, note that a BSN degree generally takes four years, and an ADN takes two to three. BSN graduates tend to receive more advanced job opportunities down the line as well. The BSN degree program at Sumner College can be completed in less than 3 years.

Pass the NCLEX-RN

Once you’ve earned a degree, you’ll take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). Every prospective nurse in the U.S. is required to pass this exam. Before taking the NCLEX, you must apply to your local nursing regulatory body for authorization to test. You’re also required to pay a registration fee.

Obtain Registered Nurse (RN) Licensure

The next step to becoming a pediatric nurse is getting licensed. How to become an RN depends on the state where you plan to practice.

In California, for example, pediatric nurses must be licensed by the California Board of Registered Nursing. Applicants must also meet educational requirements, pass a criminal background check and pass the NCLEX-RN.

In Colorado, candidates must submit an affidavit of eligibility, fingerprints, consent for a background check and transcripts from an accredited nursing program. That’s in addition to an examination application or an endorsement for licensure. And in Delaware, each RN candidate must complete an accredited nursing degree and at least 400 hours of clinical work.

Gain Experience

Gaining clinical experience is a vital component to becoming a pediatric nurse. It’s recommended to obtain at least two years of working as an RN. Though not required, many RNs also opt to become certified with the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB).

The PNCB’s Certified Pediatric Nurse (CPN) credential requires at least 1,800 hours of pediatric clinical experience in the past 24 months or at least five years of experience as an RN in pediatrics plus 1,000 hours in pediatric nursing.

Obtain Certification

Certification isn’t required to become a pediatric nurse, but it’s highly recommended. Pediatric nursing certification verifies your abilities and demonstrates your skill set to potential employers. It can be leveraged to enhance career mobility and negotiate higher salaries.

Certifications for Pediatric Nurses

Certification in Neonatal Pediatric Transport (C-NPT)®

The C-NPT exam is available to registered nurses, nurse practitioners, respiratory therapists, paramedics, emergency medical technicians, physicians or physician assistants. It prepares healthcare professionals to safely care for neonatal and pediatric patients during transport. This accreditation can promote career mobility and make you feel more confident and prepared on the job.

The exam costs $210. Previous practice experience isn’t required, but it’s recommended to have at least two years of experience.

Certified Pediatric Nurse (CPN)

Becoming a CPN validates your expertise in pediatric nursing. This credential involves paying a $300 exam fee, applying for the exam and taking the test either in person or online with a live proctor.

The CPN exam tests knowledge in four core practice areas: physical and psychosocial/family assessments, health promotion, illness and clinical problem management and the professional role overall.

Pediatric Nursing Certification (PED-BC)™

The PED-BC assesses the entry-level clinical knowledge and skills of licensed pediatric RNs. The exam tests assessment and diagnosis, planning/implementation and evaluation capabilities. The credential is valid for five years.

The initial certification costs $395 for unaffiliated nurses. It costs $295 for members of the American Nurses Association and $340 for members of the Society of Pediatric Nurses.

Pediatric Nurse Salary and Job Outlook

Registered nurses across all domains—not just pediatrics—bring home a median salary of $77,600 per year, according to the  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS projects employment for RNs to grow by 6% from 2021 to 2031, which is on par with the average projected growth rate for all jobs.

Learn more about Nursing:

Nursing Career Goals

To come up with appropriate examples of nursing career goals, you will be required to possess the requisite goal setting knowledge and skills.

Note that the process of setting achievable nursing career goals demand that you adopt the SMART goals approach. The SMART goals are as explained below.

It is important to note that SMART is an acronym for:

S: Specific

M: Measurable

A: Attainable

R: Realistic

 T: Time-bound   

Certainly, it is important to ensure that the goals you include in you nursing professional goals statement are not extremely broad.

Instead, all examples of nursing career goals provided should be limited in scope to avoid vagueness or being open to individual interpretation.

You have to understand that long-term goals for nurse practitioner in particular are easily subjected to negative effects of change in practice environment and personal views.

For this reason, the nursing career goals should be specific enough to avoid incidences of extreme variation.     


Good nursing career goals must be measurable. It has been observed that measurability is key when it comes to how to achieve nursing goals.  

This is important in helping determine progress in your nursing career. Accordingly, such progress could be explored using different examples of nursing goals for yearly evaluation.

Measurability is also essential in helping demarcate achievements that in return act as a source of motivation.

Therefore, your nursing career goals should incorporate clear milestones that have a defined ending.  


Goals need to be attainable. Note that there is a major attainability challenge particularly when it comes to long-term goals for nurse practitioner.

This is because such nursing career goals could demand tools and resources beyond the reach of the nurse.

As such, it is important to ensure that your nursing goals are in cognizant of required resources, including time frames, skills, funds, etc.

This requires you to break down your goals into smaller ones especially in incidences where the main goal in quite complex.

As such, you could start by exploring the most appropriate examples of nursing goals for yearly evaluation.   


Realistic. Concerning this aspect, you have to ensure that all the examples of nursing career goals you choose to adopt are realistic in regard to the context of nursing practice.

You should consider numerous factors to help decide whether your nursing career goals are realistic.

Such factors may include their scope, required skills, existing systems, personal capacity, etc.


Time-bound. Timeliness is another of the important elements when it comes to how to achieve nursing goals. It entails attaching a specific timeline to your nursing career goals.

Each goals should have a timeline within which the goals is expected to have been achieved. This could require you to come up with different examples of nursing goals for yearly evaluation.      

The timelines are supposed to work as indicators of progress and source of motivation for the nurse to act towards a certain direction.   

