Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Nursing Careers with BSN

Benefits of PICU Nursing

As a PICU nurse, you will be eligible for employment in community hospitals as well as large medical centers. If you take a full or part time position, you will receive a comprehensive benefit package. You will also have the option of working per diem, which will afford you with the flexibility of choosing your own schedule.

The average salary that PICU nurses earn is $60,000 annually though according to hourly wages can fluctuate from $25-$52 per hour. Many experienced PICU nurses make substantially more. If you work as a PICU travel nurse, or in a large metropolitan specialty hospital, you will have the opportunity to take advantage of higher compensation rates. Because of technical progress an ever increasing number of children need specialized care. The job market for PICU nurses will remain strong.

  • LPN to RN/BSN Online - Achieve Test Prep

    *Must Be a LPN/LVN

    LPNs earn your ADN or BSN degree online in up to 1/2 the time and cost of traditional programs. With No Waiting List to get started, Free Books, and Low Cost financing options available, this is the perfect way for LPNs, LVNs, and Paramedics to earn your Associates Degree in Nursing and your RN license. Our convenient, instructor led test-out program allows you to learn at an accelerated pace and earn college credit-by-examination which then is eligible to be transferred to an ACEN accredited nursing school or 100's of universities nationwide.

The Role of the PICU Nurse

You will usually care for between one and three children. In addition to providing state of the art care for critically ill children and adolescents, you will offer emotional support and educational opportunities to their parents and other family members.

Every year, more children are surviving serious illnesses and trauma. Babies who would not have lived just a few years ago are alive due to medical advances. Many of these children need complex medical care intermittently for years. They may require multiple surgical procedures or be medically fragile.  Some of the children may be on ventilators. You will provide medications, intravenous fluids, and artificial nutrition.  Depending upon the type of facility that you choose to work in, you may provide services to patients who have similar needs, or work with children who have a wide array of diagnoses.

Most children will remain in the PICU for days or weeks, however, some of them need care in the PICU for extended periods. You may develop close relationships with families, especially if you work in a large medical center that provides care for children who have ongoing, critical medical needs.

How to Become a PICU Nurse

Start today Explore educational opportunities that will help you to transition from being an LPN to an RN. Consider enrolling in a nursing bridge program. Follow a course of study that will award you with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Nursing. Check with potential colleges to see if they will grant you credit for coursework which you have already completed while obtaining your LPN education. Ask recruiters if you will be provided with opportunities to test out of courses that you are proficient in.

You may choose to attend a college which provides all course work on campus or take advantage of a school which offers you the choice of taking some coursework on line. The educational options are vast. As institution leaders realize that adults must balance work, education and home life, more colleges are offering flexible options.  Think about what will make the transition best for you.  Many schools now have high tech nursing laboratories where you can practice skills in a comfortable non-threatening environment.

Explore funding options. Your employer may provide tuition reimbursement. Apply for grants, scholarships, or student loans.  If you are a veteran, see what your benefits provide.

If you are sure that you want to work with children, try to gain experience in facilities and at agencies which support children when you do your college practicum. You will not be gaining experience within a PICU while you are attending college, however, you will be more familiar with services that aid children, and gain opportunities to work with children and families in crisis.

The most important thing that you can do if you want to become a PICU nurse is to take the first step. Do it today and you will be one day closer to helping medically needy children and their families.


Last Updated/Verified: Nov 11, 2023