PICU or just Pedatrics?

Specialties PICU


I'm in highschool, and I am trying to become a nurse... my problem is I cant figure out what I wanna specialise in... I know I have a while to think about it, but while I am here, I would like to ask your oppinion.

Do you think it is better to work in pediatrics or PICU?

Thanks in advance.



593 Posts

Well, you will possibly change your idea of specializing a million times..which is natural. Well, I think that the main difference is in the level of sickness/injury...In PICU you'll work care for a smaller number of children, 1 or 2, it really depends on the hospital. In regular pediatrics, you'll have more children. I'm sure that you will get some posts from much more informed nurses...


2 Posts

LaFille Triste:p,

I'm new to allnurses and responding to you as a student nurse. Note: I went to the Pediatric message board as I too want to learn about Pediatric nursing. I want to simply encourage you to do all you can to learn as much as you can about nursing in general. I wanted to be a nurse in high-school as well. I volunteered as a candystriper at a local hospital and worked at a home for handicapped children. I was "VP" of our high school nurses club and still remember vividly and fondly our field trips, especially one to a hospital where we actually viewed an operation from an overhead bubble viewing window (hope you get the picture-don't know official term for it). I volunteer at blood banks as well, sometimes doing registration work and sometimes assisting with walking clients & assisting with some nutrition after giving blood. And! I remember carrying the packets of warm blood to the refrigerator. I'm excited as I'm a 44 year-old mom of two teens returning to school to pursue my original vocational goal/dream. I'm excited for you as well & enjoyed your question and 2bannurse's reply. Thank you for asking your question! And, pursue your dream! Lolly:p


9 Posts

I have the same question...

I'm debating b/w Peds/PICU right now as well.

I love working Peds, but really want to challenge myself/learn.

Patient interaction/communication, however, is one of my favorite things about Peds and I fear I would miss that in the PICU with all the kids on ventilators, etc...

Any words of encouragement towards PICU?

Why did you chose it?

What makes you stay?


41 Posts

volunteering in hospitals is one way to see what goes on in hospitals. when you get into college you can work as a pca or cna in a float pool that way you get to actually work with different patients. you may decide that you like geriatrics better in the end. don't limit yourself before you get into nursing--keep your options open. i didn't decide on peds until after my peds rotation. then i couldn't wait until i graduated. i have worked both peds and picu/nicu. both are very rewarding. the most annoying thing about working in an icu setting are the machines and alarms. i would get headaches from them. if you can handle the noise levels go for it. lots of luck we need good nurses out there!!!!!!!

I started on Peds with the goal of moving into PICU. I have worked in PICU for 10 years and I still love it! It can be very challenging mentally and very stimulating educationally. There are constantly new things to learn. I am now an ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation or long term heart lung bypass), which continues to stimulate me mentally. I have had the priveledge of working with some truly wonderful families, during their child's illness. Not all PICU patients are ventilated and sedated and there is plenty of opportunity for interaction with patients. The down side of PICU is that you will see sicker kids, parents in crisis and more deaths than on Peds. But I still love what I do.:)


117 Posts

Hi. I was wondering what the pay difference is between Pediatric RN and a PICA RN? Can some of you tell us how much per hr. you are making and what your qualifications are? I understand it is diff based on the state, etc. that you are in. Also, other than having a RN license, what type extra certification or education does both specialties require as a RN, and does the hospital provide the courses or do you get it from a college? Thanks sooo much for helping. Sincerely, April

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