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Pediatric/Travel Nursing

Dani Johnson

  • RN, BSN

  • University of Wyoming School of Nursing
    BSN '13

What drew you to this career?

I have always loved kids, but didn't start thinking about pediatrics as a career until I did my senior practicum in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at Children's Hospital Colorado. After that, I knew I didn't want to do anything else but work with kids!

How did you prepare for it?

I was very proactive in our pediatrics class. I paid close attention to detail, because I knew this was a specialty. When I found out I was doing my practicum in a pediatric-focused Cardiac ICU, I did a LOT of research to make sure I was as prepared as possible (which you can never fully prepare for until you start the experience)! I kept a very open mind, and decided from the get-go to welcome constructive criticism.

What do you like the most about this career?

I love working with kids! We have a lot of responsibility with childrens' lives in our hands, but in a way you get to be a "professional kid." I learn something every day, and have had some amazing bonding experiences with not only the children, but their parents as well!

What are the biggest challenges?

Not only do you have a scared little one who doesn't really understand what's going on a lot of the time, but you also have to comfort and explain everything to their parents. (Sometimes that's even harder!) There are so many sad situations to deal with as well. In situations you can't even fathom happening to a child, you have to be strong and comfort those involved, and make some tough decisions in the best interest of the child.

What advice would you have for a student interested in this field?

Go for it! If you want to work in pediatrics, don't wait. Apply for a job now and get started! This is a specialty, and the sooner you start learning all the ins and outs, the better! Try to get a practicum set up in a pediatric setting. You will get good practice with kids and parents alike. And don't be afraid to get creative :) Pediatric nursing is its own world, and a lot of times you have to do things a lot differently to reach the end goal with a happy kid and family. Do what works for you, and don't be timid about trying new and different things!

Extra info about Dani Johnson:

I am a nurse in the Surgical Multidisciplinary Specialty Center (SMSC) at Children's Hospital Colorado in Denver, CO. It is basically the surgical inpatient unit with many other specialties like rehabilitation, burns, transplants,  neurosurgery, seizure monitoring, and more! I am continually learning new things and loving my job!

Johnson staffed the Pediatrics Booth at the 3/26/15 Online Alumni Mentoring event. Click here for more information.

Dani Johnson

Dani Johnson
"We have a lot of responsibility with children's lives in our hands, but in a way you get to be a 'professional kid.' I learn something every day, and have had some amazing bonding experiences with not only the children, but their parents as well."

Johnson staffs Pediatrics booth at online mentoring event

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