On Sept. 19, Akron Children’s Nurse Nici Naypauer was named one of the top nurses in Northeast Ohio for her tireless work making a difference in the lives of her patients, colleagues and families.
Out of more than 100 nominees, Nici, along with the 10 other nurses honored, was selected by a panel from the Plain Dealer, Cleveland.com, the Greater Cleveland Nurses Association and the Ohio League of Nurses.
Nici, who has worked at Akron Children’s since 2018, currently holds a dual role as a clinical coordinator in the ER and clinical coordinator for the nursing part of the hospital’s pediatric sexual assault nurse examiner (PSANE) program.
“PSANEs provide timely, non-judgmental, trauma informed, compassionate care to sexual assault victims,” explained Nici. “This includes a forensic exam (evidence collection kit), photographic documentation, facilitating prophylaxis for pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases in collaboration with a physician, assisting with referrals for appropriate medical and psychological follow-up, and participating in investigations and legal proceedings as needed.”
Nici said it was the countless times she shadowed her mom, who worked at MetroHealth, that inspired her to pursue a career in health care.
“I was fascinated by how the body worked,” she said. “I would spend hours watching open heart surgery or any procedure in the Cath Lab. I loved how the caregivers cared for patients as if they were their own.”
Nici was instrumental in helping to develop and bring the PSANE program to Akron Children’s.
“I assisted with the policy making and orientation pathway,” she said. “I orient and train ER staff nurses on both the Akron and Mahoning Valley campuses on how to correctly complete forensic collection kits.
“In my 13 years as a nurse, this program has been my greatest accomplishment,” she added. “I get the opportunity to be a part of someone’s life and make a difference. That means everything to me.”
Nici said she is humbled and honored to be named as one of the Top Nurses in Northeast Ohio.
“I wake up every day proud to be a nurse, to work for Akron Children’s Hospital and to work in the ER. I can’t imagine doing anything else,” she said.