Building a Career in Pediatric Homecare: Tips for New Nursing Graduates 

Congratulations, new nursing graduates! Embarking on your career journey is both thrilling and daunting, especially when considering the diverse range of nursing specialties available. If you’re drawn to pediatric homecare, you’re entering a field that requires compassion, adaptability, and a commitment to care. To help you navigate this rewarding but challenging path, here are some tips to keep in mind: 

Gain Experience 

First things first, nursing graduates have to learn the skills necessary to work with pediatric patients outside of a clinical setting. It can be scary to start a career in a specialty you don’t have much experience with. At Family First, we make it an easy transition, ensuring you feel confident in your skills before you are one-on-one with a patient. In fact, our Preceptor Program was built just for that. Family First enrolls all newly graduated nurses beginning their careers in homecare into our Preceptor Program, which is an innovative model of preceptorship/mentorship that allows new nurses to learn from and shadow experts in the field. Precepting is vital to promoting the competence, confidence, and safety of new nurses in a new environment.  

“Get to know the client and their quirks, you have to be a hands-on nurse, interact with the client, and be positive in your workplace.”

– LPN, Family First Homecare

Develop Great Communication Skills 

Effective communication is essential when working with pediatric patients and their families. As a pediatric homecare nurse, you’ll need to communicate complex medical information in a way that is understandable to parents and caregivers. Practice active listening, empathy, and patience to build trust and rapport with your patients and their families. Communication is one of the core elements of our Preceptor Program. Family First will teach nursing graduates how to practice effective and compassionate communication so they are fully prepared to enter the field.  

“Home is the most important part of homecare. The home is such a safe & intimate space and we want to make sure the kids and families feel that, not only in their physical homes, but with us at Family First as well.”

– Kiyana, Service Coordination Manager, Family First Homecare

Be Adaptable 

Pediatric homecare requires flexibility and adaptability. As a homecare nurse providing one-on-one care to patients in their home, you must be prepared to adapt your caregiving techniques to the individual needs of the patients. Additionally, nurses must be prepared in case a medical emergency occurs.  

“Be prepared, have your mental plan for the worst-case event that the patients  condition could lead to. Stay calm, but be ready to move fast. Remember that patient safety is number one.”

– LPN, Family First Homecare

Practice Self-Care 

Working in pediatric homecare can be emotionally and physically demanding. It’s essential to prioritize self-care to prevent burnout and maintain your well-being. Establish healthy boundaries, seek support from colleagues and mentors, and engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation outside of work. Start building these habits at the beginning of your career and enjoy a balanced and rewarding career.  

Embrace the Rewards 

Pediatric homecare is one of the most fulfilling careers. While nursing can be challenging, it is also incredibly rewarding. Celebrate the milestones, big and small, with your patient and their families. The bonds you form with your patients and the positive impact you make on their lives are priceless rewards that make every challenge worthwhile. 

“Pediatric homecare gives you the opportunity to develop relationships with the child and the family that you are providing care for. You are provided the opportunity to watch a child grow.”

– Mallory, Service Coordination Manager, Family First Homecare

Nursing Graduates at Family First 

Family First Homecare welcomes new nursing graduates with open arms. We are so excited that you are interested in a pediatric homecare career, and will give you all the tools you need to succeed. We enroll all new nurses into our Preceptor Program to ensure you enter the field feeling confident and capable.  

Preceptees learn imperative skills for safe care from tenured Preceptors who are excited about building up the next generation of homecare nurses. In addition to learning patient-specific nursing skills, the program follows six core components:  

  • Communication 
  • Punctuality 
  • Holistic Training 
  • Professionalism 
  • Note-taking 
  • Appreciation 

While it takes at least 2 to 3 weeks for a preceptee to complete the entire program, they are usually placed with clients immediately after. But the learning doesn’t end there. We encourage our preceptees to attend our trach and vent class after finishing their preceptorship so they can take higher acuity care clients and potentially earn more. Family First offices also host monthly skills fairs for nurses to expand and refresh their expertise.  

Learn more about our Preceptor Program here.  

If you have just graduated or are graduating soon, view our open positions and start your career in pediatric homecare. We will walk with you every step of the way and help you build a rewarding career where you can build meaningful connections with your patients.