Pediatric Oncology Nursing Programs

Dear Jill,
I have just stumbled upon the pediatric nurse practitioner blog and I am extremely excited to see that a thing such as this exists. My name is LT and I am currently an RN with a BSN working at a Hospital in New Orleans, LA in Oncology. My dream is to go back to school and becaome a pediatric nurse practitioner, obtaining my DNP. I have had an extremely difficult time lately searching for jobs. I accepted the job in oncology when I graduated nursing school in December of 2008 because I want to work in pediatric oncology ultimately and I was unable to find a pediatric job at the time. I hope to apply to DNP school as soon as possible but I know that experience in pediatrics is very crucial to acceptance. Are there any specific hospitals you would recommend looking into as far as jobs? Are there any pediatric DNP programs that you would recommend?Any advice you may give have will be very appreciated. Thank you for your help, I look forward to hearing from you.


Hi, great to hear from you. I am not sure about the reputations of DNP schools. If you find some you’re interested in, let me know and I will see if I know someone there. As a RN or as a NP, the jobs are out there, but they may not be where you are. I just did a search for pediatric RN oncology and I saw a number of jobs nationwide but that was not true New Orleans when you were looking. The same is true of a pediatric nurse practitioner. Right now I have PNP Onc jobs at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, Children’s National Medical Center in DC and Mercy Children’s Hospital in Kansas City. Most of the PNP Hem Onc jobs you will find are in cities because most of the children’s hospitals are in cities. That means that you may need to have some flexibility in where you live and work when you graduate.

I think that there is an incredible opportunity as a PNP. I think that it provides a lot of options for a wonderful career. If you want to work in Hem Onc, most likely you would work at one of the children’s hospitals. There are at least 250 children’s hospitals nationwide and growing. So there is a lot of potential opportunity for RN and PNP Hem Onc jobs. Children's hospitals in general continuously strive to create the best care, outcomes and enviroment for patients. This generally creates a positive and satisfying work environment.

At this point there is no guarantee that if you get your DNP without your PNP that you would be qualified to get a PNP job. You can either get your Primary Care PNP which allows you to work in primary care and specialty care but not necessarily inpatient acute care. You can also get the Acute Care PNP and work all those areas but may need a little experience before doing primary care. One other option is to get the Primary Care PNP and then get the Acute Care Certification which you can do in a distance program. The most important thing is to get work experience as a RN in the unit you think you want to work in either before or while you are in school even if it means it takes you a little longer. That is the key to getting a job in specialty care.

I would recommend finding a PNP program you are intersted and then working as a RN in Peds Hem Onc to best prepare yourself for a job as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in Hematology Oncology.

I hope this helps.

Warm Regards,
Jill Gilliland
President, Melnic Consulting Group

To inquire about jobs visit Melnic Consulting Group or contact:

Jill Gilliland

No comments: