Entering CCN Peds


For over a year, I've worked as a Trach and Vent peds RN for a homecare company. I also work part time on geriatric skilled floors. I worked in step down during nursing school and graduated in 2011. I would love to work on a pediatric critical care floor. My peds experience is mainly ventilator dependant premies discharged home to about 2 years old. Most require mickey feeds, mouth care, med administration, trach changes, suctions ect. I have other cases with older children and plenty of adult and geriatric experience from working on the skilled floors of a nursing home. My dream job is pediatric critical care. What else can I do to improve my experience and resume to be the best candidate? I have ACLS, but I paid for the course on my own and other certifications will also fall on me. I want to improve my chances, but I don't know that getting PALS before I have a job will help me to qualify or just waste my money. I also have been thinking about leaving my peds homecare job, as it gets difficult traveling especially in the winter. I want to work in peds so I am holding on to this job, but will it hurt my chances if I resign?


13 Posts

I also volunteer as an advocate for my local woman’s center as a domestic violence counselor. This will be my second years as a volunteer Rn at my children's school, so Im not completely leaving peds if I leave my homecare job.

Pediatric Critical Care Columnist / Guide

NotReady4PrimeTime, RN

16 Articles; 7,358 Posts

Specializes in NICU, PICU, PCVICU and peds oncology. Has 25 years experience.

Having that artificial airway and ventilator experience will be very valuable when you apply to a peds critical care position. Because kids have small airways and developing lungs, virtually ALL PICU patients will have some degree of respiratory impairment. I think the first thing you should do is decide where you want to work (as in what facility), then find out what you can about their typical patient population. Does the unit have a range of programs (trauma, neuro, cardiac surgery, transplant, transport and others) that you'd be working your way into? Once you have that information you can tailor your prep to what you'll be doing day to day on the job. For example, if the unit receives transplant recipients, which organs are transplanted? What're the most common drugs used for maintaining graft function? What're the most common complications? A little online research into that would help you in the interview. I don't recommend PALS for anyone before they start working in PICU because you're so much better able to understand the concepts and to integrate the algorithms into practice after you have some experience. Generally, when PALS is a condition of employment, the employer will have a grace period for obtaining the certification, such as "successful completion of PALS required within 6 months of employment". So I'd suggest saving your money for now and concentrate on learning what you can about the unit and its scope of practice then going from there.


13 Posts

Thank you for the info. I have some research to do!


109 Posts

I would think that your experience would be of intrest to hiring managers in the PICU. In homecare you are working with these patients all by yourself. This shows that you are comfortable in your skills and you would have a lot to bring to the unit. Play up your skills on your resume and cover letter! Make sure they know what you can do. I worked for a very short time in Peds home health and found a job in progressive care at a childrens hospital with very little experience. I hope you get your job in PICU! Good luck.


13 Posts

Thank you! I feel much more confident fixing up my résumé!

Specializes in Pediatrics, Emergency, Trauma. Has 18 years experience.

I've had the same type if experience for 7 years as a LPN, graduated with my BSN, and am starting in a PICU at a children's hospital 2/4/13....They were IMPRESSED with my background!!! They will give me full training, etc. I am CONFIDENT you will land in a PICU...keep doing what you are doing!!! Good luck!!! Hope you get the job!!!


125 Posts

I want to echo the others and say if you have experience with traches and vents (and you actually know how to use the vent) then you're a big foot up the ladder. I'd say apply and see what happens!