Q. How did you know being a neonatal nurse was your calling?
A: To be honest, I never thought I would be a nurse. One day before starting college, my mother suggested I switch to the nursing program and now I couldn’t imagine my life in any other profession! When I was a nursing student, I was lucky enough to volunteer in a NICU where my cousin had worked and fell in love. I admired how detail-oriented each of the nurses were and loved the special bonds that were formed between the nurses, their patients, and the patients’ families.
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Q. What drew you to Stamford Health as an organization and what do you appreciate most about Stamford Hospital’s NICU?
A: When I attended Fairfield University as an undergrad, my senior year clinical rotation was at Stamford Hospital's NICU. I spent two days a week shadowing a nurse and getting to know the flow of the unit. As a student, I was immediately welcomed and knew right away that Stamford Hospital was an environment that fostered education and growth for all of its employees. The fact that our organization's entire nursing team is honored by the Magnet® Recognition Program speaks volumes about our commitment to healing and excellence in patient care.
I worked as a labor and delivery nurse for my first two years at Stamford Hospital and have been a neonatal nurse for four years. I feel lucky to be part of an exceptional team that's extensively trained in caring for the tiniest of babies. Our partnership with the Vermont Oxford Network shows our continuous dedication to improving neonatal care. The NICU is so much more than a work environment; it's a place to call home.
Q. What’s the most challenging part of being a neonatal nurse?
A: Being in the NICU likely means that your infant will have both good days and challenging days. As nurses, we try our very best to be there for you every step of the journey and provide you with helpful information and resources. It's important that I not only care for your baby, but also for your family unit. I will be the first to listen to you and ask how your day went.
Q. What advice would you give to parents who are either expecting a NICU stay or whose babies are already in the NICU?
A: My best advice would be to take each day or each moment as it comes. Focus on all of the things you can do for your baby like coming during care times to hold skin to skin, or practice changing diapers. Follow your nurse’s lead and don’t be scared to jump at an opportunity to be as involved in your child’s care as possible. Try your best to let go of what you can’t control and focus on the moment.
Lastly, ask questions! You may be wondering why the monitor is beeping or how much your baby ate or gained that particular day. We encourage you to partner with the nurses and the neonatologists by keeping an open dialogue and writing down any questions you may have as they come to mind.
Q. What advice would you give to someone aspiring to become a NICU nurse?
A: Go for it! Start by volunteering if it is allowed at a certain hospital or ask to shadow a nurse or neonatologist for a day. It might also be a great idea to get involved in the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN) as a student member. If your first job as a new graduate nurse isn’t in a NICU, keep working towards your goal and never give up!
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself. What are your hobbies, passions, and interests?
A: I grew up on the North Fork of Long Island, New York and moved to Connecticut after I graduated from nursing school. When I’m not at work, you can probably find me studying or at clinical as I am currently pursuing my Doctorate of Nursing Practice as a Family Nurse Practitioner. In my tiny bit of free time, I enjoy being with my family, taking pictures, and relaxing on the beach!
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