Learn more about Nursing:

Start in a Nursing Career

Do you like to help others? Inspired by the possibility of saving and improving lives? For many people entering the nursing field, there’s a feeling that they didn’t choose nursing—it chose them. But even if you are sure that you want to become a nurse, you’ll need to plan ahead for your education, training, and on-the-job experience.

Nursing Career

Fortunately, there are several ways to get started as a nurse. By choosing a path that fits your current lifestyle, you can begin working toward your new career, and even start working while you complete your education. Here are three options worth considering.

  • Volunteer
  • Start working as an orderly attendant or nurse aid
  • Pursue a LPN or vocational nurse degree
  • Earn your BSN and start working as a registered nurse

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for RNs is projected to grow at least 9 percent over the next decade. The average annual wage for registered nurse (RN) in the United States in 2023 is $ 80,010.

Sounds like a career path that fits you? Check out Sumner College’s BSN or PN programs.

Tips For First Year Nursing Students

Nursing Students – First Year Tips

Content shared from nursecrets

So, you have been accepted into nursing school. First of all congratulations! You have made it through the process, so now what?  After the excitement has diminished you may begin to wonder “what have I gotten myself into?” We have put together Tips for Nursing Students First Year of nursing school.

You probably would like to know what to expect in your first year of nursing school and how to survive. These tips will get you started on your journey and carry you all the way to NCLEX.

The first things you may remember are all the voices that tell you nursing school is hard. You didn’t let those voices stop you from completing the admission process, so don’t let them stop you now.

Don’t get me wrong, nursing school will be tough. You will flex brain muscles you didn’t know you had. But, just think about all the nurses in the world and remember that we all began at this point. We made it through and so can you!

1. Begin with the attitude of building a solid foundation.

This is the first tip because I believe it is important and not often spoken. Nursing school is like no other degree program. In nursing school, no class is an island. Each class builds upon the previous one. You don’t get everything in one class. You may even learn information that you have no idea what to do with. Keep that information. YOU WILL NEED IT!

For example:

  • First, you will learn what a normal and abnormal blood pressure is and how to take a blood pressure in one class.
  • Secondly, you will learn how to assess a patient to see if a blood pressure is normal or abnormal in another class.
  • Thirdly, you will learn about disease processes related to blood pressure such as hypertension in another class.
  • Fourthly, you will learn how to treat hypertension such as with medication in another class.
  • And finally, at the end you have a NCLEX question in which you will need to know all this information to answer the question.

So, if you slack on any of these classes, then the questions appear to be hard. If you build a foundation with this information, the questions will be easy.

Also, when an instructor is teaching you about a disease process, they go on the premise you already know what a normal and abnormal blood pressure is and how to assess for them.

This information will not be taught to you again in each class.

2. You will feel overwhelmed from day one.

Every nursing student has felt this. A lot of things are thrown at you at one time. You will feel stressed the first day and on occasion throughout your program. The main thing is to take a deep breath and don’t let anxiety get the best of you.

Don’t get wrapped up in trying to be perfect. You are learning a new topic. You are not going to be perfect at everything. Remember to learn from your mistakes and keep going. Don’t beat yourself up on things that have passed or things you didn’t get right. You don’t have time and this can drain your energy.

3. Don’t place so much focus on grades

As mentioned in #1 nursing school is cumulative. It is important to not only memorize but to comprehend and assimilate the information you receive.

Everyone wants to do the very best, but don’t get bogged down in the grade game. You will be taught a different way of thinking and a different way of taking tests. You may see a dip in your grades and this may be hard if you have been a straight-A student.

If your grades drop, don’t let it stress you out. Try not to obsess over grades and focus on learning the material and building a foundation.

Probably the hardest thing you will have to face in nursing school is that learning and test-taking will not be the same as when you were in high school or any other program. Face this sooner than later and you will begin to see a shift in your grades.

4. Become more organized.

If you don’t have great organization skills, now is the time to learn. You will need to organize all the information you receive so you don’t miss deadlines and just to know where you need to be and when.

You are developing a skill that will carry you throughout your nursing career. This will help you care for more than one patient efficiently and even to care for a critically ill patient as a nurse.

Yes, you will need a planner whether it is digital or paper. Planning ahead is the key to making nursing school more manageable.

Certain things in nursing school will require different amounts of study time. Don’t think you can do everything at the last minute. This can get out of hand quickly. It is important to acquire good organizational skills in nursing school and stick to them.

Resources: 8 Planner Tips For Student Nurses

5. Learn to prioritize

There will be some things that will have to take a back burner at times. Prioritize the things that you must get done. Becoming more organized will eventually keep you from working on things at the last minute all the time.

Create a list of all the things you need to do. Highlight the things you “have to do soon” in one color and the things you “need to do” in another color and the things that can wait until you have downtime in a different color. You may have to make some tough decisions. But it will get easier as time goes by. This is where having a planner really helps.

6. Manage your time

Your time is a priority while in nursing school. Just about every minute will be accounted for. You can’t just glide into one week after another without a definite plan.

Create a schedule and stick to it. Don’t make a habit of waiting till the last minute telling yourself you work better under pressure. You will actually feel better when you are on time or ahead of time.

Tips to manage your time better.

  • Plan ahead. Having a calendar and reviewing it daily or weekly will keep you focused with no last minute suprises.
  • Block time out for studying daily. Whether it is reading or reviewing notes, make sure you are consistent.
  • Be effective in your studying. Don’s spend unnecessary time studying information you already know.
  • Avoid getting distracted with things you don’t need to know. When you see a photo in you textbook, don’t stop and spend time on it if it is not related to what you are working on. Don’t worry you will get to it.
  • Avoid distractions with social media or text. You can still have time for those things in moderation but make sure you have good periods of focused time spent on studying.

