Licensed vocational nursing is a medical discipline that continues to flourish in prevalence. These angels of mercy work under the direction of registered nurses and doctors, providing patients with basic bedside care. After completing a one-year, state-approved educational program, the nurses are able to earn an income of more than $41,500 annually.

(Photo courtesy of Sandra Armas)

(Photo courtesy of Sandra Armas)

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is a career path projected to expand by 25 percent by 2022. Primary areas of interest run the gamut from elder care to pediatrics.

“Pediatric nursing is an ideal vocation because it’s the most satisfying and rewarding career,” said Sandra Armas, a licensed vocational nurse who works in the pediatric department at Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Center. “Touching the lives of young children and their parents can bring so much joy and gratification to your personal life.”

What key attributes must a model pediatric nurse maintain?

“The first is to be a child at heart yourself and the second is to be compassionate. Communication is also critical. So a successful pediatric nurse must be a good speaker and a good listener.”

What improvements have you noticed in recent years? 

“The overall role of the pediatric nurse has grown since 2010. With so many advances in technology, we have the opportunity to do much more than we did just four years ago.”

What headway do you anticipate in coming years? 

“With health care reform in place, I expect the importance of pediatric nurses to change due to higher demands, increased opportunities in other pediatric settings and the ability to assume a more central role in health services.”

How does one prepare for a pediatric nursing career?

“Those who are considering pursuing this field should volunteer in a pediatric clinic or childcare center in order to gain good insight into the role and understand what is expected.”

What is your advice to aspiring pediatric nurses?

If you see yourself working with children and their families, then go for it. Reach your goal. The medical field is rewarding, and being a pediatric nurse brings an amazing feeling to your heart.”

Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist who covers topics of social interest in greater Los Angeles. Some news articles she has authored have been archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Sharon also contributes to


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