Major: Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
Where are you currently working?
My current role is at The Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB) as Associate Director of Credentialing Programs. I oversee much of the development process for the national board certification exam for pediatric primary care nurse practitioners and am also involved with continuing education and competency development products.
Did you always want to pursue a career in nursing, particularly in your current field? How did your passion develop?
I always wanted to be (and have been passionate about being) a nurse. And not only that, but I have also always wanted to be a pediatric nurse. I think I am one of those people who was drawn to the profession simply because of some of my personality traits– an empathetic and nurturing “people-person” with a great curiosity to learn and continue to grow in my passion. The pediatric part was easy, I love kids. The wonder of growth and development, the things kids say, their resilience–it’s a fantastic population to care for. When I started out as an RN in the Pediatric ICU at CHOP, I didn’t imagine the next step in my career path would be as a Primary Care PNP, but through experience and open-mindedness you can find your passion in something potentially surprising. I certainly didn’t know my career journey would take me to working for the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB), but it was through that curiosity to learn, open-mindedness, and motivation to grow that I ended up in a whole new role that applies my passion and knowledge about both the pediatric population and the nursing professionals who care for them in a unique and important way.
What is the most satisfying part of your work?
I think the most satisfying thing about the work I am currently doing at PNCB is truly understanding how competent, capable, and qualified pediatric NPs and certified pediatric nurses are. Most of us who sit for a board certification exam as a candidate, don’t really understand how much goes into exam development and how rigorous the process really is to ensure the exam is a fair and valid measure of competence at the time of entry to practice. It makes me feel good about advocating for the profession in today’s healthcare landscape. Additionally, in this role I have had the opportunity to work with so many pediatric nursing professionals who volunteer for PNCB who are just simply amazing. It’s humbling and exciting to see how incredible nurses and NPs can be.
How did Penn Nursing help you achieve your personal and professional goals? What is next for you?
First and foremost, Penn prepared me very well for entry to practice as a Primary Care PNP. I was able to hit the ground running, not only as a competent clinician but with a good understanding of healthcare and the professional role of an NP. Also, Penn alumni is a great network to be a part of.
What is something most people would find surprising about you?
I am halfway to becoming a 46er - hiking the 46 highest mountains in NY state.
What is one piece of advice you would offer to current Penn Nursing students or young alumni?
Follow your passion, be open-minded, and say yes to opportunities.