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Experience for Pediatric Hospital Nurse

Posted

Has 3 years experience.

I am wondering if anyone could give me some helpful advice on the path I should take to eventually get my foot in the door in a pediatric hospital. Here is my background:

I received my RN in Feb 2014 and have almost a year of experience in home health and substitute school nursing. A few years down the line I would like to try school nursing, but I'd initially like to work in a pediatric hospital to gain acute experience and grow as a nurse. I am currently in an RN to BSN program, so I'm thinking of applying to hospitals after my completion of the program in Spring, 2016.

My question is: What is the better option of experience in the meantime that would be more beneficial on my resume for pediatric hospitals? Should I continue to work as a PDN with the pediatric population or try to find a position in an SNF with a higher patient load but different age population?

Thank you for your input!

I am your aspiration twin, just one year older. Also, working in home care - largely peds and school RN. I hope someone with wisdom answers you. For myself, I hope to finish my BSN this summer and then get my ACLS/PALS certification. By that time, I should also have enough contact hours with pediatric patients to apply to obtain CPN credentials. It is my hope that it will show my interest and dedication to this area of practice and get me at least an interview with peds units in hospitals. As aside, my happiest nursing days are the day I substitute for a school nurse. Kids in schools (no matter what age) are funny.

Pediatric hospitals, like many other hospitals, seem to lean towards BSN education. Many also love certified nurses, specifically the CPN (especially true if they are Magnet facilities).

I think sticking with a peds background would be more valuable experience to get your foot in the door than adult medicine. The only exception would be an ER where you see a high volume of kids.

Focus your CEUs, learning experiences, and any certifications (ACLS, PALS, etc) on peds related topics that show you have been grooming yourself for a position and are serious about it.

Most importantly...research the institution before you apply! Know what their mission, vision, and values are (and whether they align with yours). Competition for positions at pediatric hospitals can be more intense than adult facilities because there are fewer peds facilities.

Kids are not little adults so it's a new setting. You care for the child and the family and unfortunately have chronic, non-compliant kids, just like in the adult world. Some things don't change! Good luck to you! Feel free to PM me with questions.

Butterfly_Effect

Has 3 years experience.

Thank you both for your responses! I was leaning towards staying in pediatrics, so glad to know this is the right direction to go. Enuf_already, I'll look into obtaining more certifications as well! Thank you for the helpful advice. ceebeejay, glad to see someone else is in the same boat! :up: It's very encouraging! And yes, kids (and parents) can be a handful, but at the same time they absolutely make my day!

Thank you both for your responses! I was leaning towards staying in pediatrics, so glad to know this is the right direction to go. Enuf_already, I'll look into obtaining more certifications as well! Thank you for the helpful advice. ceebeejay, glad to see someone else is in the same boat! :up: It's very encouraging! And yes, kids (and parents) can be a handful, but at the same time they absolutely make my day!

You are quite welcome. I couldn't agree more about the wonders of working with kids. They are so resilient. If you are having a bad day, take a walk through a peds hospital and it will make you put your life in perspective very quickly!

Good luck in your endeavors! There are many wonderful pediatric hospitals around the US that provide excellent opportunities for experience and professional growth.

KelRN215, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pedi. Has 10 years experience.

I agree, stick with the peds cases. That experience will be more valuable than Geriatrics and will show hiring managers that peds is your true interest.