I’m married to Adam, a software engineer who owns his own business. We have two kids; Graham (5) will be starting preschool, and Brynn just turned one in May. Our furbaby is a bulldog named Pork Chop.
Why did you choose a career in nursing?
I’ve always wanted to work in healthcare, even as a young child. My mom jokes that I even mentioned at my preschool graduation that I was going to be a nurse!
How long have you been a nurse?
I graduated in December 2007 and started my first job that winter. I went into nursing knowing that I wanted to work with babies and started my career in the mother-baby unit of the postpartum nursery. That turned my focus more on the moms; I really enjoyed taking care of them, and started focusing on women’s health as a whole.
What is most rewarding about your job?
Establishing trusting relationships with women through all stages of their lives; we take care of women from puberty through menopause and throughout their pregnancies. Being an OB/GYN nurse, I get to celebrate a lot of joy but sometimes I’m cushioning the sorrow, as well. I enjoy getting to know these people, having them come back for their next pregnancies and watching their families grow. Sometimes patients randomly call to say hi; knowing you’ve made such a difference in their lives that they stop to think about you and leave you a voicemail can make your day.
What do you find most challenging?
We’re so used to having everything right now; pregnant women are very nervous and find it hard to wait for results. I have to reassure them during that waiting game because we don’t always have the answers right away.
What skills make a nurse exceptional?
Organization is huge. Being in touch with your patients and following through shows them you really care. Successful nurses triage their patients’ needs, prioritize, and have strong time management skills.
What advice would you give others thinking about becoming a nurse?
Start by volunteering; maybe get your CNA or work in a long-term care facility. There’s a lot of different aspects to nursing—familiarizing yourself with some of the experiences will help. And with that introductory type of job, when you do become a nurse, you appreciate your medical assistants, CNAs, receptionists, prior authorization department, and everybody else. We all work together as a team and can’t function without each other.
If you hadn’t gone into nursing, what do you think you’d be doing?
I thought about becoming a teacher. Now that I’ve gotten more into baking—I’m often making cakes for fundraisers—the thought has run through my mind that I could go into that full-time, but I don’t think I could ever leave nursing.