ORIGINAL QUESTION: What are some pediatric nursing career options that include a lot of learning, teaching, quick-paced environment, and high level of autonomy?
By Josephine Reid
There are great pediatric nursing career options that are rewarding, stimulating, fun and give nurses the chance to be independent.
Traveling Pediatric Nurse
Having specialized skills is also an excellent way to be a strong candidate for travel nursing jobs. Travel nurses get to work short-term jobs all over the country, usually for 12-week contracts (or sometimes longer). Being experienced and having credentials in a high demand area like pediatrics can give you an edge.
If you are a trained, experienced pediatric nurse with a yen for international travel, you can pursue contracts through an agency that specializes in placing nurses in overseas assignments for a few weeks to a few years. Work in a fancy overseas pediatric hospital, a remote jungle clinic or with a humanitarian organization helping war refugees, AIDS orphans or displaced families. You may also be able to travel as a companion to a family with an ill child who requires your nursing expertise as they live or travel abroad.
Specialty certifications or experience in fields such as pediatric oncology, emergency medicine or prenatal and neonatal care can increase both your eligibility for certain postings and your potential earnings. Experience living or working abroad, a current passport and foreign language skills are also pluses when applying for international nursing positions.
For example, Emily, who works as an RN within a surgical atmosphere for babies and children; gives us insight on the variety and enjoyment of her position.
“I love that I get such a wide variety of pathological processes in all kinds of age groups... so i get to become "good" at everything, from burns to trauma to respiratory issues. I love that I can watch a sick child bounce right back to wellness relatively quickly. I love that I am able to have fun at work and amidst treatments and medications, and read a bedtime story or chart while watching Shrek waiting for my pt to fall asleep. That whiny kids are way easier to deal with than whiny adults, and the poops and pukes are smaller. That I can wear cartoon medical scrubs and not feel silly, but instead have an at length conversation about Spongebob and Mickey. That I can truly help parents that might be still learning the ropes of parenting and guiding them on basic child care and caring for a sick child.”
Children's Infectious Diseases
A Pediatric Nurse Practitioner with specific focuses can offer a rewarding career. Kim Pierce via PNCB.org is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner for HIV+Youth.
“I am a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Instructor for the University of Colorado School of Medicine Pediatric Infectious Disease Department's Children's Hospital Immunodeficiency Program (CHIP). That is the long title--the short one is Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at the CHIP program.
I love that my job is always changing. I provide care for teens living with HIV infection. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. The medications we use to help people living with HIV are always changing and improving. I really enjoy spending time with my patients and working with them to stay healthy and to take their medications. Today, many people who are HIV infected can live a normal life as long as they stay on their medications and take care of themselves. One thing I love about my job is that each day is different. I rarely do the same things every day. Some days I see HIV positive youth in our Adolescent Clinic for routine visits and primary care, other days I am working on research studies in HIV. Then there are days where a new patient is referred to our care and we all work together as a team (infectious disease doctors, nurse practitioners, social workers and a nutritionist) to meet with them, talk about their diagnosis and discuss what their healthcare will look like going forward.”