Nursing Specialties

​Nurses at Lurie Children's may choose from a full range of pediatric specialty areas to work, develop, and expand their clinical practice. See the specialty areas below to learn more about each unique patient care area, common types of patient diagnoses, the nursing orientation, and resources available. For information regarding positions available in the specialty areas, see our job listings.

General Medical, Infectious Disease, Pulmonary, Allergy & Medical Observation Unit

The 21st floor is a 48-bed unit serving the general medical patient population. The 21st floor is the primary admitting area for specialty medical services of pulmonary medicine and Infectious Diseases. This floor also features eight designated beds for our medical observation unit which typically includes a less than 24-hour inpatient stay. Our patient care team uses a family-centered approach to identifying patient needs and developing care management plans.

Pediatric Intensive Care Unit

The nurses in this 40-bed unit provide care for acutely ill infants and children who require close monitoring and life support systems. Our Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) nurses become skilled in the use of sophisticated monitoring devices, an extensive computerized charting system, and are active participants in progressive medical therapies. These nurses participate in a multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of patients and their families with medically complex diseases, organ transplantation, multiple trauma, various respiratory illnesses, and catastrophic illness. Additionally there is a Transitional Care Unit (TCU) were families are trained to care for their child who will be discharged home on a ventilator.

  • Orientation length: Internship, new graduate – 24 weeks; Non-PICU RN experienced – 18 to 20 weeks
  • Orientation classes: GI, GU, Skills, Medical, Respiratory, Hematology/Oncology, Cardiovascular, Neurology, Stress, Coping, and Compassion
  • Unit resources: Clinical educators, Managers, Advanced practice nurses, Medical staff, Handbook, web based and written materials 

Cancer and Blood Disorders

This center offers a family-centered, multidisciplinary approach to providing the highest quality diagnostic and treatment services for children and adolescents with cancer, hematologic and immunologic disorders and bone marrow transplant. A specialty inpatient unit consists of 22 beds, six of which are devoted to pediatric bone marrow transplant and feature the latest technology for caring for immunosuppressed patients. 

The hematology/oncology out-patient center and the Chicago White Sox Day Hospital provide a setting for comprehensive out-patient care for children with acute and chronic illness. Services include medical examinations, blood tests and diagnostic procedures, chemotherapy and blood transfusions, intravenous hydration, and administration of medications in a comfortable atmosphere designed to receive assessment and treatment by the team in one location. Social workers, child life specialists, art therapists, music therapists and chaplains are involved on a daily basis to provide patients and families with psychological and social support needed. In addition, special events and parent support groups are encouraged.

  • Orientation length: Internship approximately 4 months; Experienced RN 6 to 12 weeks
  • Orientation classes: Introduction to Hematology/Oncology, APHON Chemotherapy Certification, Stem Cell Transplant Class (6-18months from start date).
  • Unit resources: Clinical educator, Staff Development Specialist, Advanced Practice Nurses, Clinical Managers and Nursing Director.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

The division's 42-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is designated by the state of Illinois as a Level III nursery and typically cares for more than twice the children with life-threatening conditions than any other regional hospital. Nearly half of all patients brought to the NICU come from other regional nurseries that carry the same Level III designation.

  • Orientation length: Internship 22 weeks; Experience 8 to 12 weeks
  • Orientation classes: General NICU, NCAST, STABLE,computerized charting, prematurity, respiratory, surgical, respiratory emergency, observation experiences (ECMO, OR, Transport), neonatal resuscitation provider.
  • Unit resources: Clinical educator, advanced practice nurses, NICU pharmacist, developmental specialist, NICU core curriculum book 

Transport Team (Lurie Children’s Service Board Transport Program)

Transport nurses are ready at a moment’s notice to transport seriously ill or injured infants and children to Lurie Children’s by ground or air transport, 24 hours a day/7 days a week. In fiscal year 2005, the transport team transported 1,371 patients. These nurses are skilled in IV insertion, arterial punctures, intubation, and chest tube insertion. They are certified in pediatric advanced life support, neonatal resuscitation, and advanced cardiac life support. Nurses on the team learn and develop by taking advantage of a wide variety of educational programs and by providing educational programs to referring hospitals.

  • Orientation length: Based on experience, 12 weeks minimum
  • Orientation classes: All PICU classes
  • Unit resources: Emergency Department and Resuscitation Educator

Emergency Department

Our 45-bed Emergency Department includes four trauma rooms, one procedure room and is a designated City of Chicago and State of Illinois Level I trauma center which treats some 75,000 children a year. Nurses in this unit care for children with a wide range of diagnoses, ranging from multiple illnesses to the most severe multiple traumas.They are certified on Pediatric Advanced Life Support, Adult Cardiac Life Support, Emergency Nursing Pediatric Course and Trauma Nursing Care Course. The Urgent Care Center located adjacent to the Emergency Department sees more than 45 patients a day for non-acute illnesses and injuries. The professional nurses work collegially with physicians, paramedics, respiratory therapists, and social workers to triage and provide care.

