Inside Pediatric Nurse Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

Biggest Surprises

"Nurses: The Front Lines...
I was surprised that nurses basically ran the hospital while the doctors are the second line. The nurses were the ones that responded to everything" (Pediatric Nurse; 2013)

Career: 2 years of experience, currently based in New York, female
School: Studied Nursing at Stony Brook University in New York; completed Bachelor degree in 2011

"Nursing's Importance In Healthcare...
I was really surprised at how much of an impact nurses can truly have within the medical field. Being a pediatric nurse, it's very important to be able to communicate effectively not only with parents but also with children." (Pediatric Nurse; 2013)

Career: 2 years of experience, currently based in New Jersey, male
School: Studied Nursing at Rutgers in New Jersey; completed Bachelor degree in 2011

"Most Of The Time I'm Filling Out Paper Work...
Contrary to popular belief, I don't spend most of my time with my patient(s). The majority of my time is spent on filling out paper work." (Registered Nurse; 2013)

Career: 4 years of experience, currently based in New York, female
School: Studied Nursing at Hunter College in New York; completed Bachelor degree in 2010

"Math Intensive...
I was surprised about the level of math that was involved in being a registered nurse. The job is not just about helping people, it also involves doing some work calculation." (RN; 2013)

Career: 2 years of experience, currently based in California, male
School: Studied Registered Nurse at Mount Saint Mary's College in California; completed Bachelor degree in 2011

"I Was Shocked By The Hours Some Nurses Work...
I was surprised by the hours some nurses work. It was beyond my expectations. I was also surprised by some of things people do that get them hospitalized. Nothing surprises me anymore." (Pediatric Nurse; 2013)

Career: 9 years of experience, currently based in California, male
School: Studied Practical Nursing at UCLA in California; completed Bachelor degree in 2002

"Love Taking Care Of Kids...
I was surprised at how much I enjoy taking care of children. I never wanted children of my own. I still don't for that matter. I got into pediatrics because the local children's hospital was the first place that offered me a job out of nursing school. I truly enjoy because children are honest. When they are sick, you know. When they are not sick, you also know. There is no drama for the most part. Most of the stress involves the parents, not the children and that makes it easier to just focus upon my job at hand. I realize that it is not the kids fault and I can just focus on them." (Pediatric ER Nurse; 2013)

Career: 14 years of experience, currently based in Florida, male
School: Studied Nursing at University Of Miami in Florida; completed Bachelor degree in 1998

"What has surprised me about being a registered nurse is the amount of lives that you touch and help. Holding someone's hand and assuring them that things will be alright, hugging that parent whose child is in the hospital or simply seeing a patient's face light up when they see you are all things that surprised me when I first became a nurse." (Registered Nurse; 2012)

Career: 8 years of experience, currently based in Texas, male
School: Studied Nursing at Texas State Technical College in Texas; completed Bachelor degree in 2004

Best & Worst Things About This Career

Pediatric Nurse: "The best part of my job is knowing that I am helping to make children healthier and at times ease their fears. Also, in the office setting a nurse is able to develop a trusting relationship with patients and their families because you see them again and again for different reasons. The worst part of my job is seeing children with terminal illnesses or diseases that leave them with little to no quality of life." (2010)

Registered Nurse: "The best part of my job is teaching. In my role as staff nurse, I have the opportunity to teach parents how to care for their children, whether they're ill or not. I also have the opportunity to teach student nurses how to care for sick children. Teaching allows you the opportunity for growth, both personally and professionally. Teaching others about a new diagnosis or conditions is very rewarding. It also challenges you to stay current will new procedures and treatments. The Worst part of the job would have to be the conflicting demands on my time. Children are admitted to the hospital sick and parents are expected to take them home "iller," with very limited resources at home. As a bedside nurse, I'm under pressure to teach parents everything they need to feel comfortable caring for their child at home in a short span of time." (2009)

Career Background

Pediatric Nurse

  Job Tasks
  Work Environment
  How to Prepare for the Job
  Job Outlook

Career Tips

"I Would Recommend That Everyone Stick To The Field That They Enjoy The Most...
I would recommend that everyone just stick to the field that they enjoy the most or have the most interest in. Everything will work itself out from there." (Pediatric Nurse; 2013)

"Learn At Your Own Pace...
try to take the science courses such as biology and chemistry separately or else you will be really stressed out." (Pediatric Nurse; 2013)

"Prepare Yourself For Reading And Participate In Study Groups...
If you're think about becoming a nurse be prepared to do a lot of reading. And also participate in as many study groups as you can, because it will help in the long run." (Registered Nurse; 2013)

"Organic Chemistry Helps...
IN college, take as much organic chemistry as you can. You'll be surprised about how often doctors refer to the molecules. Also, make sure you intern at the hospital before working there full-time." (RN; 2013)

"Work With Everybody...
One of the best things I can say is to not limit who you want to work with. There is no such thing as a "small job" and any experience is a great experience." (Pediatric Nurse; 2013)

"Heartbreak Balanced By Rewards...
Have an open mind if you go into pediatrics. It can be devastating and heart breaking at times and you will have to find the strength within you to deal with that. But the rewards of helping to make an innocent child more than outweigh the downside." (Pediatric ER Nurse; 2013)

"Go For A Bachelors Rather Than Associates...
1. Try to get into a bachelor's program first, rather than getting an associate's and then going back to school later on for your bachelor's. 2. Nursing school is a lot of hard work. Try to find a group of students you work well with and form a study group.. It will really pay off. 3. Sign up for a prep course before taking your NCLEX exam (the test you take to get your nursing license). They fill you with the type of information you need to be prepared for the test." (Pediatric Nurse; 2010)

"Volunteer In A Children's Facility...
I think the most important part of being a pediatric nurse, is being comfortable around children of all age groups. I would highly recommend volunteering in a facility that cares for children: a half way house, or a teen shelter. It could even be coaching. Increase your familiarity with various age groups while they are healthy. This will help you learn how they ought to appear and behave and how to react toward them when they are ill. I would also recommend a nursing program with a strong clinical base. I attended a program that had a co-op part, thus giving me the experience of working with the ill before I graduated. This was a true advantage. My last piece of advice would be to keep your mind and your options open. College can be a time of great discovery. There are so many opportunities in health care now. Allow yourself the opportunity to find something you love, and have a passion for, and you will be happy and fulfilled." (Registered Nurse; 2009)