Your Future in Pediatric Nursing PowerPoint Guide

A Professional Development Resource from the
Pediatric Nursing Certification Board
Who is PNCB?
 National nursing certification board established
in 1975 by:
 The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
 The National Association of Pediatric Nurse
Practitioners (NAPNAP)
 Association of Faculties of Pediatric Nurse
Practitioners (AFPNP)
 Largest certification board for nursing
professionals who care for pediatric populations.
 Strengthening care for children is at the heart of
everything we do!
Why pediatrics?
No matter where pediatric nurses practice, their primary concern is
the welfare of the child and family.
- Wong’s Nursing Care of Infants and Children
You know you are a pediatric nurse when you get excited each day
that you come to work because you get to experience one of the
most endearing, resilient, and beautiful patient populations.
- Nicole Lehr, RN, CPN
Why pediatrics?
The greatest trust anyone can give you is to trust you to care for
their child. Pediatric nurses get that kind of trust every day.
Every day you take care of children is a privileged day – a day you
are shown utmost trust, and given the greatest learning
opportunities and the greatest opportunities to experience the entire
spectrum of life.
- Vicki Stringfellow, MSN, CPNP-AC/PC, NNP-BC
Where pediatric nurses work
Besides hospitals, primary care offices, and
schools, pediatric RNs thrive in…
 Home health care
 Military settings
 Specialty clinics
 Public health
 Juvenile detention centers
 Mission and disaster efforts
 Consultant, research, and faculty positions
Photo credits: Getty Images (top); L. Klein and L. Brunk, RN, CPN, Aultman
Working on Wellness (middle), Centers for Disease Control (bottom)
Have an interest in peds?
 Ask faculty about pediatric nursing roles
 Enroll in pediatric nursing courses
 Ask your student leaders for guest speakers who are pediatric
nurses so they can discuss their career choices
 Talk to pediatric nursing professionals in your community about
the challenges and rewards of their specific roles
 Seek out clinicals or intern/extern programs that focus on or
include pediatric populations
 Consider working for local hospitals that care for pediatric
More ideas
 Consider joining online forums like to discuss peds
 Find free and low-cost online learning opportunities with peds
nursing content like:
• PNCB – all peds (RN and advanced practice):
• Medscape – use search feature to find “pediatrics”:
• Nursing Spectrum – sometimes features peds:
• Advance for RNs – usually a few low-cost peds modules:
While job hunting
 Highlight any peds-related experience on your
 Ask potential hospital employers if they offer a
pediatric RN residency program or other
specialized training
 Consider short-term volunteer opportunities
(e.g., youth summer camps)
After you’re hired
 Don’t be afraid to ask questions
 Seek out a mentor as you learn
the ropes
 Take advantage of employer-
sponsored learning activities
 Continue to look for pediatric
learning opportunities to
strengthen your knowledge
Connect with peers
Consider joining a professional association, like the
Society of Pediatric Nurses (SPN) -
 Network locally with others in your role
 Develop collegial relationships
 Discuss work-related issues
 Find near-by CE opportunities and conferences
SPN also offers a student membership category.
Become a leader
 Think about precepting new
graduates after you’ve settled into
your role.
 Volunteer for committee leadership
in a professional organization on a
local, state, or national level.
 Consider your personal role in the
future of pediatric nursing and help
chart the course for the next
generation of new nurses. Help the
role thrive.
Consider certification
Certification is a formal assessment of your knowledge and
After you gain work experience, you can apply to sit for a national
board certification exam.
Parents and caregivers are becoming more aware of certification.
Certified Pediatric Nurses at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas.
Why certify?
Nurses seek certification for many reasons:
 Potential financial benefits from
 An edge on advancement and future job
 Increased confidence in clinical skills
 Personal sense of accomplishment
 Recognition from employers, colleagues,
and the public
 Evidence of professional growth
 Links to greater job satisfaction and
Salary and growth
The Nursing2011 Salary Survey reports that nurses certified in
a specialty earn an average of $10,200 per year more than
nurses who are not.
I see nurses grow into advanced titles in a hospital setting such
as pediatric clinician when they earn certification credentials.
- Raquel Engolio RN, MSN, CPN
Assistant Professor,
Our Lady of Holy Cross College
Impact on patients
Nurses who are nationally certified carry a body of knowledge
that directly impacts patient outcomes. Patient outcomes are a
large part of advancing on the clinical ladder.
- Debbie White, MSN, MSA, RN, ACNS-BC, NEA-BC
Vice president and chief nursing officer
Saint Luke's Hospital, Kansas City, MO
From State of Nursing Salaries: 2011
Employers and certification
Many employers consider certification to be an important
professional development milestone.
Some recommend or require certification for advancement on the
clinical ladder.
