Pediatric nursing is dedicated to the health and care of young people, ranging from babies to teenagers. Children, as patients, have unique healthcare needs that require specialized knowledge and expertise in their growth, illness, and injury.
Pediatric nurses must also have excellent communication skills so they can provide a safe and supportive environment for young patients and their families.
About the program
The BCIT Pediatric nursing specialty program is the only one of its kind in Canada. We educate students from around the world, and our certificate is recognized at every Canadian hospital and university. Our program gives you the skills employers seek.
- Part-time, advanced certificate program that takes an average of 2.5 years to complete
- Distance and online learning gives you flexibility to learn at your own pace
- Two clinical experiences that can be completed in pediatric practice areas in your community or province
Our program prepares you for a career in pediatric nursing. Visit Program Details for more information about our program design.
Who it’s for
This program is for individuals who:
- Are current practicing, registered nurses (RNs) wanting an advanced pediatric nursing certification, or to complete their specialty Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in pediatrics
- Are undergraduate nursing students currently completing an accredited BSN program
- Enjoy working directly with children and their families
- Have strong interpersonal and creative thinking skills, especially when communicating with young people
This specialty nursing program does not require relevant work experience. Learn more about the Entrance Requirements.
Your work experience matters
At BCIT, we value your work experience. If you’ve been working as a pediatric nurse, take advantage of our Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR) process and fast track your advanced certification education.
What grads can do
Our grads are in demand. See Graduating and Jobs to learn more about career opportunities in pediatric nursing.
- Next up Entrance Requirements
Note: In alignment with public health orders, this program requires that students be vaccinated for a number of communicable diseases – including COVID-19.
Face respirator fit testing – approx $25 per year; annual re-fitting required.
Total costs for materials within the Pediatric Specialty Nursing program is approximately $300.
The core, required courses in the program address content and skills that are basic to pediatric nursing regardless of the setting. The elective credits and courses enable you to pursue relevant areas of interest, based on your educational and career goals.
NSPE 7100 (Pediatric Theory 1)
The first course in the program, this focuses on children and families as clients. It explores partnership with children and families, and introduces developmentally supportive care and family-centered care as frameworks for Pediatric nursing practice. The course begins by looking at children in the context of nursing practice and follows with modules focusing on pertinent nursing care related to children from infancy to adolescence.
NSPE 7200 (Pediatric Theory 2)
This second theory course in the Pediatric Nursing Specialty builds on the previous course, NSPE 7100: Pediatric Nursing Theory 1. Pediatric Theory 2 explores issues related to caring for a variety of children with specific health challenges, incorporating concepts such as partnership with families, growth and development, and the effects of stress on children and families.
The children in this course face health challenges that bring them into contact with nurses. We will use the information about these health challenges to examine the effects on the child, and the role of the nurse in the care of the child and family. Concepts foundational to pediatric nursing practice are examined; including oxygen supply and demand, comprehensive assessment, clinical and ethical decision making using case studies.
Prerequisites: NSPE 7100
NSPE 7300 (Pediatric Clinical 1)
The third course focuses on the knowledge and skills required to begin practising pediatric nursing. The course is organized around the following key areas of practice:
- medication administration,
- fluid balance/nutrition,
- respiratory support and
- partnership with children.
It emphasizes synthesis of knowledge, skills and attitudes that enable nurses to provide competent care to vulnerable children.
Together, the first 3 courses in the program prepare you to begin working with vulnerable children in hospital and community settings. Some students, particularly if you have limited pediatric nursing experience, can benefit from additional clinical practice before beginning employment. We encourage you to take NSPE 7900 (Clinical Preceptorship in Pediatric Nursing) after completing NSPE 7300 (Pediatric Clinical 1). You can use NSPE 7900 as 3 elective credits in the program.
NSPE 7600 – Pediatric Theory 4 (3 credits): The Acutely Ill Child
This fourth required course supports further development of pediatric nursing practice and builds new knowledge related providing care for increasingly complex patients, approaching critical illnesses. Specifically, learners will have opportunities to develop clinical decision-making skills and processes while examining the care of a patient experiencing an alteration in cerebral oxygen supply and demand balance and the care of a patient experiencing sepsis progressing toward septic shock.
Learners will also have the opportunity to
- apply knowledge from previous courses related to family centered care, ethics in practice and best practices in specific patient situations
- explore new knowledge related to contextual influences in critical care nursing practice.
Learners will focus a portion of their study on a patient experiencing the following critical illnesses:
- respiratory failure,
- multiple organ dysfunction,
- cardiogenic shock,
- hypovolemic shock,
- CNS infection, and
- renal failure.
Prerequisites: NSPE 7100 and NSPE 7200.
NSPE 7500 (Pediatric Clinical 2)
This is the second required clinical course in the program. It gives you an opportunity to pursue a particular area of interest. Select a key area of pediatric nursing practice and focus your clinical learning on that area of practice.
The remaining credits and courses in the program are electives.
- Choose electives from within the Pediatric Nursing Specialty:
NSPE 7400 (Pediatric Theory 3),
NSPE 7900 (Clinical Preceptorship in Pediatric Nursing),
NSPE 7910 (Pediatric Nursing in the Home),
NSPE 7920 (Pediatric Arrest Management),
NSPE 7240 (Pediatric Surgical and Neurological Nursing),
NSSC 8120, 8130 8160 (Independent Study in Specialty Nursing).
- Choose electives from other related BCIT Specialty Nursing Programs, such as Neonatal Nursing, Perinatal Nursing or Forensic Nursing.
- Finally, take electives at other educational institutions that offer courses related to Pediatric nursing.
Our grads are ready
The BCIT Pediatric nursing specialty allows you to work anywhere in the world. Use our program to start your career in pediatric nursing or apply your new skills in your existing workplace.
Pediatric registered nurses combine technical nursing expertise with strong communication skills focused on youth. They primarily work in dedicated pediatric units in hospitals or community health centers but can also work in doctors’ offices and schools.
Positions start at approximately $32 per hour with opportunities available internationally. A typical day can involve:
- Physical assessments
- Educating families on care and prevention
- Designing home care plans for children with special needs
- Caring for children with chronic illness or injury
- Creating a safe environment for young patients
- Working closely with physicians on an on-going basis
Canadian Nurses Association
Graduates of the BCIT program are eligible to write the Specialty Nursing exam for Pediatric Nursing through the CNA Certification Program. CNA views certification as a method of validating nurses’ competence in an area of specialization within the field of nursing. BCIT Specialty Nursing graduates can receive a credit of up to 1,000 hours towards their initial certification examination.
Looking to get your BSN? Use your advanced certificate toward completing our Bachelors of Nursing, Specialty Nursing program.
Beginning in 2018, BCIT Specialty Nursing Advanced Certificate Graduates can apply to receive transfer credits towards the online, two-year UVIC Master of Nursing program. Applicants can chose from the Advanced Practice Leadership of Nurse Educator options.
Health Match BC
Health Match BC is a new service that helps recent specialty nursing graduates find work within BC. Funded by the provincial government, Health Match BC prioritizes the hiring of BC nursing graduates. For more information, download the Health Match BC [PDF].
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Programs and courses are subject to change without notice.