Career in Nursing
I'm interested in becoming a nurse to work in a pediatrician's office. I'm currently trying to get into the nursing program at my school to get a B.S.degree/become an RN. What else will I have to do to work in a pediatrician's office? Do I need to go to graduate school? Any other advice you have please?
It’s great that you are focused and know the career path that you want to take. Pursuing a career in Nursing will broaden your opportunities in the future and give you the life skills that you need to take care of yourself and your family. Most Nurse Recruiters and Nurse Educators will agree that a Graduate Nurse should work in a Hospital on an Adult Medical Surgical Unit for two years before making a decision regarding a specialty area. The general thought is that the experience on the Medical Surgical unit will give you the baseline knowledge and experience that you need which will prepare you for future roles. There is also is a shortage of Nurses and the addition of Nurse Graduates to Medical Surgical Units would definitely benefit the hospital regarding their staffing concerns.
On the other hand, there are plenty of Nurses who know exactly what area they are interested in. Many nurses, including myself, go directly into a specialty area without working on an Adult Medical Surgical unit first. This is a viable option, if you have an interest in a specialty area. I do feel that it is important to work in a hospital in that specialty area before branching off into other areas of Nursing, such as outpatient or home care.
If you are interested in working with children, it is a good idea to work on a Pediatric Ward in a hospital first in order to expose yourself to a variety of disease states, interventions and medical equipment. This will broaden your knowledge base and better prepare you for future jobs. After all, if you are working in a Pediatrician’s office and a child needs to be rushed to the Emergency Room or admitted to the hospital, you will need to know how to treat, educate and support a child and his family. This would be very difficult to do if you never actually experienced or worked in a hospital.
As a Nurse, once you have worked in a hospital it is more difficult to make the transition to a Pediatrician’s office in regards to pay scale and benefit package. The level of pay and benefit package are much more impressive in a hospital setting as compared to a private Pediatrician’s office. In general Pediatricians' offices will not be able to offer you the same level of pay, the health and dental insurance, retirement plan, tuition reimbursement, evening and weekend differential pay or any of the other benefits available through the human resource program in a large institution. All of these factors may not be important to you now, but will become very important aspects of your employment in the future.
In order to work in a Pediatrician’s office you do not need an R.N. degree. In many cases the staff consists of medical assistants. Just because the employees are wearing white or scrubs does not mean that they are nurses. You can call the Pediatricians’ offices in your area, tell them that you are a student and are interested in learning about the roles and credentials of the office staff. This can give you a better idea regarding the position that your are interested in.
In some cases you may find that Doctors' offices employ Nurse Practitioners, who are Mastered Prepared Registered Nurses with advanced training. Nurse Practitioners engage in an expanded role which includes seeing patients, doing physical examinations, making diagnoses, writing prescriptions for medication and devices, educating and making referrals. Since Nurse Practitioners see patients they provide income to the doctor’s office which justifies their salary. In general benefits are still lacking, therefore this is something that should be considered before working in a doctor’s office as a Nurse Practitioner.
If you are interested in becoming a Nurse Practitioner, you would need to get your Bachelor’s degree and R.N. License first. In order to gain experience and broaden your knowledge base you should work in a hospital on a Pediatric Ward for a length of time. Next it is necessary to continue your education and obtain a Master’s Degree and Nurse Practitioner Certification.
While in college, one of the best things that you can do is work at a summer job in your field of interest. I recommend working in a doctor’s office for one summer and then working in a hospital for the next summer. This will enable you to experience the role of the nurse and other healthcare professionals first hand and will give you the information that you need to make decisions about your life. No matter what you choose, the most important thing to do is work in an area that you are interested in and choose a position in that area that will give the resources that you deserve.
I wish you much success and happiness in your future.
Lisa-ann Kelly R.N., P.N.P.,C.
Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Pediatric Advice Updated Daily