To become a nurse practitioner, you will need to make sure you have a high level of education and plenty of experience in this field, however, there are a number of qualities you must also have which will be key to your success.
When it comes to becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner, these qualities are even more important. This is because the main role of a pediatric nurse practitioner is to provide primary care for children, from birth all the way through to becoming a young adult. They need to have a huge range of experience and knowledge in pediatric primary health care, as well as child care plus the management and prevention of common pediatric acute illness and chronic conditions.
Pediatric nurse practitioners will be able to provide diagnoses for illnesses, preform yearly checkups, and prescribe any medication required. This role allows you to share many responsibilities with doctors while continuing to reap the benefits and enjoy the things you love about nursing. If this medical profession sounds like something you would like to get into, then here are some of the qualities required in order to become a successful pediatric nurse practitioner.
Emotional Resilience and Stability
The role of a pediatric nurse practitioner will be far from easy and, unfortunately, you will come across some situations that will break your heart. In order to deal with this, you must be extremely resilient and stable when it comes to your emotions. During difficult times, you will have to be the one to provide the care and treatment to your patient, while continuing to support them and their family throughout. However, there will be many rewarding and happy times during this role and you will have to be emotionally stable to remain professional during these times.
Heaps of Empathy
A great pediatric nurse practitioner will have to have empathy for suffering patients. They must be compassionate and provide the right level of comfort to their patients and the patient's family to help them through difficult times.
The greatest nurses tend to come across a rush of compassion fatigue at times. During these times, you will need to make sure you are familiar with the symptoms and learn how to deal with it professionally. Many nurses and patients look up to pediatric nurse practitioners and sometimes, an empathetic nurse practitioner is all a patient has to look forward to.
Willingness to Learn
In order to qualify as a pediatric nurse practitioner, you will have to:
- Study to become a registered nurse
- Complete an MSN (master’s program in nursing) or a DNP (doctoral degree program)
It can take between two and four years to achieve this, depending on the starting point of the registered nurse. The learning doesn’t stop once you obtain this higher level of education though; once you have become a fully qualified pediatric nurse practitioner, you will have to be willing to constantly learn and adjust to the new changes and breakthroughs that are constantly being discovered in the medical field. This could be in terms of:
- New treatments
- New diseases
- New Equipment
Being adaptable and enthusiastic about change is essential for success.
Mental and Physical Endurance
Pediatric nurse practitioners don’t only have to be resilient, they also have to have the mental and physical endurance to succeed. A pediatric nurse practitioner will usually see three or more patients each day. The shifts they will work will sometimes be extremely long and will require them to spend many hours rushing about on their feet. They will have to make sure they:
- Provide the right level of care and treatment to all of their patients
- Learn how to cope and deal with difficult patients and families
- Provide consistent treatment, empathy, and education to everyone, no matter how hard they are to deal with
Criticism and stress are things you will have to accept and handle exceptionally well. You must try your best to not let things get to you and provide coherent levels of care.
Outstanding Communication Skills
Having outstanding communication skills is vital for the majority of careers, but this is an extremely important aspect when it comes to any kind of nursing. A great pediatric nurse practitioner should be exceptional at communicating because they will have to deal with children of all ages, as well as their families.
It can be difficult to know how to break certain news to people, especially children, so a pediatric nurse practitioner will have to learn the best ways to do this. Sometimes, the treatment or illness may be complicated, so knowing how to communicate this to your patient and their family is essential to help them understand the situation.
You must be great at listening and speaking to people of all ages in order to thrive in this field. You will also have to solve problems and communicate with the patient and their family based on patient and team feedback.
Thinking and Reacting Quickly
An exceptional pediatric nurse practitioner will be able to address problems fast, when or even before they arise. When you deal with sick children, things can turn fast. They don’t communicate or can’t communicate their problems like an adult can, so in some cases, you will need to do the thinking for them. You must be able to solve problems well, as you will tend to find yourself in tricky and unpredictable situations. During emergencies, you will have to respond fast to the situations you face and you must always be prepared for unexpected scenarios. However, you will need to remain calm, patient and consistent during these times. The quality of care you provide to your patients and their family must never be compromised.
There are so many things that are essential to succeed in the field of a pediatric nurse practitioner and you need to fully understand and be familiar with these different aspects in order to become and succeed in this role. Many of the qualities you need will be required to become a registered nurse, so becoming a nurse practitioner will just require you to refine and better these skills while continuing your education. It will all be worth it at the end of the day, for both job satisfaction and salary!