7. Manage your Reading

Reading will take a lot of your time. The number of reading assignments will be overwhelming. Your first thought will be you will never get through this information in the amount of time given. The good news is that these reading assignments can be managed. Here are some tips for nursing school success.

Divide the information into chunks to conquer.

You will receive a syllabus for all of your classes on the first day. This is the time to figure out how much time you will need to spend on each class. The worst thing you can do is try to read your entire reading assignment for a test at one time.

The key is to break the reading up into manageable segments. You will retain the information better by reading over time instead of all at once. Plan your reading schedule in your planner.

Reading is one of the main things that you will need to map out from the beginning. Once you begin and see what is expected, you will be able to create a better and better plan.

Try to read before class.

This can be hard. However, if you start off doing this from the beginning the payoff will be great. If you read before class, the lecture becomes the second time you have come into contact with the material. Then you are able to be more efficient in class. You can then focus on the information covered in the lecture because you have a foundation for the lecture.

Your note-taking will be better because you won’t have to try to write down every little thing because you will find you already know and understand some of the material. Also, you won’t be afraid that something is covered in class that’s not in the book because you already know what’s in the book.

When you have this foundation you can listen more than you write and have the perfect notes for exams.

Resource: 8 Note-Taking Skills for Nursing Students.

8. Don’t fall behind.

Falling behind will cause your stress levels to go through the roof. There is nothing worst than trying to do all your reading and studying for an exam the weekend or even the night before your exam.

The amount of information you will comprehend and remember is decreased drastically. Make a reading and studying schedule and stick to it. And remember to make your goals realistic.

For instance, don’t think you will be able to study all day Sunday. This is the time that something always happens to keep you from your studies. Sometimes it is just the idea that you have all this time and you can have a hard time starting and the time dwindles until maybe that evening.

9. Communicate with your Instructors

One of the best things you can do is establish a professional relationship with your instructors.

However, the instructor cannot solve all your problems. And they can’t dig you out of a hole at the last minute. But, they can give you the advice to keep you out of a hole and resources that can help.

It’s important to establish a relationship before the last minute. The Friday before the final exam when you need a high score to pass the class is not the time to establish this relationship.

Your instructor can give you helpful tips along the way to overcome some learning blocks or just give you a different way of thinking about a topic. The smallest tweaks can make the biggest difference.

10. Join or create a study group

It’s important to join a study group that actually studies. Sometimes a study group can become a gripe session. You do not have the time to spend an hour or two talking about what you hate about nursing school.

Also, if you find yourself teaching information you already know to others, it’s time to find another group. You have to understand that your friends will not take the NCLEX for you. This is something you will face on your own and you have to spend your valuable time moving toward that goal.

If you cannot find a study group, create one with people who are like-minded. You need a study group that moves you forward in your studies. You don’t want to spend less time with family, friends and doing something you love just to spend your precious time bemoaning the last exam.


Caffeine. (2021, September 21). MedlinePlus. Retrieved December 30, 2021, from

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RN Versus BSN: The Differences

RN vs. BSN

Changes in nursing involve a major shift in higher education standards, requiring more nurses to hold a 4-year bachelor of science in nursing (BSN). The new requirements stem from research by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) that showed significantly improved patient outcomes when there was an increase in BSNs.

BSN, ADN, RN: The Difference in The Letters

Of course, all nurses are rigorously trained to provide patient care. Let’s review the different levels of training for each position by taking a closer look at the letters that come after a nurse’s name. BSN means bachelor of science in nursing, ADN means associate degree in nursing, and RN means registered nurse.

  • BSN is a diploma from a 4-year program: A person with a BSN has graduated from a four-year nursing program at a college, university, or nursing school.
  • ADN is a diploma from a 2-year program: A person with an ADN has graduated from a two-year nursing school.
  • RN is a certification: A person with the RN designation has passed a national licensing exam—after graduating from a nursing program with a BSN or an ADN. The licensing exam is called NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination), and it’s a nationwide test required to license nurses.

So, if you’re an RN with a two-year ADN, are there reasons to go back to school and earn your four-year BSN degree? Well, that depends on you and your goals. But thousands of students and nurses are getting their BSN—and many of them are doing it in direct response to the IOM recommendation for more nurses to be BSN-prepared. If the IOM says that more BSNs are better for patient health, then nurses everywhere are going to respond.

Here are 5 reasons why you might want to pursue a BSN degree:

  1. Open the doors for a teaching position;
  2. Upward mobility and career development;
  3. Salary;
  4. Stand out in the applicant pool;
  5. Be the difference and make a difference in patient care.

Sumner College’s new BSN degree program can be completed in less than 3 years. No prerequisites courses are required and we accept transfer credits. Learn more today by visiting

Types Of Nursing Positions

Information shared from

20 types of nursing positions

Though all nurses seek to provide proper care and treatment for their patients, their day-to-day duties can vary depending on their specialty. Here are 20 nursing positions you can find in hospitals, clinics and private practices. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, visit

1. Certified nursing assistant (CNA)

National average salary: $42,945 per year

Primary duties: Certified nursing assistants help patients get dressed, eat meals, take their medications and move around. CNAs often monitor their patients’ vitals, exercise them and communicate their status to other medical staff. This position requires a high school diploma, post-secondary certificate and CNA certification.

