Does starting in peds make it harder to transition to adult?

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I'm currently working in research at a children's hospital while pursuing an accelerated BSN. I work with adolescents primarily, and I really enjoy this patient population. After I finish with my BSN I'm hoping to enter a new grad RN residency, but I don't know if I should do it at my current hospital or if I should pursue a residency program that treats patients across the lifespan.

That said, does going through a nurse residency program in a children's hospital make it harder to move to family/adult care later on? Or is it the opposite?

PeakRN

547 Posts

Specializes in Adult and pediatric emergency and critical care.

Why would you want to go from peds back to adults?

On a more serious note I think in general it is more difficult to go from adults to peds than vice versa from a job perspective.

KelRN215, BSN, RN

1 Article; 7,349 Posts

Specializes in Pedi. Has 16 years experience.

Echoing the previous poster- why would you want to go adults from peds? Never for me.

That said, I have known nurses who have done it because after they had kids of their own they either A) didn't want to commute to the city for the Children's Hospital, B) didn't want to work 12 hr/day-night rotation that the hospital commanded or C) found it too difficult to take care of dying children once they were parents. None of them had difficulty. When I was job hunting earlier this year, I desperately wanted to leave the company I was employed by (I was on site at a Children's Hospital but employeed by a home infusion pharmacy). I applied to a couple adult positions to see what kind of interest my resume would generate. I was offered interviews for both positions (and I have worked exclusively peds for 11 years) but turned down the interviews because, by then, I had 4 good pedi prospects and I knew I wasn't going to accept an adult job.

Specializes in Peds ED. Has 12 years experience.

Yes, because when you work in peds and get used to this environment, you realize that adults are awful.

Kidding but not kidding.

I started in a peds ED and when I decided I wanted to try to get some adult experience I found that my peds experience was either seen as an asset or as a liability, but I was able to get a job in an all ages ED. I was there for 5 months before fleeing back to pediatrics, and honestly would have left sooner if my old hospital had posted a position I could have applied for faster. Adults are whiny, take no responsibility for themselves, are entitled, enjoy the role of sick person too much. They don't know their meds or allergies and expect it to "be in the system" (k, hopefully we don't accidentally kill you today by giving you that med you have an anaphylactic reaction to but can't remember the name of). They smell worse, are heavier, and are not as cute.

I currently work in a pediatric ED within an adult ED and for my orientation I was required to train with adults and occasionally am scheduled in an adult area (our peds section is small so if there's overlap with the other peds RN I go to the adult section). They were happy to train me for adults and I was resigned to learning because I liked other things about the job enough.

I would say that peds is hard to get in TO. So if you're interested in peds, try to start there. Every peds place I've worked does hire experienced nurses who do not have peds experience, but there is a strong preference for peds experience especially at larger hospitals.

KelRN215, BSN, RN

1 Article; 7,349 Posts

Specializes in Pedi. Has 16 years experience.
Yes, because when you work in peds and get used to this environment, you realize that adults are awful.

Kidding but not kidding.

A few years ago, when I was a pediatic visiting nurse, I was with a 7 year old patient accessing her port for either labs or IVP methotrexate. Her nanny kept talking about how she didn't know how I did what I did and how it must be so hard working with sick children. I told her I thought adults were worse because they're so whiny about everything. My patient said "they are?" and then I asked her if she thought her Dad would have been able to handle everything she went through as well as she did. She said "nope."

OldDude

1 Article; 4,787 Posts

Specializes in Pediatrics Retired.

If my only nursing option was adults, I'd rather quit to take a deckhand job on one of those Bering Sea crab boats like on Deadliest Catcy.

Specializes in Peds ED. Has 12 years experience.
If my only nursing option was adults, I'd rather quit to take a deckhand job on one of those Bering Sea crab boats like on Deadliest Catcy.

Ok, that was supposed to be many laugh-cry emojis.

CampyCamp, RN

259 Posts

Has 18 years experience.

I actually did the transition. I much prefer kids but it's limited in my area, our units always furlough nurses, and besides I wanted a variety of skill areas that are not available here in "fun sized packaging". I wanted to make myself more competitive to a children's hospital with the intent of moving.

I transitioned from peds to OR. If you ever want OR, it doesn't matter what your background is, IMHO. OR is it's own world. I continued doing peds home in that time. I needed the balance of time with kids and time learning and doing new stuff. Then OR didn't challenge me the way I wanted and the CRNA's were always trying to push me to ICU. I resisted because "I don't like grumpy grown-ups" but eventually I tried it, hoping that someday, I'd get the opportunity to go to PICU or even CRNA in a children's hospital. I LOVED the pace and acuity. Didn't love the population. PICU never became a reality. One bad, bitter day, I was pulling bedpads off the linen cart and a newborn kimono top fell out and I cried and I knew that even the laundry knew I needed peds. I still have that top.

So, yes. It can totally be done. It's just a question of how much you want to.