CNP Josephine Petrovich’s life and practice forever changed for the better after working abroad in Haiti with Akron Children’s Global Health team. During her time there, she cared for cardiac patients post-surgery, while providing education to Haitian nurses. Pulling her out of her comfort zone to care for kids in less-than-ideal circumstances taught her the power of parent-provider partnerships and what she’s capable of as a caretaker.
It’s this life-changing experience, combined with nearly 8 years of critical care experience here at home that Josephine brings to her role as Akron Children’s newest certified nurse practitioner in hospital medicine. She spends her days managing care for infants, children and teens admitted to the hospital and modifying treatment plans, if necessary, to prevent complications. Her work abroad has well prepared her for her work at home, especially when it comes to flexibility and cultural understanding.
But whether she’s caring for patients at home or abroad, Josephine’s goal is always the same: to offer patients the best care possible so they can get back to what they do best: being kids.
Why did you choose to come to Akron Children’s Hospital?
I actually had my first experience as a student at Akron Children’s when I was in nursing school, and I fell in love with the PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit). My preceptor was awesome, and she encouraged me to apply for a job when I graduated. I’m so glad that she did because I got the job. I’ve been here ever since, although in a variety of roles as a registered nurse.
Describe your role at Akron Children’s and what you hope to accomplish.
Throughout the past nearly 8 years, I have worked here as a nurse, so my first goal is to just make the transition to becoming a hospitalist certified nurse practitioner. I hope that in my new role I can continue to grow as a provider and offer care to my patients from a slightly different perspective.
What is your area of expertise and why did you choose it?
I am a hospitalist nurse practitioner, but my previous experience has largely been in critical care. I worked in the PICU for 4 years and then on the Critical Care Transport team for 3 years. This past year, I have been a float nurse, and that role was what drove me to apply to the hospitalist group.
What achievements are you most proud of?
I am very proud of the work I did in Haiti with our Global Health team and Gift of Life International. These experiences changed some of the ways that I practice as a nurse and how I feel about nursing in general.
When did you decide to become a provider and why?
I actually went back to school a while ago, when I was working in the PICU. I was looking for something new, and school seemed like the next step. Then a colleague suggested that I apply for the transport team, so I worked in that role while chipping away at my classes to earn my master’s degree. I took some time off of school to have my son, and considered not going back at all, but something just kept pushing me to continue. I’m very glad that I did, and I can’t wait to get started in my new role.
What are you most looking forward to?
I am really looking forward to continuing to learn, but outside of the classroom setting. I have been in school for so long, and I’ve always enjoyed hands-on learning much more.
Do you have a favorite instructor or mentor?
It’s honestly hard to choose, as I have had so many over the years. To choose just one seems unfair to everyone who has supported me over the years, from the PICU to the transport team to the float pool.
What excites you most about medicine?
The way that medicine is always evolving is exciting to me. Since I have been at Akron Children’s, I have seen our care standards change based on evidence-based practice, and that is awesome.
Who makes up your family?
My family includes my son, Bennett (2.5 years), my fiancé, Evan, and our dog, Gertrude.
What is your greatest personal accomplishment?
I think my biggest accomplishment is probably completing grad school with a small child. I give a lot of credit to my dad, though, who helped me out a lot with childcare!
What’s the last adventure you went on?
Our last big adventure was flying out West this summer and renting an RV to see some national parks and national forests. Traveling with a 2-year-old is not for the faint of heart, but we had such a good time! We did some fun hiking, sightseeing, and got to spend time with our family who also rented an RV and drove from the other direction to meet us.
What was your first paying job?
I was a home-school aid/nanny for a family with many children. It is still one of my favorite jobs and that’s where I learned to change a diaper, handle kid tantrums and manage my time.
What do you do when you aren’t working?
We love to go hiking as a family. Some of our best family times are when we can just get outside and get some miles in.