Go back to Blog page
Understanding the Role of Pediatric Home Health Nurses

Understanding the Role of Pediatric Home Health Nurses

Being a pediatric home health nurse is a rewarding and responsible role, and has the unique opportunity to make a profound difference in the lives of medically challenged children. In this article, we’ll discuss the role and responsibilities you can expect as a pediatric home health nurse, and highlight the benefits families experience with a pediatric caregiver’s support. 

What is the role of a Pediatric Home Health Nurse?

Pediatric home health nurses have varying roles, depending on the condition of the patient, and the setup of their family. From medically challenged newborns, all the way to adolescents, pediatric nurses can experience many different roles and responsibilities within the patient’s home.

Although pediatric nurses may have the same skillset as nurses who care for adults, children have different needs, challenges, and interests, so it’s important to have a passion for working with children. 

Pediatric nurse duties may include:

  • Medical administration
  • Therapy oversight
  • G-tube care
  • Ventilator & tracheotomy management
  • Diabetes management
  • Monitoring vitals
  • Parent and family education
  • Patient health assessment
  • Catheter care
  • Mobility and transfer assistance
  • Wound care
  • Cancer care
  • Post-surgical care

Other services may include:

  • Dressing
  • Bathing
  • Personal hygiene
  • Grooming
  • Feeding

What is a typical day like for a Pediatric Home Health Care Nurse?

Pediatric Home Health Nurse Helping Girl in CrutchesThe day in the life of a pediatric home health nurse is dynamic and requires a combination of clinical skills and compassion. Here’s what a typical day might look like:

Starting the day

Pediatric nurses often start their morning early, arriving at the patient’s home and beginning a detailed assessment. The nurse will check vital signs and review the child’s overnight status, communicating with the family for updates or any other information relevant to the child’s health.

Pediatric nurses might need to administer morning medications and perform certain therapies like tracheotomy care or respiratory therapy. In addition to providing morning medical care, pediatric nurses typically will help get the child ready for the day by dressing, bathing, or feeding the patient.

During the day

Throughout the day, pediatric nurses may provide care for the patient at home, at school, or within the community. It may be up to the pediatric nurse to facilitate stimulating activities, or to simply monitor the child while they’re engaged in their daily routine, during which time, the nurse will chart the child’s health, behavior, and developmental progress.

Ending the day

At the end of the nurse’s shift, they will finish up any additional notes or charting relevant to the child’s medical records, as well as ensure the child has received their final medications for that time. Ensuring the child is fed, clean, and comfortable, and their environment is an important part of wrapping up a shift and leaves the patient and their families with a sense of calm and order.

What skills are required?

There are some things they just don’t teach in nursing school that are essential to do well as a pediatric home health care nurse, and that families should look out for when choosing the right pediatric home health nurse. 

Soft skills

Excellent communication and listening skills

Families with medically challenged children typically feel many intense emotions at once: stress, guilt, exhaustion, worry, sadness, despair, and helplessness. Good communication and listening skills are crucial to make sure the healthcare team and the family are on the same page and feel confident in the services provided. 


It’s always important for nurses to possess empathy and compassion, but even more so when it comes to supporting impressionable children. Keeping in mind that the children and their family members are under much stress can help to provide even greater empathy, compassion, and patience. 

Emotional stability

As a pediatric home health care nurse, you’ll inevitably experience startling situations in which you’re expected to remain calm and calculated. The child and their family are relying on you as their rock-solid support, so being emotionally apt to deal with these scenarios is crucial.

Emergency response and level-headed thinking are typically developed with experience, and nurses get better at approaching difficult situations with calm.

Hard skills

Clinical care

This includes conducting comprehensive health assessments, administering medication, wound care, feeding tubes/tracheotomy management, ventilator management, catheter care, post-surgical care, and many more clinical skills. 

Personal care

This can include feeding, toileting, bathing, and dressing, among many other hygienic and personal needs. 


