Paediatric nurse: job description

Paediatric nurse: job description

Paediatric nurses assess, plan and provide nursing care for children who are suffering from a wide variety of conditions including diseases, illnesses and cancer or who are recovering from surgery.
Many nurses work within the community, supporting families that are caring for sick children at home.

What does a paediatric nurse do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Paediatric nurses work as part of a multidisciplinary team of professional and medical staff that includes doctors, health visitors, social workers, therapists and play workers. Many nurses work within the community, supporting families that are caring for sick children at home.

Typical responsibilities include:

  • providing care before and after operations
  • monitoring and administering medication, injections, blood transfusions and intravenous infusions
  • treating wounds
  • taking samples from patients and monitoring their pulse, temperature and blood pressure
  • checking patients’ conditions and monitoring functions such as respiration
  • dealing with emergencies
  • supervising junior staff
  • organising workloads
  • tutoring student nurses
  • obtaining parental consent for treatment
  • keeping accurate records
  • writing reports
  • providing information, emotional support and reassurance to patients and relatives
  • ensuring adherence to strict hygiene and health and safety rules

Typical employers of paediatric nurses

  • Hospitals
  • NHS trusts
  • Nursing agencies
  • Community and health centres
  • Charities and voluntary organisations
  • Schools
  • Private health care organisations
  • GP practices
  • Residential homes

Advertisements appear in newspapers, NHS trusts' jobs lists and publications such as Nursing Times, Nursing Standard, Paediatric Nursing and their respective websites. Degree course applications should be made through UCAS; those for shortened postgraduate courses should be made directly to the relevant institutions.

Qualifications and training required

To qualify as a paediatric nurse you must complete a pre-registration nursing degree course. Graduates with a degree in a relevant subject such as physiology, psychology, education, life, medical, health, biological or social sciences can qualify via a shortened two-year postgraduate diploma course. Previous relevant experience is not essential, but any gained caring for, or working with, people (particularly children) can be helpful.

Key skills for paediatric nurses

  • Good health and fitness
  • Intuitive and reassuring
  • The ability to deal with distressed children and parents
  • Excellent teamwork skills
  • Verbal and written communication skills
  • Resilience
  • Stamina