March marks Women’s History Month – a month dedicated to commemorating and honoring the important role women have played in history. It’s also a month to recognize and encourage the celebration of the women in your life.
The National Women’s History Alliance selects a theme each year in celebration of this month. And, 2022’s theme is, “Providing Healing, Promoting Hope.” They said, “[The theme] is both a tribute to the ceaseless work of caregivers and frontline workers during this ongoing pandemic and also a recognition of the thousands of ways that women of all cultures have provided both healing and hope throughout history.”
We talked with Nancy Schult, neonatal nurse practitioner, about her 40-year career at Children’s Minnesota and what this month means to her.
Tell us about your role.
My current role is a neonatal nurse practitioner. I provide family-centered care for newborns due to premature births, low birth weight, respiratory distress, heart abnormalities, congenital abnormalities, infections and metabolic disorders. My role includes assessment, diagnosis, performing diagnostic tests, medical procedures and coordination of care for newborns. I attend high-risk births. Some of the medical procedures I perform are intubations, central lines insertion, chest tube insertion, and lumbar punctures for spinal fluid analysis. I work in our Level IV NICU and am part of the Children’s Minnesota neonatal transport team. Our neonatal transport team transports newborns who need higher levels of care typically from the Upper Midwest by our critical care ambulance, helicopter or fixed-wing plane.
I have worked here at Children’s [Minnesota] for the past 40 years, of which 39 have been in the NICU. I have worked in many different roles, including bedside nurse, transport nurse, charge nurse, assistant nurse manager, nurse manager and for the past 11 years a neonatal nurse practitioner in the NICU.
Do you have a favorite memory from working at Children’s Minnesota?
I have so many wonderful memories from working here with amazing coworkers. I have two favorites. The first is being a part of the design team creating one of the first, and at the time, largest private-room NICUs. The second favorite is having both my daughters working here at Children’s [Minnesota] in the emergency department. It made me proud they wanted to work here and were following their mother’s footsteps and chose nursing as a career.
What do you want patients, families and staff to know about the work you do?
I love the work I do and strive to treat each family I serve with kindness, compassion and respect. I am humbled by what families go through, amazed by their resiliency and feel privileged to do the work I do. I have learned so much from the many patients and families we serve.
I never know what to expect and have to be ready for anything. No day is the same. I have the opportunity to be constantly learning in my career through classes, conferences and on the job from other experts. I have developed so many great working relationships and learned so much from the multidisciplinary team members I work with. Children’s Minnesota has so many exceptional professionals working here.
Do you have plans to celebrate Women’s History Month this year?
I plan on finding different ways to thank the women in my life who have inspired me and support the women entrepreneurs in my community.
What do you think makes kids amazing?
I think kids are amazing because of their curiosity, honesty, resiliency and uniqueness.