One of the best aspects of earning your Accelerated BSN in Massachusetts and working as a registered nurse is that you can work in so many different arenas and pursue many different dreams simultaneously. If you have always wanted to become a nurse but have also always loved researching, you can become a nurse researcher. Want to see the world? You can always become a travel nurse and help those in need all over the globe. Have you always loved children? There are vast pediatric nursing careers and opportunities for those who love being surrounded by children.
As a child you might have dreamed of being a big sister or brother and helping your little siblings learn. As a teenager, your first job might had been watching the neighbor’s kids, and you loved it. Now as an adult in an accelerated nursing program, you know exactly what you want to do with your career; work with children. With so many great options out there, where do you even start? Check out this list of five pediatric nursing careers as ways to work with kids as a nurse and begin your dream career.
1. Pediatric Registered Nurse
As a pediatric registered nurse, you will care for newborns to young adults. You will work closely with doctors, pediatricians, and other nurses to provide the best preventative and critical care. Often, you will give screenings and immunizations and treat common illnesses children face, such as chicken pox and tonsillitis. However, your work doesn’t stop in the present. You also work closely with the child’s parents to create the best healthcare plans for the child to live a happy and healthy life.
If you find you can soothe a crying child or create a safe place for them when they are frightened, this pediatric nursing career may be for you. Pediatric registered nurses often have to comfort a scared or upset child while still communicating with the child and parents about their health problems.
2. Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Nurse
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurses work with unique patients who need undivided attention and care. NICU nurses provide critical care to premature and sick newborns. NICU nurse’s duties include providing nutrients and medication to the newborn as well as keeping a close eye on vital signs, especially the newborn’s breathing. They also work beside physicians and doctors caring for the newborn as a team. In addition to caring for premature and sick newborns, NICU nurses train parents on how to take care of their newborn once they leave the comfort of the hospital and are away from the nurses.
Working in the NICU may be a good option for you if you are capable of remaining completely calm under highly-stressful situations. Your patients won't be able to verbalize what hurts, so your success as a NICU nurse will depend upon your ability to evaluate charts and measurements, as well as your ability to calm down highly-anxious parents.
3. Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) Nurse
You may be thinking, PICU nurse? Isn’t that similar to a NICU nurse? In a way, they are similar. Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) nurses care for infants, children, and adolescents who become critically injured or ill, while NICU nurses deal primarily with newborns. A PICU nurse’s main priorities are monitoring patients, giving excellent care, and informing the family on updates. Their job is to help save lives. They often stick to one, two, or three patients at a time to give as much attention to each case as possible.
Some of your pediatric patients in the PICU may be able to explain what's wrong, which can make treatment easier. However, your communication skills must be top-notch in the PICU, as you will have to not only help stressed parents understand what's happening, but you may have to calm down a scared child and explain what's happening.
4. Labor and Delivery Nurse
Labor and delivery nurses assist patients in bringing new life into the world every day. They are there every step of the way, helping future mothers through their labor and birthing process. They also alert and aid physicians if there are complications with births. Their work doesn't stop after the baby is born, however. Labor and delivery nurses teach mothers to care for their babies at home, address any questions or concerns, and provide postpartum advice and care.
Success and a labor and delivery nurse relies heavily on your ability to calm down a mother and explain what's going on every step of the way. Each patient will have a different experience; some may give birth within minutes of arrival, while others may take hours. If you are a naturally calm person and enjoy soothing others, this could be a great pediatric nursing option for you.
5. School Nurse
A school nurse is a unique nursing job to have. Every school is required to develop an individualized education plan to accommodate it's students. Because each school has its own education plan, school nurse jobs are different at every school around the nation. School nurses work with their administration to provide nursing care and health counseling to students and staff. Often they are faced with issues such as chronic illnesses, disabilities, and mental health conditions, such as ADHD and autism.
If you want a schedule that allows you to be home with your family on weeknights and weekends and don't mind the occasional fake cough to get out of a quiz, working as a school nurse may be the perfect option for you. Working as a school nurse means you may have a lot of cuts and tummy aches, but you may also have students with severe allergies. Working as a school nurse requires you to be extremely knowledgeable about a plethora of illnesses.
It Takes a Kindhearted Person to Pursue a Pediatric Nursing Career
Taking care of children in any way is a challenging experience. It takes a special person to take on the full-time job of caring for children with a nursing career. There is no doubt you will change and save lives with this rewarding career choice.
Ready to pursue your dreams? Speak to an admissions advisor today to learn how you can earn your Accelerated BSN online and start your nursing career in just 16 months.