Read more: Learn About Being a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

2. School nurse

National average salary: $54,763 per year

Primary duties: School nurses provide care to students throughout the school year. When a student falls ill at school, school nurses come to their aid. School nurses typically have an associate or bachelor’s degree along with an RN certificate. Though the pay scale for this job differs from most other nursing positions, school nurses also receive school-year time off, including summer and holiday vacations.

Read more: Learn About Being a School Nurse

3. Licensed practical nurse (LPN)

National average salary: $55,092 per year

Primary duties: Supervised by an RN, LPNs perform a variety of tasks for their patients, including the administration of medication and injections. LPNs require a practical nursing diploma. These nurses can work in hospitals, family practices, nursing homes and long-term care environments.

Read more: Learn About Being a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

4. Home health nurse

National average salary: $72,296 per year

Primary duties: Home health nurses care for patients in their homes. They may care for patients who are terminally ill, geriatric or those with mobility issues. Home health nurse roles often require a nursing diploma or an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing.

Read more: Learn About Being a Home Health Nurse

5. Registered nurse manager

National average salary: $81,898 per year

Primary duties: Registered nurse managers supervise and manage members of the nursing staff. Their various duties include overseeing patient care, creating work schedules and scheduling meetings. Common requirements for the role include a bachelor’s degree in nursing, two years of experience as a nurse manager and an RN license.

6. Registered nurse (RN)

National average salary: $89,651 per year

Primary duties: Registered nurses create treatment plans for patients with a variety of illnesses, conditions or injuries, and they work across several specialties. RN positions require candidates to have an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing. Common work environments for RNs include hospitals, private medical practices and nursing homes.

Read more: Learn About Being a Registered Nurse (RN)

7. Charge nurse

National average salary: $89,969 per year

Primary duties: Charge nurses have duties similar to an RN, but they also handle some administrative tasks, such as scheduling and managing. Because of their duties, they may not see as many patients face-to-face. Charge Nurses typically have a Bachelor or Master of Science in nursing degree.

Read more: Learn About Being a Charge Nurse

8. Pediatric nurse

National average salary: $92,356 per year

Primary duties: Pediatric nurses provide care to children in various medical or health care settings. They often treat minor injuries and administer vaccinations. Pediatric nursing positions require a minimum of an associate degree.

9. Operating room (OR) nurse

National average salary: $99,478 per year

Primary duties: Operating room nurses work in hospitals and care for patients before, during and after surgery. OR nurses provide streamlined communication between the surgical team and the patient’s family. They can also be called perioperative or scrub nurses. OR nurses require an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing and an RN license.

10. Dialysis nurse

National average salary: $100,208 per year

Primary duties: Dialysis nurses handle the care of patients experiencing kidney failure. They also provide their patients with advice on living healthy lifestyles and support for those awaiting new kidneys. Dialysis nurses typically require a Bachelor of Science in nursing and an RN license.

11. Radiology nurse

National average salary: $109,623 per year

Primary duties: Radiology nurses care for patients undergoing diagnostic imaging procedures and radiation therapy. They do so by preparing them for various scans, MRIs and other tests administered by physicians and performed by radiological technologists. Radiology nurses typically have a Bachelor of Science in nursing and a CRN certification.

12. Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurse

National average salary: $110,010 per year

Primary duties: NICU nurses care for premature or sick newborn children. Working in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, NICU nurses monitor newborns and their various conditions. NICU nurses also provide a source of contact for parents whose NICU babies are in their care. NICU nurses work as registered nurses with a Bachelor of Science in nursing and candidates require certification in neonatal resuscitation or neonatal intensive care nursing.

13. Oncology nurse

National average salary: $111,198 per year

Primary duties: Oncology nurses care for a variety of cancer patients at all stages. Along with administering medication, oncology nurses observe patients and their ongoing progress. Oncology nurses work to display a great deal of empathy to their patients and families as they undergo cancer diagnosis and treatment. Requirements for this position may vary but often require at least an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing and experience in nursing.

14. Travel nurse

National average salary: $111,669 per year

Primary duties: Travel nurses are nurses that move from city to city to provide care for patients in understaffed hospitals or medical facilities. Travel nurses can be specialized or perform general duties. These roles require the candidate to have an RN license and an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing.

15. Emergency room nurse

National average salary: $120,102 per year

Primary duties: Emergency room nurses care for a variety of patients that enter their hospital’s emergency room. While some deal with non-life-threatening injuries and illness care, others handle traumatic and life-threatening conditions. Emergency room nurses require an RN license and an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing.

Read more: Learn About Being an ER Nurse

16. Labor and delivery nurse

National average salary: $121,786 per year

Primary Duties: Labor and delivery nurses help with the birth of a new baby. They support expectant mothers both during and after labor. These nurses specialize in the operations, aftercare and support of labor and delivery practices.

17. Cardiovascular nurse

National average salary: $122,835 per year

Primary duties: Cardiovascular nurses, also known as cardiac nurses, treat patients with various heart diseases or conditions, or patients who have recently undergone heart surgery or procedures. Cardiovascular nurses are required to have an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing and an RN-BC (board-certified) certification.

18. Nurse practitioner (NP)

National average salary: $123,338 per year

Primary duties: Nurse practitioners work under the direction of doctors and have the ability to perform tasks beyond typical nursing care. Like physicians, NPs can diagnose conditions and prescribe treatments. NPs require a master’s degree or doctorate degree to work in this position.

Read more: Learn About Being a Nurse Practitioner

19. Intensive care unit (ICU) registered nurse

National average salary: $130,672 per year

Primary duties: Intensive care unit nurses handle the care of patients with life-threatening injuries. Similar to emergency room nurses, ICU nurses think quickly to help with emergency situations as they arise. ICU nurses require an RN license and an associate degree.

