Pediatric advice, please! Love kids, scared to death! Help!

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    Hi everybody! First post here, but I need some advice from my fellow nurses! I'll try to condense a long story into a short one.

    I am an RN with 1 year experience. All throughout school, I wanted to do pediatrics. I worked in an office that saw lots of kids, I love working with them, they seem to really enjoy my personality, I am just the happiest person in the world working with children and their parents. I've worked with autistic kids for 3 years before being a nurse, so I know its really my calling.

    To the point, I worked very very hard to get a peds job out of school, but it was just impossible (economy, everybody said..) so I took a job at a cardiac hospital in the ER. We see almost zero children. No peds unit, no labor and delivery, anytime a child comes in the ER nobody wants to take care of them because we're so inexperienced. So, therefore, I am now terrified of kids because I feel like there is nobody there to teach me anything about them.

    I am starting an RN-BSN program in August, and really want to start a NP program immediately after. I'm really torn because I want to focus on peds in a NP program, but I have no experience!! I may hate it and be terrible at it!

    Should I get a PRN job to see how I like it? Just go for it and get a full time peds job and see where it goes? Help, help, HELP, because I have went back and forth and have no idea what to do.

    Thanks in advance!

    Kayla, RN
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  3. 9 Comments so far...

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    Definitely get peds experience before you go to grad school in peds. What opportunities are available in your area, I don't know ... but you need to start job hunting and get a peds job so that you can find out if you like it or not. If you can't get a job right away, look for opportunities to volunteer working with kids ... which may help you get an actual job with kids.
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    Not only SHOULD you get Peds experience before grad scholar, you HAVE to have Peds experience. Most PNP programs require 2 years of Peds nursing experience before applying.

    Good luck with the job search. Peds is awesome and amazing!
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    Darn autocorrect....I meant grad SCHOOL!
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    Quote from TinyHineyRN
    Not only SHOULD you get Peds experience before grad scholar, you HAVE to have Peds experience. Most PNP programs require 2 years of Peds nursing experience before applying.

    Good luck with the job search. Peds is awesome and amazing!
    Not my grad program! I was accepted into PNP program without any peds hospital experience, although I did do a LOT of volunteering in peds homecare and LTC.
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    But you had PEDS experience. I never said anything about needing peds inpatient experience!
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    If you're not able to get a position, is it possible to shadow a peds nurse so you can at least get a flavour to see if you would like it or not?
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    I work at a peds hospital, and nurses that get hired there get an extensive orientation, even experienced nurses. From your previous experience, it seems like the only thing that scares you about working in peds is your lack of experience, which is only remedied by getting that experience. Find a job in peds that comes with a good orientation and a culture of education.
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    I actually just saw last night that UAB (the school I was kinda looking at going to) does require 1 year pediatric experience! I have 3 years of working with special needs kids, but not exactly the same as what they are looking for, I'm sure.

    Shadowing is a great idea! Hadn't really thought about that as an option.

    Just curious what any of ya'll thought about PNP verses FNP programs?! You guys are the people that work around these folks all day... any thoughts?

    I guess it looks like I'm gonna be getting a new job in a few months. I just really dont want to regret NOT doing peds.
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    The practitioners I work with are all PNP-ACs, but I work in a Peds ICU so its a little bit different. When I worked on the peds floor, there were two practitioners, one was a PNP and one was an FNP. Both were on equal footing and performed the same jobs. The FNP was actually a staff nurse on the peds floor for about 15 years so she was very well known, trusted, and respected by everyone. Both are phenomenal.

    A friend of mine works in a pediatrician's office and one of the practitioners there is an FNP. Her background as a staff nurse was all newborn nursery. She is horrible. From my own interactions with her, I have found that she makes terrible decisions related to care of her patients and often times performs unnecessary, invasive procedures with no benefit to her patients. This has nothing to do with her background or the fact that she is an FNP versus a PNP though and is just the way she chooses to practice.

    There are several practitioners in our area that are FNPs that work with kids because, in NC, there are only 2 schools that offer PNP programs and that is Duke and Chapel Hill. Lots of people just find it easier to go to ECU and become an FNP.

    As far as choosing one program over another, thats truly personal. I have thought about becoming a practitioner myself, but I know that FNP is not for me. I know 100% that peds is for me and I don't want to work with grown ups. For that reason, I don't want to spend time in an FNP program learning about grown up stuff if I want to be a tiny human NP!!


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