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Clinical practice areas

Nurses of all levels have the opportunity to specialize and advance their careers in many different clinical practice areas at Boston Children's.

Please explore Boston Children's Hospital inpatient, outpatient, and procedural areas throughout our Community of Care locations.

Inpatient care areas

Boston Children's has more than 400 inpatient beds across the following clinical practice areas.

Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU)

The Cardiac Intensive Care Unit cares for children with some of the most complex heart conditions in the world. We treat children with non-surgical conditions, such as heart failure, single ventricle defects, and hypoplastic left heart syndrome, as well as children with heart disease undergoing non-cardiac surgery. We also treat older patients and adults who have developed complications or who need further procedures as a result of long-standing or previously treated congenital heart disease. We are one of the largest and most sophisticated pediatric CICUs in the country.

Cardiology/Cardiac Surgery

The Benderson Family Heart Center consists of nurses, cardiologists, and other specialists dedicated to providing a full spectrum of cardiac services for children — and some adults — with congenital heart disease and other rare cardiac conditions. Drawing from a global talent pool, the Benderson Family Heart Center has grown to become the largest pediatric cardiology center in the United States.

General Pediatrics/Medicine

General Pediatrics/Medicine seeks to enhance the lives of children and families locally, nationally, and internationally through clinical care, teaching, research, and community service. We do this by providing a full range of state-of-the-art inpatient clinical services for children and their families to optimize health and well-being.

General Surgery

The Department of Pediatric Surgery provides general and specialized surgical services to infants, children, and adolescents with a wide range of congenital and acquired conditions, including hernias, hydroceles, and undescended testes, as well as cysts and tumors of the head and neck.


Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center offers the combined expertise of both a world-class cancer center and an internationally renowned children’s hospital. We work together to offer seamless, integrated care for children with all types of cancer and blood disorders, including the rarest and most complex cases. Through our joint partnership, Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s offers more specialists, treatment options, and clinical trials than almost any other pediatric center treating cancer and blood disorders in the world.

Inpatient Psychiatry Service (IPS)

The Inpatient Psychiatry Service is a secure, inpatient psychiatric unit licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health. We treat children and adolescents ages 8 to 17 and specialize in the treatment of youth with physical illnesses who also have emotional or behavioral difficulties.

Intermediate Care Program (ICP)

The Intermediate Care Program is an inpatient unit dedicated to the care of children who require more intensive nursing care than what the general inpatient floors can provide.

Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU)

The Medical Intensive Care Unit provides care to critically ill children with conditions that require close and constant monitoring, including respiratory failure, serious infections, nutritional failure, congenital anomalies, and life-threatening complications of metabolic diseases and endocrine disorders. In the MICU, our clinicians have developed specific expertise in caring for children with acute and chronic respiratory diseases.

Medical-Surgical Intensive Care Unit (MSICU)

The Medical-Surgical Intensive Care Unit provides care for children and young adults following general surgery, transplantation, neurosurgery, craniofacial reconstruction, orthopedic surgery, and trauma. Our MSICU has one of the highest volume pediatric intensive care units in the United States and is one of the largest extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) centers.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit treats critically ill infants requiring complex medical and surgical care. We work closely with the Maternal Fetal Care Center to coordinate both prenatal consultation and postnatal intensive care for infants with a wide range of prenatally diagnosed conditions. Infants admitted to the NICU are frequently referred from community hospitals because they require advanced medical or surgical therapies not available where they were born.


As the world’s largest, oldest and most experienced neurology and neurosurgery centers, our team treats more nervous system conditions than any other pediatric program in the world. We provide expert clinical care for children with neurologic conditions, and offer a breadth and depth of subspecialty care to deliver the most accurate diagnoses and advanced treatments available.


The Orthopedic Center is committed to providing comprehensive and compassionate care for pediatric, adolescent, and young adult patients. It is one of the world's largest and most experienced pediatric orthopedic centers.

Solid Organ Transplant

The Pediatric Transplant Center offers specialized, uniquely collaborative programs dedicated to heart, lung, heart-lung, liver, kidney, intestine, and multivisceral transplants. The team is at the forefront of clinical advances and research.

Outpatient care areas

Our nurses have the opportunity to provide direct patient care in more than 214 specialties and outpatient settings.

Emergency Department

Of the many nursing fields, Emergency Department nursing affords one of the widest varieties of professional experiences, and our nurses treat a wide array of children and conditions.

Perioperative Care Areas

Boston Children's perioperative nurses thrive in the following energetic and fast-paced specialty areas in which they assist patients before, during and after surgery.

  • Operating Room
  • Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU)
  • Preoperative Clinic

ICU nurse staffing ratios

MGL c. 111, sec. 231 was signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick on June 30, 2014. The law establishes patient assignment limits for registered nurses in intensive care units (ICUs) in acute hospitals licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and in hospitals operated by the Commonwealth. The law provides in part that “in all intensive care units the patient assignment for the registered nurse shall be 1:1 or 1:2 depending on the stability of the patient.”

Please click below for the staffing ratios in each of our intensive care units (ICUs) at Boston Children’s Hospital.