Nursing student interested in Pediatric oncology...advice anyone?


Hello Everyone

I just started an accelerated nursing program in San Diego, CA and I've always had a passion for working with children with cancer. I moved from Orange County last month to start my ADN program after receiving a bachelors degree in Psychology previously. I volunteer at the Children's Hospital of Orange County currently but am looking for another volunteer position here in SD as well. Does anyone know of any good facilities that gives you hands on experience as a volunteer? My question is if I'm interested in this field, what can I do from now and until I graduate to build my experience so that I can gain some hands on experience or even get an externship on a pediatric oncology floor in the future? Also, in order to get into this field what would I have to do such as chemo certified and etc.. Can anyone give me some insight?

Thanks =]


1 Article; 82 Posts

Specializes in Telemetry.

The one advice I give many student nurses like yourself, is to work in the hospital. Perhaps it's too early for you to apply for internship (that's typically done your junior/senior year), however, you can still apply as an aide to the floor of your interest. I think working as an aide not only helps you earn a little extra cash during school, but also helps you learn to respect your aides in the future enabling you to work better with them, AND also makes YOU a better nurse because you'll have that experience as a foundation for your nursing career.

I would say that working as an aide not only helped me out in nursing school because I was one step ahead with experience learned through real-life events, but it also built confidence.

Hope this helps!


191 Posts

I worked peds onc/bone marrow transplant. You did not have to be chemo certified when you first started. You can still do many kinds of chemo, just not pushing vesicants. At the hospital I worked at they sent you to chemo certification classes after you had been there about 1 year.

I also was trained in bone marrow transplants after about 6 mths. My floor did hire new grads after they had their RN, but no GNs.

When I hired in it was not difficult at all to get into that type of nursing, but the job market is radically different now.

Good luck!

Maybe you'd do yourself well to pursue a graduate degree in clinical psychology so you could develop more intimate relationships with your patients.

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