A pediatric nurse practitioner manages, diagnoses and treats patients from birth until the age of 21, using their expertise to provide care for young patients suffering from diseases and chronic conditions. It’s a job that is increasingly in demand in Houston and other cities around the country. Many registered nurses decide to enter a master’s degree program to become a pediatric nurse practitioner while maintaining their current job.
Online programs have provided nurses more flexibility in how they earn their degrees. Some schools, such as Houston Baptist University, blend online with on-campus classes, creating a hybrid program that gives students the best of both educational worlds.
For nurses who wish to focus on pediatrics, earning a graduate degree opens the door to the jobs they want in a high-demand market.
Demand for Pediatric Nurse Practitioners in Houston and Texas
Texas faces a well-publicized nursing shortage that experts project will continue for many years. For Texans already in the nursing profession who want to improve their skills, they are in the right state to do it. Houston ranks among the top metropolitan areas in the employment of nurse practitioners, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That’s an area that stretches from The Woodlands to the north, down to Sugar Land to the southwest.
The BLS also reports that the mean annual salary in Houston for nurse practitioners – $126,380 – is higher than the national average of $107,480. In fact, it’s also higher than many other cities that rank among the top employers, including New York City, Boston, Atlanta, Dallas, Washington D.C. and Chicago.
Statewide, Texas expects to see a staggering 43.8% increase in the number of nurse practitioners by 2026, according to Projections Central, which breaks down BLS data by state. That’s even faster than the already-impressive national projection of 31% percent growth in the profession.
Clearly, the emergence of Houston as a center for the healthcare industry and the overall growth across Texas has created a big demand for qualified pediatric nurse practitioners.
Education for Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
A quality Master of Science in Nursing Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in Primary Care program prepares you to take on leadership positions in this growing field. It also prepares graduates to sit for the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in Primary Care certification examination from either the Pediatric Nurse Certification Board or the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
The hybrid program from Houston Baptist University also includes 36 credits that can be earned in 24 months and 504 clinical contact hours. The program offers advanced coursework in:
- Nursing research
- Health Assessment
- Skills in Primary Care
Nurses graduate ready to take on roles with high responsibility in this important, growing field, that is especially in demand in Houston and the state of Texas.