Advice on how to start a career in Pediatric Nursing

  1. I am currently in my final semester of nursing school(pinning is in Feb), and would like a career in pediatric nursing. I loved our peds clinical rotation and really felt like that was where I belonged. I hope to be able to do my preceptor there in January. Really, it was the only clinical that has "clicked," if that makes any sense. I have a few questions about starting my career that I hoped someone with peds experience could help me with.

    First of all, where you work, how common is it for new grads to be hired? Also, do you think that new grads do well starting out in peds? I have heard a lot of conflicting advice on this one.

    How would you recommend going about applying for a position, given that the only experience I have are nursing school clinical and (hopefully) preceptor? I mean, I know that getting a job has a lot to do with "selling yourself", but how do you do that with no experience? I have heard that you shouldn't put clinical experience on a resume, as it is not job experience, but if you have never worked in the field, what else would you put?

    I guess I really just have no idea where to begin with the whole application process and it seems very overwhelming. Any advice would be much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Visit DanaR85 profile page

    About DanaR85

    Joined: Sep '06; Posts: 18; Likes: 1

    5 Comments

  3. by   EricJRN
    I know several new grads who went into peds or pediatric subspecialties. If you're worried about not being experienced enough, I'd check to see if there are hospitals around your area that offer new grad internships in pediatrics. The bigger the hospital, the more likely that they offer something like that.
  4. by   PICNICRN
    First of all Congrats!! I've been a PICU RN for 11 years and have NEVER worked with the adult population-(yuck). I starterd out in a LARGE children's hospital in the midwest right in the PICU. My first word of advise to you would be to apply to a children's hospital in you area- they all have new grad programs and will make sure that you get the training you will need. Most even have nurse extern programs, which I would highly recommend if you can swing it. You can contact the HR department and talk directly to a nurse recruiter or go to the hospital website. You have to be careful of those smaller community hospitals that have adults and peds on the same unit- scary. I have heard stories of them hiring new grads because its hard to get seasoned Peds nurses to work with adults- most of the time they do not give you the orientation you need.
    Don't worry about needing experience before getting into Peds by working med/surg or something else. Children are not little adults and you will not really benefit from this at all.
    My advise, start with a children's hospital- if there is not one in your area, then go to the hospital with the largest pediatric population in your area- that is where you will get the best orientation.
    Good luck and welcome to the wonderful world of Pediatric nursing!!!
  5. by   vamedic4
    Quote from DanaR85

    First of all, where you work, how common is it for new grads to be hired? Also, do you think that new grads do well starting out in peds? I have heard a lot of conflicting advice on this one.

    [FONT="Comic Sans MS"]--We hire new grads all the time here, for all positions including critical care.

    How would you recommend going about applying for a position, given that the only experience I have are nursing school clinical and (hopefully) preceptor? I mean, I know that getting a job has a lot to do with "selling yourself", but how do you do that with no experience? I have heard that you shouldn't put clinical experience on a resume, as it is not job experience, but if you have never worked in the field, what else would you put?

    --[FONT="Comic Sans MS"]Put relevant positions you held in the past, any form of nursing assistant, doctors office, prehospital experience, as well as anything that establishes that you have a stable work history.

    I guess I really just have no idea where to begin with the whole application process and it seems very overwhelming. Any advice would be much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

    Don't worry about not having experience..it will come with time (and your RN license). All the best to you!!!:spin:

    vamedic4
    Only 10.5 hours til home!!!
  6. by   DanaR85
    Thank you all for the helpful advice. Since I will be moving back home to Delaware after graduation, my plan is to apply at A.I. duPont Hospital for Children. It has a world renowned reputation and it is the place I have always wanted to work.

    It does seem, from looking at their website, that most of their job postings state that experience is preferred. But, I figure that I have nothing to lose by applying anyway, right? They have gone to having all applications submitted online. According to their website, that is the only way they accept them now. Basically, you fill out their application online and then attach your cover letter and resume. Is this common now? It makes sense to do it this way, but I wonder if it will be harder to make myself stand out. After you submit your application, if they are interested, they will contact you, if they aren't, they won't. So I feel like I need to make myself as impressive as possible on paper(or computer as the case may be), so that they will give me the chance to talk to them in person.
  7. by   PedsRN1991
    At the children's hospital that I work at, we hire LOTS of new grads. Make sure whereever you apply they have a good new grad program with lots of orientation. Good luck and let us know!!

close