Pediatric nursing right out of school?

  1. Has anyone started on a pediatric floor right out of school? I don't have enough experience in pediatrics, and was wondering if anyone had a hard time transitioning..
    Thanks!
  2. Visit ital91 profile page

    About ital91

    Joined: Nov '15; Posts: 52; Likes: 2

    18 Comments

  3. by   caliotter3
    Not a pediatric floor, but pediatric extended care for a home health agency. Scared to death. I took my peds text and peds-specific references along in my backpack as my "crutch", but found I did not really need them. I just paid good attention to the instructions given by the parents. The more shifts I did with youngsters, the more comfortable I became with the whole idea.
  4. by   KelRN215
    Yes, 11 years in and I have never touched an adult as a nurse other than young adults with pediatric illnesses who continue to be followed at pediatric facilities.

    I did a new grad program at a Children's Hospital.

    What is "enough experience in pediatrics" as a new grad? Everyone only gets 1 pediatric clinical in nursing school and then maybe a senior practicum. If you find a new grad program, they know you're not experienced.
  5. by   oops I bradyed again
    At least 3 people from my class started in pediatrics (including NICU) right out of school and none of them had previous healthcare or pediatric experience. However, the units they were hired onto is where they spent their practicum during the last year of nursing school, so I think that was a huge factor!
  6. by   AnnieOaklyRN
    Hi,

    It all depends on where you live, whether you have a BSN, and what hospitals are offering new grad positions. I would strongly suggest you apply to a children's hospital in your area when the time comes, as they seem more likely to hire new grads then a smaller community hospital would. (Community hospitals tend to have small pediatric units with only 2 or so nurses on, so training a new grad can be difficulty).

    Good luck . My area is saturated with nurses in general so it has taken me 11 years (no lie) to finally get into a pediatric hospital! I should add that I was able to get a special care nursery job about 4 years into my career, but unfortunately my preceptor and some of the staff were quite nasty and I quit, which I now regret of course. I had to get my BSN to make myself more marketable as well, which was worth it since the hospital I am going to be working at is a children's hospital that only hires BSN.

    Annie
  7. by   ital91
    My program also had 1 pediatric clinical rotation & there was limited space for peds insenior preceptorship. I just think that dealing with kids is a bit different than adult pt. population.
  8. by   KelRN215
    Quote from ital91
    My program also had 1 pediatric clinical rotation & there was limited space for peds insenior preceptorship. I just think that dealing with kids is a bit different than adult pt. population.
    It is. So why would working with adults for 1-2 years out of school be helpful for getting a peds position down the road?

    I think if you want peds, go for peds. Then you learn how to be a pediatric nurse from the start instead of learning how to be a nurse with adults then re-learning peds a few years later.
  9. by   ital91
    I'm hesitant to b/c I don't want to lose my skills, if peds isn't my thing. Any advice if I were to enter peds, like what should I review?
  10. by   adventure_rn
    Quote from ital91
    I'm hesitant to b/c I don't want to lose my skills, if peds isn't my thing. Any advice if I were to enter peds, like what should I review?
    I don't think you'd lose your skills in peds. I work in peds intensive care, and I use all of the skills we learned while caring for adults in nursing school (and then some)--frequent wound care, foleys, lab draws, trach care, central lines, vents, art-lines, dialysis.

    You may lose some of your knowledge base of the most common 'adult' conditions (Type II diabetes, heart failure, etc.) because they tend to be acquired later into adulthood. That said, I think the knowledge base would come back to you if you ever wanted to work with adults.

    Nearly every peds new grad residency is going to assume that you know little-to-nothing about peds, and will give you a solid foundation through your orientation.

    I agree with Annie, the hardest part will probably be finding a peds position right out of school without doing a residency. However, there's no harm in applying, and you may luck out and land a spot. I'd focus on writing a really solid, compelling cover letter about why you want to be a peds nurse, and what you bring to the table.
  11. by   ital91
    what is a new grad residency? Is it like an orientation
  12. by   ital91
    I've yet to cath an adult, I'm sure its harder in a child.
  13. by   adventure_rn
    Quote from ital91
    what is a new grad residency? Is it like an orientation
    A residency is just a fancy term for your new grad orientation (different places use different terms). I misspoke in my last paragraph--I meant to say that it would be easier to get a new grad residency if you'd done a senior practicum in peds (not a residency). That said, it's still definitely possible.

    Quote from ital91
    I've yet to cath an adult, I'm sure its harder in a child.
    As for cathing kids--peds and adult skills are all based on the same principles, just with a smaller target. Everything gets easier with practice, and worst case you just keep trying again until you get it (or get some help from another nurse). That said, I've known some NICU nurses who went on to work with adults, and they actually found the adult skills to be much easier after mastering NICU skills (i.e. once you've learned to start an IV in a 1 lb baby, starting an IV in an adult is a piece of cake).
  14. by   KelRN215
    Quote from ital91
    I've yet to cath an adult, I'm sure its harder in a child.
    Most of the kids I've cathed in my 11 year pediatric nursing career had a history of myelomeningocele and no function/feeling below the waist. Most of the chronically cathed kids I took care of in my years as an inaptient nurse's parents cathed them while they were inpatient anyway, too. It wasn't something we had to do all the time. 5 years inpatient and I think I placed 1 Foley- and that was just because the one placed in the OR fell out. I think I probably only straight cathed a kid who failed to void post op 2 or 3 times too. Plus a lot of chronically cathed kids have mitrofanoffs and those are super easy to cath- I have an 11 year old patient who does it herself.

    Also, you are not going to lose adult skills starting in pediatrics. As a student you don't really have skills to lose anyway. But peds jobs are competitive and unless you go into an interview with the attitude of peds is all I've ever wanted to do and I hope I never touch an adult in my career, I wouldn't consider you a strong candidate for a peds new grad position. Every job I held since I was 14 years old was with children (11 years old if you count babysitting) and I made sure I completed my preceptorship in pediatrics because I've known for a long time that I never wanted to work with adults.

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