20. Psychiatric nurse

National average salary: $150,164 per year

Primary duties: Psychiatric mental health nurses diagnose and treat patients that suffer from mental illnesses. Psychiatric mental health nurses require a bachelor’s degree in nursing and an RN license. These nurses work to help patients manage their medications and understand their mental health conditions.

Tips For Working While In Nursing School

5 Tips for Working While in Nursing School

Information and article shared from

Here are five tips for being a successful nursing student while working a full-time or part-time job:

1. Review the time commitments in your life

Choosing to work and attend school requires you to make a careful review and assessment of your commitments in life. Determining what is essential in your day, prioritizing your daily and weekly tasks, and taking stock of the people and relationships that are most important to you in life will drive you towards the right decision for you.

2. Consider a part-time school or work commitment

When choosing to attend school and work simultaneously, it’s important to consider the demands of your personal life and your career goals. Think about the best way to allocate your time. For example, after evaluating your aspirations and personal circumstances, you may find that attending school full time is the most beneficial option for you. Going to school full-time ensures the quickest and most direct route to earning your nursing degree. By working part-time simultaneously, you can still earn some income. This can help pay for day-to-day necessities and school-related expenses.

Conversely, you may find that attending school part-time is a better choice for your lifestyle. Working full-time while attending nursing school part-time provides financial flexibility. Earning a steady income may allow for a transition into earning your nursing degree. Choosing this option is a sound choice for adult learners or those with significant personal or family obligations. While attending nursing school part-time will prolong your degree program, it offers people the opportunity to achieve their academic and career goals.

3. Reach out to your support system

Becoming a nurse is a significant undertaking. Whether you plan on attending school full-time or part-time, it is important to identify your support system before you need them. Defining who is in your support system means evaluating who your friends, family, and acquaintances are and clearly understanding how they can help you most effectively when needed. Here are eight interpersonal relationships that regularly make up an individual’s support system:

  • Relatives

  • Friends

  • Teachers

  • Peers

  • Colleagues

  • Mental Health professionals

  • Academic advisors

  • Religious leaders

4. Design a schedule and routine

Students who work and go to school full time must design, implement and maintain a disciplined schedule and daily routine. Create a comprehensive scheduling resource on paper, a computer or mobile phone that defines and outlines your responsibilities daily, weekly and monthly. Leverage tools like calendars, alarms, emails or text message reminders to stay on task and motivated. Assess how your schedules and routines are working periodically to make changes and adjustments where necessary.

5. Remember to take care of your well-being

When committed to a variety of important responsibilities, it’s essential that you make time and meaningful effort to include self-care, relaxation and personal hobbies in your schedule. Explore various outlets and activities for stress relief, such as meditation, yoga, exercise, sports leagues, social clubs and mental health support groups. Make time for family, friends and social gatherings as well as being alone. Taking care of your overall mental, emotional and physical well-being ultimately increases your academic ability and work performance. Taking the time to recharge boosts your positivity and may allow you to refocus your energy and improve your productivity.

Working While In Nursing School

Pros and Cons of Working While in Nursing School

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Nursing school provides an avenue for aspiring nurses to grow and learn. Working while also attending school affords students options relating to their personal lives and financial needs. If you have a passion for science and medicine and you enjoy helping people, you may consider becoming a nurse. In this article, we describe the benefits and potential challenges of working while in nursing school and offer five tips for being a successful student while also employed.

pros of working while in nursing school

Many students in nursing school choose to work in paying jobs while simultaneously attending classes. There are a number of benefits and challenges to working while going to school and each student needs to weigh each to determine what is best for them. Here are six positive effects of working while attending nursing school:

Improved time management skills

Balancing between professional and academic obligations provides learners with an enriching opportunity to enhance their time management skills. By creating a daily schedule, prioritizing duties by necessity and applying creative problem-solving skills, people who work while attending school can improve their skills. Cultivating healthy time management strategies can help advance your success in school and in your career.

Related: 6 Tips for Writing Nursing School Resumes (With Resume Example)

Ability to pay for your daily expenses

Working while attending nursing school can help to offset the standard expenditures of being a student. Your salary or wages can go toward the cost of tuition, have and classroom materials like textbooks or software programs. With an income, you will be able to pay for any daily expenses more easily. This can ease financial stress, and it may even allow for more a person to direct their focus on completing classwork and acquiring the hands-on skills necessary to become a nurse.

Can help avoid burnout

Having a job while going to school can also give you the opportunity to focus your energy and mental efforts on tasks that are unrelated to your studies. By diverting your attention, you can potentially avoid burnout. Burnout is the temporary mental, emotional and sometimes physical fatigue that can occur from immersion in arduous situations or scenarios. This temporary fatigue is common and can be preempted through small lifestyle changes.

Having a full-time or part-time job naturally creates variation in a person’s routine. In this way, working can potentially help keep your mind from getting fixated and stuck on schoolwork, research or other academic responsibilities. This allows for a positive attitude towards your coursework and increased performance.

Related: 20 Types of Nursing Positions

Increased accessibility to continuing education

Students sometimes take out substantial loans to fund their nursing school education. These loans must be paid back over time and can represent a large monthly payment owed. Working during nursing school can help lessen the loan amount that a student may need for school.

It may also allow people to avoid interest on their loans but making payments toward their principal balance while attending school. This is a great option for people who wish to pay their loan off sooner. Additionally, by lessening the future burden of loan payments, you may be better situated to further pursue your education. If you choose to earn a master’s degree or Ph.D.

