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What are the requirements for becoming a pediatric nurse?

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The requirements for becoming a pediatric nurse include obtaining a diploma, bachelor's or associate nursing degree, acquiring a state nursing license and completing the minimum hours of practice in pediatric medicine, according to the Houston Chronicle. Pediatric nurses must pursue continuing education to keep their pediatric specialist certifications.

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Nursing degree programs typically cover anatomy, biology, chemistry and nutrition, says the Houston Chronicle. Four-year programs involve nursing administration and communication training to prepare registered nurse candidates for leadership roles. Students may also opt for a two- or three-year diploma or an associate degree program. Graduates of these programs qualify for state nursing licensure.

After completing a nursing degree program and its clinical training, aspiring pediatric nurses should finish at least 1,800 hours of pediatric medicine practice as registered nurses, states the Houston Chronicle. They must accomplish the clinical practice within two years prior to the date of application for a pediatric nursing certification. Qualifying pediatric nurses may also qualify for the certification exam for pediatric emergency nursing care by obtaining 1,000 hours of work experience in pediatric emergency nursing.

Pediatric nurses should recertify with the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board and continue relevant clinical practice, seminars and education courses to maintain their credentials, notes the Houston Chronicle. Those who want to become advanced practice nurses should pursue a graduate degree program.

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