Hello. I am interested in applying for the College of DuPage (Glen Ellyn, IL) Nursing (AND) program. I have a strong desire to become a pediatric nurse and would like to work in a hospital. I don't live to far from Glen Oaks Hospital and Central DuPage Hospital.
I will be attending one of the college's nursing information sessions soon. Where can I find very general and basic information about becoming a pediatric nurse, their work week,
clinical studies, and much more? I know that if I graduated from this program and began working that I would like to work the day shift. How possible is that?
Are there any other resources I should look at? Basically, I want to make sure this career path is for me before I apply to the program.
Well as the PP put it, to become a nurse there's no "pediatric nurse program" out there. You would apply for a nursing program, say at College of Dupage, and if you are accepted you are required by law to take certain courses and certain hourly requirements in clinicals. Things like med/surg, obstetrics, ER, OB, ICU, etc..etc...Then you graduate, take your board exam, and when you pass you are a nurse.
in REALITY, you might be able to find a job in a pediatric unit as a new grad, but it just depends on the demand and need. MOST places require you to have one year of basic med/surg nursing, then go to a specialty unit such as pediatrics or whatever and learn their special skills. Honestly, a year is nothing.
As far as the day shift expectation, that's hit or miss. like the PP said, its not likely but then again anything is possible. Depends on the hospital and the unit. Do they do 8 hour shifts, 12 hour shifts, weekends only, that sort of thing. Most people want days and so the ones who are more seasoned nurses and have seniority there will get those spots first.
For instance, i started out as a new grad on a step down cardiac unit, but my dream was to be a pedi nurse. I worked there for about a year, left and did long term care, then reapplied when there were positions in the pediatrics unit. I started night shifts 12 hour shifts there, but only had to do it for 3 mths and then was able to go to 3pm-11pm shifts for a couple of months, then i was able to move to day shifts, 7am-7pm. I actually got to move fairly quickly, i was surprised. it could totally happen that way for you!
And keep an open mind if you do pursue nsg school. You might be surprised at some of the other areas you will enjoy. I know i LOVE ER now that i've been out in the world some, and that's an area i always said "no thanks" to. i always thought peds was the calling for me til i worked in it. i LOVED pediatric nursing, but as my DH put it "i looked like i had the weight of the world on my shoulders." its a very demanding and taxing career, but a worthwhile one. Peds nurses don't just take care of kids and babies. They care for their families, parents, siblings, even their abusers. Sometimes it just sucks. Just a thought for you!
Good luck in whatever you choose to do! I hope it all works out for you!