Pediatric endocrinology (PED ENDO) nurses provide care for infants, children, adolescents and young adults who have endocrine disorders. They help pediatric endocrinologists treat patients with sexual development and physical growth disorders, such as intersex disorders and growth delays. PED ENDO nurses also help patients with endocrine disorders like hypoglycemia and diabetes and endocrine gland disorders that cause pituitary, thyroid and adrenal problems.
A PED ENDO nurse must have an associate degree in nursing, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or complete a nursing diploma program. The candidate must pass the NCLEX-RN examination for state certification. PED ENDO nurses can pursue a master’s degree or a doctorate in nursing for additional career opportunities. A background in pediatric nursing, endocrinology, internal medicine and diabetes education is helpful for nurses who want to become PED ENDO nurses. There are no national certification programs for these specialty nurses. A nurse can demonstrate proficiency and expertise through continuing education courses, on-the-job training and self-study.
PED ENDO nurses can work in various professional settings, such as professional health associations, children’s health care facilities, private practices and hospitals. Examples of PED ENDO nursing positions include diabetes management nurse, diabetes educator nurse, endocrinology testing nurse, patient care coordinator and clinical nurse. Regular duties of a PED ENDO nurse include providing regular medical care and administering medications. They conduct tests and perform examinations to detect emerging health issues or to monitor a patient’s progress. PED ENDO nurses take blood pressure, draw blood samples and insert catheters.
Good communication skills are essential because the focal point of this nursing specialty is performing tests and educating parents and children. Many of the tests are invasive and frightening for the patients and their families. The nurse must comfort and reassure families to perform various medical procedures. They must also provide ongoing education regarding the health effects of diabetes, how to manage the disease and to make lifestyle decisions that prevent or delay potential complications.
The salary for these specialty nurses varies based upon the location, size, type of employer and the rank of position. The average PED ENDO nurse earns $81,000 per year. PED ENDO nursing is a very specialized field of nursing with many opportunities for nurses with the required experience and qualifications. Another nursing specialty with similar training and experience is endocrinology nurses who assume the care for these patients when they become adults.