Potential access to industry professionals

Having a part-time job in the healthcare industry is likely to help you make connections with nurses, doctors and physicians assistants. These colleagues can become important contacts within your professional network. Expanding this network can lead to career opportunities, mentorship roles and references.

These relationships can also help you determine what specialties interest you most. By allowing you to ask questions about other people’s career trajectories and histories, nursing students can solicit advice on how to recognize their primary interests and potential areas of specialization. This is a crucial step for realizing your career aspirations and goals.

More distinguished resume after graduation

An impressive nursing resume highlights your educational background, accomplishments, talents and skills. It should also include nursing license and certification details and membership in any professional organizations, associations, or societies. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, positions for registered nurses are projected to increase by 7% through the year 2029. This is nearly double the average growth predictions for other careers. However, entry-level positions for home health aides, personal care helpers, nursing assistants and orderlies are predicted to increase by 25%. This percentage is nearly seven times the average national growth rate for other jobs.

Working full or part-time in a health-related field while earning your nursing degree can help you build your resume, increase your viability as a candidate and show potential employers evidence of your dedication to hard work. It also showcases your ability to multitask, your commitment to time management and your willingness to accept challenges, which are all attractive qualities to possess.

Cons of working while in nursing school

Here are three things to consider before deciding to work while also attending nursing school:

Work may interfere with the nursing residency program

Most nursing school programs require the completion of a specific amount of fieldwork or hands-on training hours in order to earn your degree. Because this fieldwork is used to get students prepared for the rigors and responsibilities of professional nursing, working could interfere with the hour requirements of nursing school. The additional mental and physical efforts of a job could also impact your ability to successfully execute the residency program requirements.

Personal time may be impacted

Nursing students have a significant amount of hours accounted for in their day between classes and residency programs. Many students find the amount of support, organization, and planning needed to achieve strong academic performance is quite high. Finding time for one’s self, be it to spend time with family or friends or simply focus on personal interests, is important for a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

Including a full or even part-time job on top of nursing school commitments may leave you with very little time for personal matters to be attended to when needed. Be sure to be mindful of this reality when prioritizing commitments.

Work schedules may not align well with class schedules

Workers regularly have one set schedule for the year. Other times, people may have work schedules that change from week to week. Meanwhile, school class schedules typically change from semester to semester and your individual class schedule will vary based upon course availability and requirements. For example, if you must take a certain course necessary for graduation that’s only offered once during the week, you’ll have to do so. This can create challenges in balancing work schedules with school schedules.

Scheduling conflicts can impact your relationships at work and may influence your perception of yourself as a worker. They may also affect which courses you’re able to register for if an unsolvable conflict of timing arises. Delaying the taking of courses in favor of working can prolong the time it takes for you to complete your nursing program.

Fast-growing Travel Nurse Specialties

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With a nursing shortage compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has driven thousands of nurses from the bedside, many travel nurse specialties are quickly growing, with strong demand and never enough nurses.

Travel nurses, who work short-term assignments, are filling vacancies across the country in a number of nursing specialties.

More than one in four registered nursing positions were vacant in November 2021 and unfilled, according to The Hospital + Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania. Many vacancies began before the pandemic, but COVID-19 has had a profound effect on the nursing profession.

About 18 percent of the healthcare workforce quit during the pandemic and another 31 percent have considered leaving, reported the data and intelligence company Morning Consult.  

This has created opportunities for travel nurses as hospitals try to keep their units open and fully staffed. Demand for healthcare is also expected to continue building as the country’s population ages and needs more services for chronic conditions and age-related maladies.

8 in-demand travel nursing specialties

 1. Operating Room Nursing

“OR volume is increasing, due to COVID-related pent up demand and the growing number of ambulatory surgery centers which increases volume and the need for more surgical nurses,” said Linda Groah, MSN, RN, CNOR, NEA-BC, FAAN, CEO/executive director of the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN). “OR nurses are retiring. And due to COVID, nurses are taking time off and others are seeking opportunities outside the perioperative setting.”

“Additionally, COVID, certainly, impacted all nursing specialties, but it is important to realize nursing students have little or no exposure to the OR in their education,” Groah continued. “The result is a shortage of nurses choosing the OR for their career. That is changing, however. AORN has recently partnered with Chamberlain University to incorporate ‘Introduction to Perioperative Nursing’ into its curriculum on four campuses with plans to expand throughout the system.”

AORN predicts the need for perioperative nurses will grow as surgical volumes increase and the nursing shortage worsens. Perioperative nurses work in the operating room and with patients before and after surgery, caring for patients of all ages.

“Perioperative nursing is a very rewarding specialty,” Groah said, noting that surgical patients are in a very vulnerable state and must depend on the team to provide safe care and to protect the patient from harm.

Find perioperative travel nursing jobs across the U.S.

 2. Med-surg Nursing

More nurses practice as medical-surgical specialists than any other specialty, according to the Academy of Medical-Surgical NursesMore than 600,000 strong, med-surg nurses care for a variety of patients suffering from a variety of conditions or recovering from surgery.

The Academy reported that med-surg nurses “have a broad knowledge base and are experts in their practice. Medical-surgical nurses have advanced organizational, prioritization, assessment and communication skills and are leaders in coordinating care among the inter-professional healthcare team.”

Find medical-surgical travel nursing jobs that fit your lifestyle.

Keep reading article by visiting 8 Fast-Growing Travel Nurse Specialties


Nurses Nurture Personal Emotional Health

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By Jennifer Larson, contributor

“How are you feeling?”

If the truthful answer to this question is something along the lines of “exhausted” or “fragile,” you’re not alone. As a nurse, your emotional wellness may be a little undernourished these days. The COVID-19 pandemic has been hard on a nurses and other healthcare workers who are already struggling with burnout. As a result, the last 18 months or so have taken a toll on many nurses’ mental well-being.

