What are you
doing now for work?
I am a
neonatal intensive care unit nurse at Duke University Hospital in Durham, N.C.
I work with premature neonates and infants up to one year old. Our tiny infants
are very sick and usually require intubation, medications, IVs and frequent
nursing assessments. These infants are not our only patients. Parents,
siblings, family and friends are also patients, and part of my job is to
comfort them during such a difficult time.
internship lead to your current job?
I did not do
an internship through Duke, but I do believe the internships I did had a huge
impact on my success in landing this job. I was fortunate in being able to have
two internships during my education at St. Joe’s. The summer after my junior
year I applied for Maine Medical Center’s SNIP program: student nurse
internship program. It was three months long and I was on a medical-surgical
trauma floor. My senior practicum was on the same floor. The months of
experience gained on this fast-paced floor were instrumental in preparing me
for critical care nursing.
Joe’s helpful in any way in terms of landing your job at Duke?
program prepared me in many ways for my challenging job. An example is
something as simple as the math tests every semester. At the time, they felt
repetitive and unnecessary. However, during my orientation at Duke, I had to
pass three math tests and an EKG arrhythmia test before I could begin working
on the unit. Duke sets a high standard for nurses, and every part of my
education at St. Joe’s prepared me to meet that demand. Nothing prepared me
more than Gail Marchigiano’s critical care class. It was an
optional class senior year and my favorite one. I learned so much and to this
day I reference my notes.
What do you
love about St. Joe’s?
I love St.
Joe’s for how dedicated the professors are to their students’ success. During
the process of applying to Duke, I met with my professors, both business and
nursing (I have a business minor) about my application, my resume and
interviewing skills. They spent time with me even after the school year had
program at St. Joe’s is grounded in an education using evidence-based practice.
The same is true for working at Duke, but now I am part of studies changing
practice for the better. At any given time there are a handful of studies
occurring in the unit. Nurses participate in these studies dedicated to
changing the outcomes of our neonates. Current studies in the unit are
medication metabolism in newborns, temperature cooling for birth asphyxia, and
the nutritional differences found in breast milk, donor milk and formula.
about landing the job at Duke.
education at Saint Joseph’s and my internships at Maine Medical Center prepared
me for my dream job at Duke. Nine hundred people applied for my position, and
18 were interviewed for six positions. The interview was intense and
had questions specific to the unit and critical care nursing. Due to the
complexity of the patients, my orientation was six months long. Those six
months were daunting, but St. Joe’s gave me a strong education allowing me to
work at an amazing hospital nationally known for research and medical care.