PEDIATRIC REGISTERED NURSE Mackenzie Bezio
1. I have chosen to research pediatric nursing because my greatest aspiration is to help people and make a positive impact on the world. I feel that a career in the medical field would be very rewarding for me and pediatric nursing sounds interesting. Personally, I feel very energized working with kids. Nursing is a challenging career and I’ve been learning that it is never boring.
My passion is helping people and nurses do that in many ways.
A couple of months ago, I attended an information session at Portland Community College about the nursing programs. At first, I was worried about the prerequisites required and the highly selective program application. I signed up to receive more information about the CNA (Certified Nursing Program) as it is a good stepping stone to get into the RN (Registered Nurse) program. I plan to visit the CNA program at the CLIMB Center relatively soon.
I was fortunate to interview a pediatric nurse last week named Afton Potter.
She inspired me because she has always really liked her job for many reasons. She loves the security and the flexibility that it has provided her. She has done travel nursing and sales, but she especially likes working in pediatrics at Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU). She works closely with children and their families. She has a set schedule that works around her family schedule.
When her children were young, she was able to work just one shift per week. She works closely with doctors and other medical staff.
She said that there are many different types of careers for nurses, and many specializations that keep it interesting. She is continually learning.
She is currently working on her master’s degree (half online and half in-person training). Her a desire for a master’s degree was not for an additional salary, although she will likely get a raise. She wants to continue to grow in her profession and learn new things.
The average salary for registered nurses is $88,010 per year in Oregon, typically $65,000-$95,000 annually, and nursing has a faster than average growth rate.1 Nationally, RNs earned approximately $35,000 to $84,400 per year, and $69,790 mid-range (including pediatric nurses).
2. A nurse can work in many settings such as a hospital, a clinic, a school, a doctor’s office or provide in-home care.
Job functions typically include running tests and analyzing results, researching and giving medications, using medical equipment, asking for medical histories and answering questions. In the pediatric world, a nurse will often lessen fears and ease tensions. It is important that nurses are patient, detail-oriented and have strong problem-solving skills.
The hours for pediatric nursing can vary. A nurse can work full or part-time. They can work a set schedule or pick up additional shifts if desired. They can get overtime pay (time-and-one-half the regular rate per hour). They may work days, nights, or weekends. On-call shifts are also a possibility depending on their place of employment. Weekends or on-call shifts are sometimes required. Shifts in hospitals can sometimes be 12 hours. I may like a 12-hour shift because I would have long stretches of free time to do other things during the week.
Benefits usually include good medical and dental insurance, vacation, sick/personal time, and retirement plans. Some hospitals in the area do not allow partial days off such as Randall
Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel. Unfortunately, staff need to work a full shift or take an entire shift off. This makes it challenging to schedule short appointments like dental appointments.
Outlook for all nursing positions is excellent. The annual openings are very high at 1,284. The 10-year growth is very fast at 14.8% in comparison to all other occupations.
PEDIATRIC REGISTERED NURSE Mackenzie Bezio
3. Education, An Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN). can be completed in as little as two years, but more commonly three years, when prerequisites and experience requirements are met. Most programs are selective and need to limit the class sizes. There are over 15 accredited nursing schools with an ADN program in Oregon (including Lane, Chemeketa, Portland and Mt. Good Community Colleges). Some work with universities for BSN programs. Students are selected (at PCC) by a point system that benefits people that have direct patient contact first, followed by other medical experience (for example, experience in a lab). The PCC Nursing Program maintains national accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc.
(ACEN). Many RNs go on to get a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Some students choose a bachelor’s degree program without an ADN first. Afton Potter and the PCC presenters all said
that the laws for educational requirements and licensing are continually changing.
Licensing is required in Oregon to practice nursing. After graduating from an approved nursing program and passing the National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX), an Oregon nursing license is issued. Licenses need to be renewed every two years.
There are over 63,000 RNs in Oregon with an average age of 47.2
The work environment is indoors in a hospital, clinic, home, or office. The conditions are often clinical with good air quality and lighting. There is a high chance of germs so personal protective
equipment includes gloves and sometimes a face mask. I may prefer a smaller office setting with windows as opposed to a large hospital with long windowless corridors. I like natural light and seeing the outdoors.
Physical aspects include some sitting, standing, computer work and social interaction. Lifting is minimal and light (under 50 lbs.). It isn’t entirely sedentary, but it isn’t incredibly active. This amount of moderate movement would suit me well. I would enjoy not being at a desk all day.
This career was noted on my career test results, and I saved it to my favorites list. I scored very high on medical investigative and social interests, so this aligns with those interests. I did not get a high score for entrepreneur so self-employment may not be an appropriate career for me.
Nursing isn’t typically entrepreneurial so this would be a good fit in that regard.
I first began thinking about nursing after experiencing my medical procedures and tests. I realized that pediatric nurses and doctors are usually very nice and very good at their jobs. They seemed to truly like what they do. I plan to continue to learn about nursing, but I’m not sure if I will pursue this or not. If not nursing, I will pursue something related such as psychology or
music therapy where I can help people feel better. These options will fulfill my goals to help people while enjoying what I do. This process has helped me think about additional criteria for good decision-making. I have ruled out some medical careers due to monotony like mammography technologist or other very specialized medical technician. I ruled out medical laboratory technician as well due to lack of social interaction with patients. I think I would get bored easily doing the same things over and over. I feel that pediatric nursing, psychology or music therapy would provide a variety of interesting situations and a satisfying amount of social
interaction for me.