Transition To Pediatric Nursing Program: Adult To Pediatric Nursing

When you have been working as a nurse for adult patients, switching to the pediatric population can feel like you’re entering a new world. You will find that children aren’t mini adults — they have different medical and psychosocial needs, and their own way of communicating those needs.

At Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, we don’t want you to enter that world alone. That’s why we started our Transition to Pediatric Nursing Program to help you transition from adult to pediatric nursing.

The Transition to Pediatric Nursing Program is tailored to nurses with a BSN who have worked a minimum of one year with the adult population. It is designed to teach you everything you need to know about becoming a pediatric nurse. The program ultimately culminates in eligibility for national certification as a pediatric nurse.

During the program, you will attend modules of paid coursework over the first 6 months, as well as unit-specific clinical orientation with a preceptor. These courses are designed to help you understand the differences between nursing care of adults and children by providing you with both knowledge and clinical experience.

Eligibility & Application

Our Transition to Pediatrics Program is available for any nurse with a bachelor’s degree in nursing who has at least one year of experience in non-pediatric nursing. You must be licensed in Nebraska or a compact state.

In order to join the program, you must apply for and be hired into an open staff RN position in one of the following units who are participating in the Transition Program:

  • 4 Med Surg: 24-bed unit caring for primarily infants, and toddlers
  • 5 Med Surg: 24-bed unit caring for intermediate level and primarily cardiac patients
  • 6 Med Surg: 24-bed unit caring for diabetic and hematology/oncology patients
  • Newborn Intensive Care (NICU): 40-bed unit caring for preterm and sick newborns
  • Pediatric Intensive Care (PICU): 19-bed unit caring for intense, acutely ill patients of all ages
  • Hospital Float Pool: nurses who care for patients at any location within the inpatient areas including, Med Surg, NICU, PICU, or SSU
  • Emergency Department (ED): 15 total beds for patients with emergent needs (2 trauma; 9 standard ED; and 4 fast track)
  • CARES/PACU/Operating Room (Surgical Services): Nurses in CARES/PACU prepare patients for surgery and recover them post anesthesia. Operating Room nurses work with the surgical team to care for patients during an operative procedure.
  • Short Stay Unit (SSU): 9-bed unit caring for all patients with a length of stay of 24 hours or less
  • Home Health Visiting Nurses:  These nurses provide in-home visits to patients and families for care and teaching related to a child’s illness.
  • Private Duty Home Care: These nurses provide in-home care to children with complex chronic conditions that require additional advanced care in the home.
  • Urgent Care: There are 4 different Urgent Care locations within the Omaha community, housed in a Children’s Physicians Primary Care office. They provide urgent, but not emergent, care for pediatric patients after business hours and on the weekends.

All experienced nurses with no prior pediatric nursing experience will automatically participate in the Transition Program as part of their unit-specific orientation. The program is offered throughout the year, so regardless of hire date, you will be able to begin the program within 2 months of hire.

If you do have some experience in pediatric nursing, you will have the opportunity to collaborate with one of our educators to assess your level of knowledge and develop an individualized unit orientation program built on your prior experience.


There is no formal application process for the Transition to Pediatrics Program. Once you have been hired into a participating unit (see list above), you will be automatically enrolled.

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Coursework & Curriculum

As part of the Transition to Pediatrics program, you will participate in 52 hours of classes. Classes will be held twice per week, for 6 hours each.

Courses are designed around a blended-learning curriculum, which combines multiple teaching methods, including:

  • Web-based training
  • Lectures
  • Skills practice stations
  • Case studies
  • Pediatric mock code review with a simulator

You will work with a preceptor on your unit in addition to these modules. The length of orientation will be customized to your needs and the planned orientation for each unit. In most cases, unit-specific orientation will continue after the completion of transition courses.

Course content includes:

  • Detailed review of pediatric body system assessments and related conditions
  • Family-centered care
  • Growth and development
  • Communicating with children at various age groups
  • Quality components, such as prevention of central line-associated bloodstream infections
  • Managing a broad range of caregiver emotional needs, including: survival skills, caregiver stress, coping, and grief

After the completion of unit-specific orientation, cohorts of Transition to Pediatrics nurses will gather monthly for 3 months for group check-ins to identify issues and challenges, and receive additional resources. Groups then will meet at six months and again at one year after hire for ongoing mentoring and professional development.

Final content in the program will focus on advanced specialty certification preparation and preceptor training.

Course Dates & Times

The Transition to Pediatric Nursing Program is presented several times throughout the year.

You will collaborate with your educator to self-schedule the modules through your orientation.


There is no cost to participate in the Transition to Pediatric Nursing Program. You will be paid your usual pay and benefits while in the program.


For more information on the Transition to Pediatric Nursing Program, call 402-955-6000 or email

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