During Emotional Wellness Month, and throughout the year, nurses need to focus on rebuilding and maintaining of their emotional wellness. It’s vital for your personal health, and to enable you to keep caring for patients and doing the work that you’re trained to do.

What is emotional wellness?

Emotional wellness for nurses has a lot to do with being self-aware and developing resilience and coping ability.

Consider this important point from the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP):

“Being emotionally healthy doesn’t mean you’re happy all the time. It means you’re aware of your emotions. You can deal with them, whether they’re positive or negative. Emotionally healthy people still feel stress, anger, and sadness. But they know how to manage their negative feelings.”

In other words, you’re in control over your thoughts, feelings and behaviors–good, bad and everything in between.

But different people cope with stress differently, according to Grace Kwasman, MBA-HCM, BSN, RNC, CEFM, administrative director of women’s service and patient experience for Adventist Health Glendale. Your age, your particular job and your role at work can all affect your emotional responses to stress. And it’s important for individual nurses, as well as leaders, to recognize that.

“We are all in the same storm, but not necessarily all in the same lifeboat,” said Kwasman.

Make your emotional wellness a priority

Have you ever claimed that you’re too busy to take care of yourself? That’s a common phenomenon, especially among nurses.

“Often, nurses don’t take the time to take care of themselves,” said Charlotte Thomas-Hawkins, PhD, RN, FAAN, a nursing educator and researcher in nurse wellness with the American Nephrology Nurses Association (ANNA).

“Nurses’ emotional wellness is imperative not only during these unprecedented times but each and every day,” said Andrea Petrovanie-Green, MSN, RN, AMB-BC, national director of the American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing’s Board of Directors.

That means that it’s not only not selfish to prioritize self-care–it’s absolutely necessary that you do so. It’s imperative for your professional success as well as your personal health.

“Making time for self-care will position you to be physically, mentally and emotionally present when providing care for your patients and their families,” said Petrovanie-Green.

Vicki Good, DNP, RN, CENP, CPHQ, CPPS, past president of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), also urges nurses to remember that always putting others first does come with a cost.

“Give yourself permission to take a break!” she said. “As a nurse, we are natural caregivers, and we want to help everyone that comes to us with a need. This is an admirable trait, but it is also one that has to led to our emotional tanks being on ‘empty’.”

Thomas-Hawkins suggested trying a few of these self-care strategies:

  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Exercise
  • Self-reflection through journaling

Something else to consider: use care in choosing your personal company, so you can be surrounded by people who genuinely care about you. Finding safe spaces and people with whom to share your feelings can help you nurture and improve–as well as maintain–your emotional-well-being, said ThomasHawkins.

Finding well-being resources and professional help

More people than ever are seeking professional help for their struggles with mental health and emotional wellness. In fact, the results of a survey recently released by the American Psychological Association (APA) show that psychologists are experiencing a significant increase in demand for treatment of anxiety and depression.

You, too, could possibly benefit from seeking professional help–from a psychologist, a counselor, or another person with expertise in helping people with mental health issues.

You might also want to check out the Well-being Initiative, a program launched by the American Nurses Foundation in 2020 to provide resources to nurses across the country who need support in managing the everyday stressors in their lives, as well as the unusual stressors of the COVID-19 pandemic.

And if you’re a nursing leader, encourage your organization to offer help to nurses and other staff.

“Organizations also have a role in ensuring the environment nurses work in is a healthy one and in supporting the nurse in practicing emotional wellness,” said Good. “Support may take different forms, such as offering employee assistance programs, providing nutritional resources, and adequate rest breaks and ensuring time off.”

For additional resources, consider some of the AACN’s ideas for fostering self-care and nurturing emotional well-being in others, as well as the association’s repository of resources for Well-Being in Uncertain Times.

Self-care for Nurses: 6 Strategies to Maintain Your Mental Health partners with the top travel nursing agencies in the U.S. to provide
thousands of assignment opportunities with great benefits, including employee assistance programs.

FIND TRAVEL NURSE JOBS or APPLY TODAY to get connected with a recruiter.

Learn more about Travel Nursing:

Pursuing a Career as a RN?

How to Become a Registered Nurse

Registered nurses must be able to effectively communicate with patients to understand their concerns and assess their health conditions.

Registered nurses usually take one of three education paths: a bachelor’s degree in nursing, an associate’s degree in nursing, or a diploma from an approved nursing program. Registered nurses must be licensed.


Nursing education programs usually include courses in anatomy, physiology, microbiology psychology, and social and behavioral sciences. Bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree programs, like programs in some other healthcare and related fields, typically take 4 years to complete; associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) and associate of science in nursing (ASN) degrees also typically take 4 years to complete. Diploma programs, usually offered by hospitals or medical centers, typically take 2 to 3 years to complete. There are far fewer diploma programs than there are BSN, ADN, and ASN programs. All programs include supervised clinical experience.

In addition to science courses, bachelor’s degree programs usually include education in communication, leadership, and critical thinking. A bachelor’s or higher degree is often necessary for administrative positions, research, consulting, and teaching.

Generally, licensed graduates of any of the three types of education programs (bachelor’s, associate’s, or diploma) qualify for entry-level positions as a staff nurse. However, employers—particularly those in hospitals—may require a bachelor’s degree.

Registered nurses with an ADN, ASN, or diploma may go back to school to earn a bachelor’s degree through an RN-to-BSN program. There are also master’s degree programs in nursing, combined bachelor’s and master’s programs, and accelerated programs for those who wish to enter the field of nursing and already hold a bachelor’s degree in another field. Some employers offer tuition reimbursement.

Clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) must earn a master’s degree in nursing and typically already have 1 year or more of work experience as an RN or in a related field. CNSs who conduct research typically need a doctoral degree.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Registered nurses must have a nursing license issued by the state in which they work. To become licensed, nurses must graduate from an approved nursing program and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN).

Other requirements for licensing, such as passing a criminal background check, vary by state. Each state’s board of nursing provides specific requirements. For more information on the NCLEX-RN and a list of state boards of nursing, visit the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

Nurses may become certified through professional associations in specific areas, such as ambulatory care, gerontology, or pediatrics. Although certification is usually voluntary, it demonstrates adherence to a specific level of competency, and some employers require it.

In addition, registered nursing positions may require cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), basic life support (BLS), or advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) certification.

CNSs must satisfy additional state licensing requirements, such as earning specialty certifications. Contact state boards of nursing for specific requirements.

Important Qualities

Critical-thinking skills. Registered nurses must assess changes in the health status of patients, such as determining when to take corrective action.

Communication skills. Registered nurses must be able to communicate effectively with patients in order to understand their concerns and evaluate their health conditions. Nurses need to clearly explain instructions, such as how to take medication. They must work in teams with other health professionals and communicate patients’ needs.

Compassion. Registered nurses should be caring and empathetic when working with patients.

Detail oriented. Registered nurses must be precise because they must ensure that patients get the correct treatments and medicines at the right time.

Emotional stability. Registered nurses need emotional resilience and the ability to cope with human suffering, emergencies, and other stressors.

Organizational skills. Nurses often work with multiple patients who have a variety of health needs. The ability to coordinate numerous treatment plans and records is critical to ensure that each patient receives appropriate care.

Physical stamina. Nurses should be comfortable performing physical tasks, such as lifting patients. They may be on their feet for most of their shift.


Most registered nurses begin as staff nurses in hospitals or community health settings. With experience, good performance, and continuing education, they can move to other settings or be promoted to positions with more responsibility.

In management, nurses may advance from assistant clinical nurse manager, charge nurse, or head nurse to more senior-level administrative roles, such as assistant director or director of nursing, vice president of nursing, or chief nursing officer. Increasingly, management-level nursing positions require a graduate degree in nursing or health services administration. Administrative positions require leadership skills, communication ability, negotiation skills, and good judgment.

Some nurses move into the business side of healthcare. Their nursing expertise and experience on a healthcare team equip them to manage ambulatory, acute, home-based, and chronic care businesses. Employers—including hospitals, insurance companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and managed care organizations—need registered nurses for jobs in health planning and development, marketing, consulting, policy development, and quality assurance.

Some RNs may become nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, or nurse practitioners, which, along with clinical nurse specialists, are types of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). APRNs need a master’s degree but many have a doctoral degree. APRNs may provide primary and specialty care, and in many states they may prescribe medications.

Other nurses work as postsecondary teachers or researchers in colleges and universities, which typically requires a Ph.D.

Content shared from US Bureau of Labor and Statistics

Learn more about Registered Nursing:

Sumner College Student of the Month: January 2023

Hamza was selected by Sumner College faculty and staff for the January Student of the Month. Some of the reasons was was selected include:

  • “Hamza continues to be an informal leader and contributes to a dynamic learning environment.”
  • “He encourages others to participate and grow during active learning sessions.”
  • “Hamza is always on time, asks appropriate questions and remains engaged throughout each class session. He is a wonderful student!”
  • “Hamza is unfailingly kind, and persistently focused on nursing as his goal.”

Winners of the Student of the Month Award are nominated by the staff and faculty each month. They are presented with a certificate and given a $500 scholarship.

More about Hamza:

Hamza was taking prerequisites in nursing at Highline Community College before enrolling at Sumner College. He was referred by professional colleagues to consider our program and he has been impressed with the wonderful education and learning experiences provided. Originally from Uganda, where he was working in environmental restoration, Hamza emigrated to the United States in 2018. He has worked as a caregiver and nursing assistant for the past 4 years in long term care settings. Hamza is also proud to be a hospice volunteer with CHI Franciscan Health. Currently completing his practicum at Life Care Center of McMinnville, he plans on pursuing his BSN and focusing on becoming an Emergency Room nurse. Hamza is an accomplished soccer player, has recently been trying vegan cuisine, and is planning to explore Yellowstone National Park.

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Meet Alex – Sumner College Graduate

Alex, congratulations on your graduation! As you’ve embarked on your nursing journey, remember: ‘Nursing is not just a profession, it’s a calling to serve, heal,

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Alexandra, congratulations on your graduation! As you’ve embarked on your nursing journey, remember: ‘Nursing is not just a profession, it’s a calling to serve, heal,

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Meet Renee – Sumner College Graduate

Renee, congratulations on your graduation! As you’ve embarked on your nursing journey, remember: ‘Nursing is not just a profession, it’s a calling to serve, heal,

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Meet Serena – Sumner College Graduate

Serena congratulations on your graduation! As you’ve embarked on your nursing journey, remember: ‘Nursing is not just a profession, it’s a calling to serve, heal,

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Meet Amanda – Sumner College Graduate

Amanda, congratulations on your graduation! As you’ve embarked on your nursing journey, remember: ‘Nursing is not just a profession, it’s a calling to serve, heal,

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Natalie, congratulations on your graduation! As you’ve embarked on your nursing journey, remember: ‘Nursing is not just a profession, it’s a calling to serve, heal,

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