Tiny Patients, Big Impact: My Role as a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner

My name is Katie Schultz and I am a neonatal nurse practitioner at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. Here at UPMC, I work with Pittsburgh’s tiniest patients and get the chance to make a big impact at the start of a child’s life. It is a tremendous responsibility, but one I feel incredibly honored and compelled to do every day.   

When I began pursuing nursing through a second degree program, I knew going in that I wanted to work in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). I have always had a passion for caring for infants; there is something especially rewarding in taking care of patients that can’t tell you what’s wrong. After working at the bedside for several years, I eventually knew that I wanted to move into an advanced practice role that would give me more autonomy to take care of sick infants. In my current role, I do just that. 

I work with Pittsburgh’s tiniest patients and get the chance to make a big impact at the start of a child’s life.

The NICU is not an easy place to work. There are times when you see people on the worst days of their lives. That never gets easier. At the same time, I think it is so meaningful to be there for people on these days. It is important that parents and families know that they are not alone and that their children made a difference in the world or to another person. This is never an easy thing to do, but I think that makes it even more important. 

One story from my career here at UPMC that stands out took place while I was watching a baby finally go home after nine months and countless times when we didn’t know if she would survive. There are no words to describe watching her family prepare to take her home after so many months of uncertainty. There were many tears of joy, and my colleagues and I gave all our love and happiness to this family. It is an amazing experience to play that part in someone’s life. 

I think this job is an incredible way to work as part of a team in an arena where you can really make a difference. It is amazing to have a job where you can feel the difference you make on a daily basis. I love being able to watch babies progress. Though it isn’t always pretty or particularly fast, watching kids grow and get better over time is truly incredible. To play some small part in that makes this job the only thing I ever want to do. 

When Katie became a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner at UPMC, she became part of a team that changes the lives of newborn infants and families everywhere. Will you join her? Contact recruiter Alexandra Loufman at 412-667-5809 or loufmana@upmc.edu to apply or explore open positions on our Careers site.