High School Student Wants to Be a Nurse...Input?

  1. Hello all,

    I'm helping my niece, who doesn't have internet access at home, with her high school Senior Project. She has chosen pediatric nursing as her primary career path when she graduates, and she's writing a research paper about the profession. She has found some general information about it, but much of it is actually too general.

    What she would like to know most of all is how pediatric nursing differs from other nursing specialties. What is different about a day as a pediatric nurse as opposed to a family practice nurse, for instance? What special skills does a pediatric nurse have to have? Does it take a certain type of person or personality to be a good pediatric nurse?

    Another question she has is about education. She is confused about CNA, LPN, and RN titles as they relate to the CPN or CPNP title. What type of education and/or experience is a Certified Pediatric Nurse expected to have? What kinds of jobs might a newly licensed CPN be able to apply for? (She is hoping to attend a community college for two years when she graduates from high school and then decide where to go from there.)

    Two other areas she is hoping to be able to cover in her paper are the demands on a nurse who is caring for children with special needs and possibly information about how often domestic violence against pregnant women causes special needs in the children when they are born. If any of you deal with special cases like this, she would love to hear your input.

    I know this post is full of questions, so I'll thank you on Tracy's behalf for any feedback you can give. Her roughdraft is due tomorrow, but she'll be adding lots of information into the final version, which is due September 16. I was poring through information with her today that she got at her school library, but it wasn't very detailed. My advice to her was that if she really wants to know what it's like to be a pediatric nurse, that's who we should ask!

    Thanks again to all who can help...

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    About DanaRC

    Joined: Sep '02; Posts: 2


  3. by   fergus51
    Don't work peds much, but CNA= certified nursing assistant. They do personal care like bathing, but in my hospital they don't work on peds, neither do LPNs which are Liscenced Practical nurses. Their job depends very much on the facility they work in. Some can do everything RNs do except IV push meds or hanging blood. In my hospital they are used more as CNAs. RN = registered nurse. Responsible for all nursing care on peds in my facility. We don't have CPNs, but we do have CPNPs who are RNs that have gone back to school to get their Masters degree as nurse practitioners. They are responsible for providing the same care a doctor would on less complex cases. The complex cases are handled by a doc or by a doc and a CPNP together.

    I found the biggest difference on peds was that your patient was the entire family. And that you have to be very aware of the developmental stages of your patients. For instance, a three year old and a 16 year old need very different care for the same procedure. You can rationalize with a 16 year old, but the three year old takes a lot more time and different communication skills to get her to take a drink when her throat hurts!
  4. by   DanaRC
    Thanks, fergus51. That does help clear up the mystery around the licensing and certifications. What we've read elsewhere also says that specializing in peds kind of comes as an on-the-job training once you get your nursing degree and get a job. Apparently, CPN is a certification you can optionally get later on, after you get your nursing degree, if your workplace requires it.

    Good input, too, about the patient in peds being the entire family. Thanks so much.

    Any information from others will be appreciated, too. She still needs answers to some of the other questions for her paper. We'll be checking back....

    Thanks in advance for any help...
  5. by   WalMart_ADN
    Check your PM box dana!
  6. by   Alley Cat
    So sorry I didn't see this sooner! Too many interesting threads on here! How did the paper go? (I see it was due the 16th--oops!)

    Please feel free to e-mail me privately if you have other questions, or just keep posting! There's lots of different areas of peds nursing, and it's definitely NEVER boring!

    I did PICU for 12 years, Burn/Trauma for 4 years (adult/pediatric mix), NICU for 2=1/2 years, now back on Peds floor doing outpatient sedations. Just can't keep away from kids--they're special, they can be demanding, (who isn't when they're not feeling well), LOVE the challenge! I guess it's because you just never know when or where or how you can influence someone.
    That's why I became a nurse to begin with--was in the hospital a lot when I was a kid, and looked up to the people I came in contact with. God puts us where He wants us!

    Good luck!
  7. by   njnursetobe
    how did her paper go? Just wanted to know
  8. by   Tiff8954
    I was interested in being a nurse practitioner but I looked online and found that there are many fields of nurses. I wanted to know, what is the differences in a pediatric nurse and a pediatrician? What is the time difference in how long I have to go to college..and if I could get my degree as a nurse practitioner at a four-year college, then could I get my degreee in pediatric nursing at a four-year college also.