Nursing Specialties & Units

Lurie Children's employs more than 1,800 nurses, including over 300 APRNs. 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.

19th Floor Inpatient Unit - Neurology/Endocrine/Neurosurgery/Orthopedic Surgery

The nurses who work on this 32-bed inpatient unit provide care to a wide variety of patients. Family-centered care is provided with an interdisciplinary team approach.  Nurses and physicians enjoy collaborating with colleagues from Child Life, Social Work, Case Management, Rehabilitation Services, Chaplains and others to coordinate individualized care for each patient. This unit provides variable acuity care from intensive to chronically ill patients in varying stages of recuperation from diagnostic, therapeutic, or surgical interventions and across all ages - from the neonatal period until transition to adult services. The most common diagnoses treated include: spina bifida, head trauma, seizures, hydrocephalus, encephalitis, brain and spinal cord tumors, diabetes, hypoglycemia, scoliosis, and other orthopedic surgical procedures.

20th Floor - Pediatric Surgery/Transplant Unit

The nurses in this 48-bed acute medical and surgical unit utilize a patient and family-centered, interprofessional approach to provide compassionate and high quality care for children of all ages with a range of complex illnesses and diseases. 20th Floor nurses treat medical patients with gastrointestinal, liver, and kidney diagnoses and surgical patients requiring pediatric general surgery, specialty surgery, and transplantations. The most common diagnoses treated include: appendicitis, nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, short gut syndrome, biliary atresia, and pectus excavatum.  

  • Orientation length: Internship 14 weeks; Experience 8 to 10 weeks
  • Orientation classes: Pediatric Surgery/GI, Kidney, Skills Day
  • Unit resources: Nursing Professional Development Practitioner, Nursing Professional Development Practitioner Associate, Nursing Preceptors, Advanced Practice Nurses, Clinical Managers, Clinical Quality Coordinator RN, and Nursing Director

21st Floor - 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. 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 60-bed unit provide care for critically ill infants and children who require close monitoring and life support systems. Our Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) provides top-quality care using the most recent advancements in equipment and techniques with specialized attention to critical care and other specialty needs. PICU nurses participate in an interprofessional approach to the quality treatment of patients and their families with medically complex diseases, organ transplantation, multiple traumas, various respiratory illnesses, and many other pediatric critical conditions.

The latest interventions and treatments are available in the PICU, including extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy (CRRT), specialty ventilation techniques, and transplant services​. The PICU provides family-centered care​ through bringing family members into care plan meetings and daily rounds which are led by PICU nurses. Additionally, PICU nurses care for patients in the robust Pulmonary Habilitation Program which supports families as they train to care for their child who will be discharged home on a ventilator.

  • Orientation length: New Graduate RN Internship – 22 weeks; Non-PICU RN experienced – 12 to 15 weeks
  • Orientation classes: GI, GU, Skills, Medical, Respiratory, Hematology/Oncology, Cardiovascular, Neurology, Stress, Coping, and Compassion
  • Unit resources: Nursing Professional Development Practitioners, Clinical Managers, Clinical Quality Coordinator, Trained RN Preceptors, Advanced Practice Nurses, Medical Staff, PICU Pharmacist, Family Support Services, Handbook, Web-based and Written Materials

Cancer and Blood Disorders

The Center for Cancer & Blood Disorders offers a family-centered, interprofessional 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 48 beds. 

The hematology/oncology outpatient center and the Chicago White Sox Ambulatory Infusion Center provide a setting for comprehensive outpatient 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: New-graduate RN Internship approximately 4 months; Experienced RN 6 to 12 weeks
  • Orientation classes: Introduction to Hematology/Oncology, APHON Chemotherapy Certification, Stem Cell Transplant Class 
  • Unit resources: Nursing Professional Development Practitioners, Patient and Family Education Practitioners, Clinical Quality Coordinator RN, Advanced Practice Nurses, Clinical Managers and Nursing Director.

Cardiac Care Unit

The Cardiac Care Unit is a 44-bed acuity adaptable unit. We serve patients with all types of cardiac disease and illness including congenital heart disease, cardiomyopathy, cardiac arrhythmias, and heart transplant. The CCU nurses care for patients ranging from birth through adolescence and into adulthood in some cases. The acuity adaptable model of care allows us to treat patients who are critically ill, acutely ill, and everywhere in between. All nurses in the CCU are critically-trained with the ability to provide elite care utilizing ventricular assist devices, continuous renal replacement therapy, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, and other complex care delivery modalities.

