Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Expands Delivery of Care to Infants at Arlington Memorial Hospital|
ARLINGTON, Texas — For the first time at Arlington Memorial Hospital, a neonatal nurse is performing advanced procedures on newborns.
Deborah Mitchell, R.N., M.S.N., an advanced practice nursing professional with 22 years’ experience caring for critically ill infants, recently joined the hospital’s staff to fulfill a unique function in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
As a neonatal nurse practitioner, Mitchell evaluates patients, writes orders, attends high-risk deliveries, and performs advanced nursery procedures. She works collaboratively with two neonatologists in the 30-bed level III NICU to care for her own caseload of patients.
Nurse practitioners like Mitchell provide a blend of nursing, medical care and education to patients. They have broadened nursing’s role at the bedside, filling an important need in health care.
“Neonatal nurse practitioners take on an important leadership role in the NICU,” Mitchell said. “We round independently then collaborate with doctors on diagnoses and plans of care for our patients, taking some of the burden off of the doctors.”
Mitchell began her nursing career in 1985, caring for adult cardiac and pulmonary patients in the transitional care telemetry unit at Humana Hospital in Abilene, Texas. A year later, she moved to the Humana Women’s and Children’s Hospital in San Antonio where she began caring for critically ill and transitional care infants. In 1987, she joined Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth as a staff NICU nurse.
Mitchell received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1985. In May, she earned a graduate neonatal nurse practitioner degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She has been certified as a neonatal nurse practitioner by the National Certification Corporation.
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