I am Katie Schultz and I am a neonatal nurse practitioner at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of 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 motivated to do every day.    

When I began pursuing nursing through a second-degree program, my goal was to work in a 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 realized I desired moving into an advanced practice role that would provide increased autonomy to take care of sick infants. In my current role, I do just that.  

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, it is so meaningful to be there for people on those days. Helping parents and families know that they are not alone and that their children made a difference in the world is a complex thing to address, but it is such important work.  

story that stands out from my career at UPMC was when I witnessed a baby finally go home after nine months and many days when we didn’t know if she would survive. Watching her family prepare to take her home after so many months of uncertainty caused tears of joy to fill their (and our) eyes. My colleagues and I gave all our love and happiness to this family. It was and is an amazing experience to play that part in someone’s life.  

Working on this team is inspiring. Watching babies progress and having a job where you can feel the difference you make daily is a great encouragement. It isn’t always pretty or particularly fast, but watching kids grow and get better is truly incredible. Playing even just a small part that process 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? 

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