Certified nurses on staff are an important quality indicator for
hospitals seeking Magnet® recognition.
Children’s Medical Center of Dallas reception honoring certified nursing professionals during Nurses Week.
Interview tip
During interviews, ask prospective employers
what benefits are available for nurses who
become certified.
Even though newly licensed RNs can’t certify
until they have enough experience, asking the
question gives you an idea of how an employer
values – and rewards – professional
It also shows you’re thinking ahead about your
professional growth.
Who certifies with PNCB?
 General Pediatric RNs
 Pediatric Emergency RNs in partnership with the Board of
Certification for Emergency Nurses
 Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
 Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
 Pediatric Primary Care Mental Health Specialists
What’s required to certify?
PNCB’s Certified Pediatric Nurse (CPN) exam is based on
To apply, you will need:
1. 1800 hours of pediatric clinical practice
2. A current, active, unrestricted RN license in the U.S.,
Canada, or U.S. territory at the time of application
Q: Do you need a BSN to take the exam?
A: No. You can hold a Diploma, Associate’s Degree, or
Bachelor’s Degree in nursing.
How do you prepare?
Visit to explore resources like…
Exam content outline/test blueprint: describes all subject
areas covered by the exam and questions per category
Reference list
Exam tips
Free sample questions
CPN Exam Prep: a practice test developed by PNCB with
in-depth rationale for answers
FAQs about preparing
Q: Can PNCB recommend the best text book?
A: PNCB can’t endorse specific texts or review courses, but we
recommend using one peds nursing textbook you’re familiar with. Know
someone who has tested? Ask them what texts or other resources they
felt was most helpful.
Q: Do I need to take a review course?
A: Review courses are not required to sit for the exam.
Q: I have test anxiety. How can I better manage that?
A: PNCB offers an online test-taking strategies module that may help.
This learning activity at also discusses how to create a
study plan. The tips included can be applied to any exam (e.g., NCLEX).
CPN exam scoring
• Pass or fail notification is provided before leaving the testing center.
Official result are mailed 2-3 weeks after you test.
• You have 3 hours to answer 175 multiple-choice questions:
• 150 are scored
• 25 are non-scored to pilot test newly written questions
• You will not be able to tell the difference between scored and non-scored
• The 5-year average for the CPN pass rate is 84%.
Comparing NCLEX
Q: Is the CPN exam like the NCLEX?
A: While there are similarities (e.g., testing on a computer in a secure,
proctored environment), there are also differences.
The CPN exam only asks multiple choice questions, while NCLEX
contains alternate item formats (fill in the blanks, hot spot items, etc.).
With the CPN exam, you can also return to questions and change an
answer before final submission.
PNCB does not use adaptive testing, which can vary the number of
questions a testers sees, and ends when competence is determined. The
CPN exam does not end until 3 hours are up, or unless the tester submits
answers before that time limit.
How is certification maintained?
CPN renewal, or recertification, is an annual process. Each
year, CPNs document 15 completed contact hours of
continuing education (CE) or accepted equivalents.
CPEN recertification is every 4 years. CPENs document 100
completed contact hours of CE or accepted equivalents, or
they can re-take the initial exam.
Q: Is it expensive to keep up with the education?
A: It depends. Conference CE usually costs more than online
CE. Some online CE is free or very low cost. Some
employers offer CE for free or reduced costs. All certification
boards charge a fee for recertification.
Subspecialty Certifications
Certifications beyond general peds are available from other
certification boards too:
 Pediatric Emergency Nursing
Jointly offered by the PNCB and the Board of Certification for Emergency Nurses
 Pediatric Critical Care
American Association of Critical Care Nurses Certification Corporation
 Pediatric Oncology
Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation
 Pediatric Hospice and Palliative Care
National Board for Certification of Hospice and Palliative Nurses
 School Nursing
National Board for Certification of School Nurses
Future Career Pathways
There’s always room to grow in nursing!
 Manager or other leadership positions
 Clinical educator roles
 Earning a Master’s or Doctorate for
 Teaching
 Research
 Advanced practice (e.g., Nurse Practitioner or
Clinical Nurse Specialist)
Read “A Day in the Life” interviews with pediatric
nursing professionals in a variety of roles.
Resources from PNCB
Even before you’re certified, you can grow professionally with
 Free CE
 National Calendar of Continuing Education Opportunities
 Glossary of Nursing Acronyms
 A list of respected pediatric nursing textbooks
More Resources
The Institute of Pediatric Nursing (IPN) is a nonprofit organization of pediatric nursing
organizations and children's hospitals created in
2009 to address issues that impact quality care for
children and their families.
Visit to learn more about this
unified voice for pediatric nursing.
In-depth video about what pediatric nurses do
and where they practice:
Video of the history of pediatric nursing:
Good luck!
We wish you much success in your future nursing career!

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