  • Orientation length: Six months in duration for new graduate nurses and three months for experienced nurses – assuring that every nurse on our team is able to provide the most expert level of care to our specific patient population. 

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

The division’s 64 bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is designated by the state of Illinois as a Level IV NICU and provides the highest level of care to the most critically ill newborns in the region. The division cares for more than 2,000 infants each year.

As one of the top programs in the State and region, we received transfers from 45 hospitals last year and we consistently receive the most referrals in Illinois from other Level IV NICU facilities. Our Neonatology program is nationally recognized by U.S.News & World Report. Patients in our NICU have immediate onsite access to 70 pediatric medical and surgical subspecialists, which allows us to treat a patients need, no matter how complex. Our team includes highly experienced neonatologists, neonatal nurse practitioners, neonatal nurses, developmental care specialists, respiratory therapists, nutritionists, social workers and child life specialists. We take a family-centered approach to care.

  • Orientation length: Nursing Residency 22 weeks; Experienced Fellowship 16 weeks
  • Orientation classes/experiences: General Neonatology, Respiratory, GI/Surgical/Critical Diagnoses, Neuro, Prematurity/BPD, Developmental, CV, STABLE, NCAST, NRP, PALS, Observational exchanges with Transport and OR

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. 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 (ED) is a designated City of Chicago and State of Illinois Level I trauma center which treats some 58,000 children annually. The ED consists of four 10-bed Pods, which includes four trauma rooms and one procedure room. 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 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: Nursing Professional Development Practitioners, Nursing Educators, and Nursing Quality Improvement Specialists

Resource Team

The Resource Team is a team of nurses who provide supplemental staffing to a variety of patient care areas, including inpatient, emergency department, psychiatry, pre- and post-procedural services, Almost Home Kids and ambulatory, 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 4 months in the acute care areas followed by additional orientation to the ICUs and other areas at a later time; Experienced RN – variable but a minimum of 5 weeks
  • Orientation classes: Unit based classes, PALS and NRP
  • Team Resources: Nursing Professional Development Practitioner, Preceptors, and Managers

Operating Room

Lurie Children's has 21 operating room suites in which approximately 17,900 procedures are performed each year. Surgical services offered include cardiovascular, neurosurgery, ophthalmology, gastroenterology, otolaryngology, plastic surgery, pediatric general surgery, urology, orthopedic, dental, robotic, fetal and transplant surgery.

  • Orientation length: New Grad RN Internship, 9 months; New To OR, 25 weeks; Experienced RN, competency-based
  • Orientation classes: Preoperative nursing curriculum for new graduates and nurses without OR experience
  • Unit resources: Nursing Professional Development Practitioners / Surgical Specialist / Preceptors

Pre- and Post-Procedural Services

A growing number of children of all ages receive care for a variety of procedures in this department spanning 50 beds over two floors. Nurses provide pre-op teaching and admission instructions to patients and their families that may have their procedures done in the OR, Procedure Suite, Cardiac Catheterization Lab, or Interventional Radiology. The nurse also provides post-anesthetic and post-surgical care after recovery, assists with discharge planning, and provides education for families of patients who have undergone a procedure. Orientation length: 6 to 8 weeks

  • Unit resources: Nursing Professional Development Practitioner, Clinical Manager, Preceptor

Post-Anesthesia Care Unit

Lurie Children's 26-bay 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 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: Nursing Professional Development Practitioner, 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: Nursing Professional Development Practitioner, 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

Vascular Access Team (VAT) 

The Vascular Access Team consists of nurses who specialize in peripheral intravascular (PIV) and central line (CVC) therapy. The team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to all departments house-wide, both inpatient and outpatient. The team provides expertise in initiating and maintaining vascular access. The team starts PIVs, performs venous and arterial blood draws, is skilled and equipped to start PIVs via ultrasound, and is trained on inserting long PIVs and midlines. In addition, the team provides dressing care for central and peripheral lines, is consulted on various CVC-related issues like performing CVC repairs, accessing HD catheters, accessing venous ports, and discontinuing CVCs. The team also teaches/trains other professionals in vascular access skills.

  • Orientation length: Approximately 12 weeks
  • Team Resources: Nursing Professional Development Practitioner, Preceptors, and Managers

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: Nursing Professional Development Practitioner

Center for Advanced Practice

The Center for Advanced Practice Leadership Team at Lurie Children's is dedicated to the advancement of professional practice which supports the delivery of comprehensive high quality health care to children and their families.

Learn More