Nurses at Work | Downey, CA | PIH Health

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Nurses at Work

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Interested in Nursing?

Working as a nurse has many benefits, but the greatest enjoyment is being an integral part of your patient’s well-being. To become a nurse, you should earn your Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN).

Specialized Nursing

Here at our hospital, we encourage our nurses to be life-long learners. Once you successfully pass the required courses and exams to become a Registered Nurse, there are opportunities to become certified in other areas. We are proud of our cross training program which allows nurses to learn and explore other specialty areas.

Critical Care

Nurses working in Critical Care—also called intensive care—treat the most severely ill or injured patients in our hospital. To become a Critical Care Nurse, you should get certified as a Critical Care Nurse by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses after obtaining work experience in this area.

Emergency Department

Nurses in the Emergency Department work alongside first responders and other emergency medical professionals to deliver fast, quality care to patients. To become an Emergency Department Nurse, you should first work as a Med-Surg or Telemetry nurse to develop the proper skills. Once you have attained at least two years’ experience working in an emergency medical setting, you will then qualify to sit for the Certified Emergency Nurses Examination, which is overseen by the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing. Certification is not required, but highly recommended.

Medical Surgical (Med Surg)

Nurses working in the largest branch of nursing care—Medical Surgical—care for patients with the widest variety of diagnosis. These nurses are responsible for the treatment of patients who have medical or surgical complications. Med-Surg nursing is frequently the first step a newly licensed RN will take will take in their professional career.


Perioperative services include Outpatient Surgery Center, Operating Room, Endoscopy and Post Anesthesia Care. Nurses who work in these specialty areas provide a wide range of assistance, such as supporting surgeons during an operation and caring for the patient before, during and after surgical and diagnostic procedures. Prior to working in the specialized field of Perioperative services, it is recommended that the RN has two years of acute care experience and for those who transition to the Operating Room will require specialty training in the Peri-Op 101 Program. Certifications that are currently offered include, Certified Perioperative Nurse (CNOR), Certified Post Anesthesia Nurse (CPAN), Certified Ambulatory Perianesthesia Nurse (CAPA) and Certified Gastroenterology Registered Nurse (CGRN).


Nurses in Telemetry monitor patients that have serious cardiac complications and risks. They measure a patient’s vital signs using life-sign computing devices, usually called an electrocardiogram. Becoming a Telemetry Nurse, typically requires specialized training and a Progressive Care Certified Nurse (PCCN) certificate.