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Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist

Supervise a staff of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners.

What does a Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist do?

A Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist is a senior-level Pediatric Nurse who assists Pediatricians in the care of babies, children, and teens. Because kids get sick a lot – one day, it’s a runny nose; the next day, it’s a stomachache or a sore throat; and the day after that, it’s a fever – they, therefore, need more medical care than most. Think about a class of kindergarteners, for instance: With so many children touching so many germs so often – passing them back and forth in the form of coughs, sneezes, and sniffles – a Physician isn’t always enough to treat them. Nurses are needed, too – in particular, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialists.

As a Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist, you’re like most Nurses, which means you work for a hospital, clinic, or private practice. There, it’s your job to ask kids and parents about their symptoms, take patient histories, and record information on patients’ charts. In addition, you check vitals, take blood, treat wounds, and provide other basic, frontline treatment and communications.

There’s one major caveat, however: Unlike a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, who is a Registered Nurse (RN) and can therefore see, treat, and even diagnose patients independently, you’re not an RN, which means you’re not allowed to care for patients unless it’s under the direct supervision of a Pediatrician. While you share in many common nursing duties, therefore, you typically leave patient care to Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, since they don’t need supervision.

Instead, your specialty is administration and education: While they’re caring for patients, you’re caring for Pediatric Nurse Practitioners as the nursing Department Head, which requires developing process improvements, managing schedules and budgets, and providing training and professional development, the goal of which is improving patient care – even though you’re not typically the one providing it!