Pediatric nurse practitioners focus on providing healthcare to infants and children. While the job duties vary depending on where they work, they typically include evaluating a patient’s condition, providing initial patient care, working with patients and families as they deal with a condition or injury, and providing guidance on good health practices, nutrition, and diet.

It’s a job that’s in demand around the country and in Texas. The federal government projects the number of nurse practitioners to increase 36% by 2026. In Texas, the number is expected to increase a staggering 43.8%, according to Projections Central, which breaks down federal job numbers by state. In addition, the Houston area is among the Top 5 in the country in terms of the number of nurse practitioners employed, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Who Becomes a Nurse Practitioner?

Those who enter a Master of Science in Nursing – Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program are typically registered nurses who want to improve their career by earning a master’s degree.

The MSN – Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program also allows them to focus on mastering the delivery of healthcare to children and infants. For those who wish to specialize in this field, earning the degree allows them to fulfill their professional ambitions.

Job Duties for Pediatric Nurse Practitioners

Health professionals who hold a master’s degree as a pediatric nurse practitioner are typically placed into leadership positions. That’s reflected in their mean annual salary, which is $126,380 in the Houston area. Across Texas, it’s $111,330. Job duties typically include some or all the following.

Evaluating a patient’s condition. Nurse practitioners learn about a patient’s medical history and current symptoms. They perform physical exams and perform (or request) diagnostic tests to better evaluate a patient’s condition.

Provide initial patient care. Nurse practitioners have the training to provide medical services to patients, giving medications and providing treatment. They will also analyze test results and create a treatment plan for patients.

Work with patients and families. Because children are involved, pediatric nurse practitioners work with family members so that everyone understands what treatment is being applied and what the patients are expected to do as they recover from illness or injury.

Provide guidance. A pediatric nurse practitioner, especially those working in clinics or in schools, will provide guidance to children on good health practices, such as exercise, diet, and nutrition.

Where Nurse Practitioners Work

Most associate pediatric nurse practitioners work in children’s hospitals and pediatrician clinics. However, they also are employed in clinics and government agencies. In these jobs, a pediatric nurse practitioner works primarily on providing guidance to children on good healthcare habits.

Others may work in outpatient clinics or for schools.

Pediatric nurse practitioner is a growing field within healthcare, which is one of the fastest growing industries in the country. Earning a degree in the field opens the door to the best jobs in the profession – especially in Texas, which is one of the hottest spots for nursing jobs in the country.