Role: Inpatient Nurse Care Coordinator

Professional Background: I started my nursing career in 2008, as a New Graduate, at Children’s Memorial. Like most people, I had never heard of a NICU until my first pediatric clinical rotation to the NICU at the old Prentice Women’s Hospital.   All it took was one day in the NICU and I knew I wanted to be a NICU Nurse! From the time I started as a New Graduate, It took me a few years to get comfortable and gain confidence in my nursing practice.  In time, I began joining the primary nursing teams for medically complex families.  Every primary family I have cared for has helped me get to where I am now.  Each family has enabled me to become a better listener, more compassionate and a stronger advocate on their behalf. The next significant milestone in my nursing career was when I ventured outside of the hospital to become a Home Health Private Duty Nurse.  This experience was invaluable and taught me many of the joys but also the unique struggles family with Medically Complex Children face once they leave the hospital. I continued to work as a Home Health Nurse, in additional to working full time in the NICU, for about 3 years.  Sadly I was no longer able to continue my work at home with families after October 2013, because then I became a Mom myself!  I am including the birth of my son, Calvin, in my professional background, because I think Calvin has single handily been the catalyst for the most significant growth both personally and professionally in my life.  Once I joined “The Mom Club” my perspective on how NICU Families experience having a critically ill child was forever changed!  I believe I am both a better person and a better nurse now that I am also a parent.

Why I'm excited about this role/program: My son recently began attending full day school, which left me with a lot of extra time to think about myself and my career.  Watching my son grown and develop into his own person inspired me to continue growing and developing myself as a person!  I knew I wanted my career to grow, but I wasn’t quite sure what that path would look like.  That was until I saw this job position posted online!  I instantly felt that this job spoke to my strengths for providing family centered care and being an advocate for my families.  My near 10 years’ experience as a NICU nurse, gave me the perspective from which to brainstorm key ways I can work as a Care Coordinator to help families. Being on the ground floor of a pioneering program such as this, is an amazing opportunity to lay a solid foundation from which to grown this program for many years to come. I hope myself and my teammates will be able to shorten length of stay, reduce the number of remittance and improve families’ satisfaction with the care their child receives.  I also hope, one day, all families in the NICU will receive Care Coordination. 

Outside of work: In my adult years I have fallen in love with hiking in the outdoors, especially in National Parks. I love the sense of accomplishment that comes from completing a difficult trail.  Not to mention, the peacefulness of being submersed in nature, it’s a very special experience! Also, I have a map of the US in my home office, on which I track the various national parks I have traveled to with my family.  My personal favorites have been The Smoky Mountains, Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park.  Glacier National Park is at the top of my wish list for the upcoming years.