Texas Children’s celebrates Nurse Practitioner Week! 


Nurse Practitioner Week
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What are nurse practitioners?

Nurse practitioners (NPs) are advance practice registered nurses who have acquired the essential knowledge and decision-making skills to diagnose, treat and provide evidence-based care and education to patients and families. NPs complete a master's or doctoral degree program that includes didactic (classroom) and clinical courses which allow us to practice in primary and acute care settings. As NPs, we fulfill a needed role in health care, using our training and skills to promote the health and ongoing well-being of our patients. Becoming an NP includes undergoing a rigorous national certification and adherence to an ethical code. To be able to continue working in a clinic, NPs must complete continuous professional development through educational courses and research participation. Working alongside physicians and the rest of the health care team, NPs across the country strive to provide high-quality care. We are health care providers, mentors, educators, administrators and researchers. We are deeply involved in professional organizations and actively participate in health policy and health promotion.

Nurse practitioners at Texas Children’s

NPs provide the best possible care for pediatric patients at Texas Children’s. In honor of Nurse Practitioner Week, this blog celebrates our dedication to health care. I would be remiss in highlighting what we do without noting the essential nursing foundation instilled by Florence Nightingale, founder of modern nursing. Her perseverance, attitude and courage motivate and guide our practice with compassion and the highest level of care. 

I want to dedicate this post to my fellow colleagues who work collaboratively with all members of the health care team to provide excellent service for children and families in our community. During this week, please take some time and congratulate a NP.

Jessie Marcet-Gonzalez, CPNP (Otolaryngology)

What is a day in the life of a neurosurgery nurse practitioner?

Our team of advanced practice providers (APP) includes six NPs, four of whom starting their careers at Texas Children's Hospital. We thrive on team work and enjoy the variety within our department.

On clinic days, you may see us educating parents on positional plagiocephaly and craniosynostosis, evaluating surgical post-operative incisions. We also participate in multidisciplinary care programs, including the Spina Bifida Program, Traumatic Brain Injury Program and Movement Disorder Program. Our team lead, Amee Moreno, performs diagnostic lumbar punctures to assess surgical candidacy for Baclofen pump placements. On inpatient days, we manage care for our surgical patients in West Tower, round with our collaborating surgeons and perform inpatient procedures. Our team functions as a work family, including our awesome physician assistant, and participates in outside volunteer activities, journal clubs and team building activities.

Natalie Cormier, NP-C (Neurosurgery)

What is a day in the life of an otolaryngology nurse practitioner?

The life of an otolaryngology NP can vary on a day-to-day basis, but we always begin our morning by reviewing our patients with our team of residents and fellows. As NPs we not only handle inpatient and emergency center consults, but we coordinate care for our surgical patients, participate in multidisciplinary meetings, round on our patients with tracheostomies, perform bedside procedures, discharge patients, and set up follow up surgeries and/or appointments. We try to sneak in a team lunch between all the daily activities and then regroup at the end of the day with our residents, fellows and attending physician to ensure the best plan of care possible was executed for all our otolaryngology patients ... It’s all in a day’s work!

Heena Narsi-Prasla, CPNP (Otolaryngology)

What is a day in the life of a trauma nurse practitioner?

Our typical day starts with morning rounds with the pediatric surgery fellows. We then manage our trauma patients throughout the hospital, as well as respond to trauma codes in the emergency center when they come in. We have trauma clinic twice a month and attend weekly trauma committee meetings, child abuse team meetings and participate in monthly meetings. I love working with patients directly and being an advocate for their health.

Kelly Ratcliff, PNP-AC (Trauma Services)

Why is it important for nurse practitioners to be involved with professional organizations?

Professional organizations give you an opportunity to grow your knowledge and skills by attending seminars, conferences and networking to stay up-to-date on the newest ideas and evidence-based practice in your profession. NP organizations keep you current on the legislative issues and help you support your profession at that level.  

Linda Brock, PNP (Otolaryngology)

Why is it important for nurse practitioners to be involved in research?

It is important for NPs to be involved in research because our professions are always evolving. Research leads to new knowledge and best-practice guidelines. Our jobs are at the forefront of the new era of patient care with the focus on patient satisfaction and positive outcomes. In this ever changing world of health care, we must involve ourselves in learning and finding the best way to treat our patients with the most up-to-date, innovative treatments and procedures. Providing evidence-based care is the basis for our practice and participating in research helps keep us abreast of best practices.

Athena Krasnosky, CPNP (Plastic Surgery)

What do you find most rewarding about your job as a nurse practitioner?

The most rewarding part about my job as a pediatric NP is I get to work with children. It makes me happy to be able to make a difference in their lives and help them return to their normal activities. I love being able to assess and formulate treatment plans to aid them in achieving a faster recovery. 

As pediatric NPs, we are not only health care providers for children, but also educators and advocators. With a holistic care approach, we work to meet physical, emotional, spiritual and environmental needs for all patients and families.

Tien Pham, CPNP-AC (Otolaryngology)