  • Orientation length: Internship 6 months; Experience 6 to 8 weeks
  • Orientation classes: Fluid and electrolytes, sedation, managing the trauma patient, child abuse/sexual assault, diabetic ketoacidosis, fever in the neonate, rapid sequence intubation, managing the adult patient in the pediatric E.D., sickle cell disease, restraint and seclusion, neurology patient, fever and neutropenia.
  • Unit resources: Clinical educators

Resource Team

Full-time and part-time nurses who enjoy all personnel benefits. The Resource Team is a team of nurses who provide supplemental staffing to all inpatient areas of the hospital in response to increased acuity, census, and staffing fluctuations. The team provides units the opportunity to maximize staffing and scheduling flexibility, while minimizing overtime, incentive pay and agency usage.

  • Orientation length: Internship 6 months; Experienced RN – variable ; acute care unit orientation followed by ICUs at a later time
  • Orientation classes: Unit based classes, PALS and NRP
  • Team Resources: Clinical educator, preceptors, and managers 

Operating Room

Lurie Children’s has 21 operating room suites in which approximately 11,000 procedures are performed each year. The pediatric surgical services that are offered include cardiovascular, neurosurgery, ophthalmology, otolaryngology, plastic surgery, pediatric general surgery urology, orthopaedic, dental and transplant surgery.

  • Orientation length: Internship, 9 months; experience, competency-based
  • Orientation classes: Preoperative nursing curriculum for new graduates and nurses without OR experience
  • Unit resources: Clinical educators / Surgical specialist / Preceptors

Pre and Post Procedural Services

A growing number of children of all ages are cared for in these areas for a variety of procedures. Nurses in these areas provide pre-op teaching and admission instructions to patients and their families that may have their procedure done in the operating room, cardiac cath lab and interventional radiology. The nurse also provides post-anesthetic and post-surgical care after recovery, helps with discharge planning and education for families of patients who have undergone a procedure. this 21 bed area for a variety of procedures. Nurses in this area provide pre-op teaching and admission instructions to patients and their families that may have their procdures done in the OR, Procedure Suite, Cardiac Catheterization Lab or Interventional Radiology. The nurse also provides post-anesthetic and post-surgical care after recovery, helps with discharge planning and education for patients and their families that have undergone a procedure.

  • Orientation length: 6 to 8 weeks
  • Unit resources: Clinical educator, clinical manager, preceptor

Post-Anesthesia Care Unit

Lurie Children’s PACU covers our three procedural floors. The PACU RN provides critical evaluation and stabilization of post-procedural patients in a phase 1 recovery setting. The PACU nurses are proficient in managing care for post-anesthetic and post-surgical care for patients from the main Operating Room, Interventional Radiology, Cardiac Catheterization Lab, Procedure Suite and Medical Imaging.

  • Orientation length: Experience, 6 to 8 weeks
  • Unit resources: Clinical educator, Preceptor, clinical manager

Nursing Sedation Team

This is a team of nurses who help care for patients who need to be sedated for a special test or exam, including MRI, CT, Nuclear Medicine, PET/CT and other ambulatory areas. Nurses go through extensive training to assess patients and collaborate with the physician sedation team to develop a safe sedation plan. They also collaborate with the anesthesia department to meet the needs of the patient requiring general anesthesia. The nursing team is capable of managing post-sedation care, disharge planning and post-procedural education for these patients and their families.

  • Orientation lenght: 10 to 12 weeks
  • Unit resources: Clinical educator, clinical manager, preceptor

 

Child Psychiatry

This family-oriented, short-term unit treats patients from preschool through 16 for a variety of emotional, behavioral and developmental disorders, including childhood depression, suicidal ideation, psychoses, eating disorders, learning disabilities, dual medical/psychiatric diagnoses, and family relationship problems. Nurses in this unit work with a variety of other health care professionals, including milieu therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, clinical educators, recreation/occupational therapists and speech therapists to provide comprehensive services to emotionally disturbed children and their families.

  • Orientation length: 4 to 8 weeks
  • Orientation classes: Crisis prevention intervention training
  • Unit resources: Senior staff, manuals

Outpatient Department

Outpatient services encompasses more than 40 pediatric specialties including such services as hematology, oncology, cardiology, orthopedics, endocrinology, gastroenterology, medical, ophthalmology, allergy, and neurology. Nurses in the outpatient department treat a variety of patients and are involved in health supervision, family education, and promotion of continuity of care for a culturally and socioeconomically diverse patient population. Outpatient nursing staff members collaborate with the medical staff and other members of the health care team in coordinating care for both well and chronically ill children.

  • Orientation length: 2 to 16 weeks, depending on the outpatient service
  • Unit resources: Clinical educator