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Certified Pediatric Nurse

Chandramita Bora
Certified pediatric nurses are registered nurses with certification in pediatric nursing. Their main responsibility is to provide medical or patient care to children and adolescents.
A certified pediatric nurse (CPN) is a registered nurse, who has specialized in providing medical care to pediatric patients, i.e., patients in the age group of 0 to 18 years.
So, a certified pediatric nurse is basically concerned with providing care and medical services to infants and adolescents.
Like other medical jobs, the demand for pediatric nurses is likely to increase in the coming years, and the nurses can expect to earn a higher salary after clearing the certification examination conducted by the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board.


To become a CPN, one needs a general nursing degree, along with practical experience. You can opt for the 4 year Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing or the Associate Degree in Nursing.
Even a diploma in Nursing can help you get an entry-level job. However, one has to be a licensed registered nurse to become a CPN. After receiving any of the aforementioned degrees, one can become a licensed registered nurse (RN) by clearing the national licensing examination (NCLEX-RN).
The next step is to acquire practical experience. One has to complete at least 1,800 hours of employment in pediatric nursing over a period of 2 years to take the certification examination in pediatric nursing.
Along with a Bachelor's degree in Nursing and practical experience, one should complete an advanced degree in Nursing with specialization in pediatrics or pediatric care. After that, one can become a CPN by taking the certification examination conducted by the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board.

Job Description

The main responsibility of a CPN is to provide basic medical care to pediatric patients. A CPN is also supposed to evaluate the condition of the patient, and carry out physical examinations, and order laboratory tests and examinations to ensure the proper diagnosis of the condition.
Once the specific illness has been identified, a pediatric nurse is responsible for providing the necessary patient care, and educate the patient and his or her family about the illness and the available treatment options.
A CPN can also carry out vaccination programs, along with providing primary health care services. Primary health care services can include, routine developmental screenings, the diagnosis and treatment of some common illnesses in children, and routine 'well child' examination.


The salary of a CPN can vary depending on experience, the area of specialization, and the location. In general, a CPN can earn a salary higher than that of a pediatric nurse, who does not have any certification.
On an average, a CPN with less than one year of experience can expect to earn a salary of $64,000 to $81, 000 per annum. On the other hand, a CPN with more than 20 years of experience in pediatric care can earn up to $100,000 per year.
Nurses who have specialized in labor and delivery can expect to earn a much higher salary than others.
Pediatric nurses can find jobs in hospitals, community health centers, health clinics, and also in local, state, and federal government agencies. Like many other hospital jobs, the job of a CPN can provide a lot of opportunities and growth prospects.
The job of a CPN is however different from that of a certified pediatric nurse practitioner (CPNP). To become a CPNP, one has to complete a master's program specifically designed for this purpose. The salary of a CPNP can also be quite different from the salary of a CPN.