Being proficient in documenting patient progress is vital to keeping a steady and accurate record of the child’s health, as well as providing up-to-date information for any other health providers involved in the child’s care.

How to Become A Pediatric Home Health Nurse

In order to become a pediatric home health nurse, you’ll need the following education, qualifications, and experience:

Becoming a Nurse

Step 1: Obtain a nursing degree

Step 2: Pass the NCLEX-RN exam

Step 3: Obtain a state licensure

Specializing as a Pediatric Nurse

During your nursing degree (ADN or BSN), you can choose electives or specific courses focused on pediatric nursing. Alternatively, you can get an advanced degree like a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) with a focus on pediatrics.

You can also get clinical experience in pediatric units, pediatric intensive care units (PICU), neonatal intensive care units (NICU), or pediatric emergency departments.

Official Certifications for Pediatric Nurses

1. Certified Pediatric Nurse offered by the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB). 


  • Current, unrestricted RN license
  • A minimum of 1,800 hours of pediatric clinical experience within the past 24 months, or 5 years of pediatric experience with a minimum of 3,000 hours.

2. Pediatric Nursing Certification (RN-BC) is offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).


  • Current, unrestricted RN license
  • Two years of full-time RN experience
  • A Minimum of 2,000 hours of clinical experience in pediatric nursing within the last three years
  • 20 hours of continuing education in pediatric nursing within the last three years

3. Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) is offered by the American Heart Association (AHA).


  • Completion of a PALS course and passing the exam

Is Pediatric Home Nursing Right for You?

Being a pediatric home health nurse is a fulfilling job. You are a major influence on the comfort, happiness, and support of children with complex medical needs and their parents. Giving families the gift of not going through this alone brings tremendous satisfaction.

There are many other reasons why pediatric home nursing might be a good fit for you:

  1. Independent work
  2. Flexible schedule
  3. Build meaningful relationships
  4. 1:1 care
  5. Professional growth opportunities

Pediatric Private Duty Skilled Nursing and Salaries

Here is an overview of popular job titles and salaries for pediatric home health nurses. Note, all salaries vary based on experience, location, and complexity of care.

1.Pediatric Private Duty Nurse (PDN)

Provide one-on-one, continuous care for children with complex medical needs, often in their homes. 

Their salary can range from $60,000 – $85,000 per year)Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP)

2. Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Provide advanced primary or acute care to pediatric patients, often supervising other nurses and coordinating comprehensive care plans. Their salary can range from $90,000 – $120,000 per year.

3.Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

Provide expert consultation, education, and support to improve patient outcomes in pediatric care.

Their salary can range from $85,000 – $115,000 per year.

4.Pediatric Home Health Care Coordinator

Manages and coordinates care plans, scheduling, and liaising with healthcare providers.

Their salary can range from $70,000 – $90,000 per year.

5.General Home Health Nurse

Provides care to a diverse patient population, including adults, seniors, and sometimes children, with varying medical needs.

Their salary can range from $55,000 – $75,000 per year.

Connecting With Pediatric Home Health Care Agencies

Connecting with agencies is a good way to get pediatric home health care job opportunities.

Here are some ways you can connect with agencies:

  • Join organizations like the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) or the Home Healthcare Nurses Association (HHNA).
  • Research agency websites and apply for jobs
  • Referrals
  • Job fairs and conferences
  • Networking events

What to expect when working with pediatric home health care agencies:

  • Orientation and training
  • Clinical support
  • Resources and tools
  • Patient matching
  • Flexible scheduling
  • Time off
  • Professional development

Americare Can Help

Pediatric home health nursing can be an excellent career choice for a candidate with the right training and skillset. Children and their families gain tremendously from professional pediatric nursing from the familiarity of their homes.

At Americare, we help match pediatric nurses and families alike to find the best opportunities, both for receiving and providing pediatric health home services in New York.

Reach out to us at Americare today to get guidance and support, and learn more about pediatric home health nursing.

Get Started With Americare

Last Updated: May 20, 2024