Skip to main content

UT’s College of Nursing and East Tennessee Children’s Hospital have launched an internship program designed for students who want to pursue a career in pediatric nursing.

“The Pediatric Nurse Intern program is an excellent example of how academic-practice partnerships can be a win-win for students and health facilities,” said Victoria Niederhauser, dean of the college. “This experiential learning opportunity better prepares nurses to enter the pediatric nursing workforce upon graduation.”

Nursing staff at Children’s Hospital and UT faculty designed the program’s curriculum. The idea for the program came from Niederhauser and Hella Ewing, vice president for patient care services and chief nursing officer at Children’s Hospital.

“Pediatric nursing is very specialized,” said Ewing. “Partnering with UT’s College of Nursing is the first step in better preparing students who have a passion for pediatrics. Our staff is committed to giving them the best experience to succeed when they move on to their career in nursing.”

UT and Children’s Hospital chose six rising seniors to participate in the five-week program, which launched this week. Each student is paired with a nurse mentor at the hospital as well as a clinical faculty member within the college to oversee their experience.

“Working alongside a registered nurse with a full patient load is an invaluable opportunity,” said Deb Chyka, clinical assistant professor of nursing, who will oversee the program. “Participating in this internship will result in a better prepared graduate who desires to enter the very competitive field of pediatric nursing.”


Emily Kissel (865-974-2755,

Tyra Haag (865-974-5460,