When Diana started working at Connecticut Children’s as a Patient Care Assistant, she didn’t know her whole life was about to change. But once she discovered the magic of working with children and the camaraderie within the community, she knew she found the exact place she wanted to grow her career.

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Name: Diana Orellana

Role: Nurse, Medical Surgical 6

Time at Connecticut Children’s: 4 years

Total Nursing Experience: 3 years


What are the advantages of working in Connecticut’s only health system dedicated to children?

It’s all about making magic for the kids. If you’re going to listen to a kid and he’s nervous, then you listen to their teddy bear first with your stethoscope to build their trust. All that we do and all that we’re trained to do is to better the outcomes of our patients.


What’s the most rewarding part of being a pediatric nurse?

Being at the hospital is scary for kids and their families, and it’s even more scary when everything’s in a language you don’t understand. Being bilingual and having my medical interpretation certification lets me be there as someone who speaks their language and someone who can explain what’s happening. You can see a smile on their face when someone approaches them in their language and they’re so grateful for that.

What motivated you to start a career in pediatric nursing?

I started at Connecticut Children’s as Patient Care Assistant (PCA). I saw what a huge difference the nurses made in the patient experience and I knew, this is what I want to do. This is where I want to be. I was in nursing school at the time, but I knew where I was going to send my application first.

What advice would you give a nurse considering a move to pediatrics?

Please come! Connecticut Children’s is a great place to work. Working and making connections with children and their families is the most rewarding thing that you could do – and we have all the resources and a team environment that allow you to do so.


What’s life like on the 6th floor?

The patients we treat every day vary from newborns to teenagers. It’s a huge range of ages, which is very challenging but keeps it interesting. The way you approach a teenager is not the same way you approach a baby. It keeps us on our toes. It keeps us creative. It keeps us learning every day.

What is your most memorable experience so far?

When a patient who has been on the floor for months makes a full recovery and they finally get to go home, back to school, back to their old lives, it’s the greatest thing to see.  We line up in the hallways and we do what we call, “a bubble send out.” We play music and blow bubbles as the patient literally graduates the hospital and exits. We all clap and laugh and cry a little bit. It’s a very special moment. It brings tears to my eyes every time!

Diana Orellana, RN


How would you describe the culture here at Connecticut Children’s?

It’s a team player kind of culture. I love my coworkers – everybody loves working here. We lean on each other and are never afraid to ask questions, whether you’re a new nurse or have been here for years. Our managers always have the door open, they’re on the floor visible to us, and here for us when we need them. We’re a community.

What’s special about nursing at Connecticut Children’s?

As a bedside nurse, we’re often the first ones to catch a problem, to see a change in condition. We have a strong voice when it comes to advocating on behalf of our patients. Every other specialty that interacts with our patients reaches out to us first. We have direct communication with the residents, with the doctors, with every part of the patient team.

Plus, working for a Magnet designated hospital gives me pride that our work is recognized and gives families confidence they’re at a place where nurses earn a seal of approval only given to the top 7% of hospitals in the country.

Diana Orellana, RN


Best perk or benefit?

Tuition reimbursement. I used the benefit to finish school and transition from my role as a PCA into nursing.

How does Connecticut Children’s support career growth?

We have many locations across the state – it’s a huge organization with many opportunities for growth and many benefits that help advance your career. Along with tuition reimbursement, I got my Spanish medical interpretation certification so I can translate for doctors and for other specialties.

How do you envision your future at Connecticut Children’s?

I want to strengthen my skills as a nurse, become a resource nurse, and further my education to better serve my patients and the people I work with.