My name is Kimberly Mead, and I am a pediatric nurse practitioner at the Cleveland Clinic’s Stephanie Tubbs Jones Health Center in East Cleveland.
I recently moved to the area, and I must commend my patients from Northeast Ohio. Many of you already know the type of work I do as a nurse practitioner. Other people may not be as familiar, so I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to write this blog to help everyone understand my work and the role of advance practice nurses.
Advance practice nurses include certified nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, clinical nurse specialists, and certified registered nurse anesthetists. Advance practice nurses are registered nurses who have obtained a master’s or doctorate degree in a particular field of medicine, and are then certified through a national organization.
We are trained to assess, diagnose, and develop a plan of care for our patients. We may order diagnostic tests, perform procedures, prescribe medications, or refer our patients to specialists. We practice medicine in collaboration with a licensed physician in multiple health care settings.
I love kids. I love that children are resilient in the face of illness. I love that they can frustrate you and make you laugh all in the same breath. Children keep you humble, and they are the reason I love my job.
I knew early on that I wanted to work with children in medicine. After I earned my bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Dayton, I attended the University of Cincinnati to earn both my bachelor and master’s degrees in nursing. I worked as a registered nurse in a pediatric hospital while completing my graduate studies, then passed a national exam to become a certified pediatric nurse practitioner. At last I was ready to follow my passion.
I worked in a busy pediatric primary care practice in my hometown, Cincinnati, for five years. During that time, I had the privilege of being mentored by my physician, nurse practitioner, and registered nurse colleagues. I developed a patient base and watched in wonder as my newborn patients became active toddlers, my grade school patients blossomed into young adults, and my adolescent patients made painstaking decisions about life after high school.
I learned more from my patients than any book could teach. After my daughter was born, it dawned on me that pediatrics is just as much about nurturing the parent as it is about nurturing the child. I was honored that parents chose me to provide medical care for their most cherished gift, their children, and I was able to draw on my own experience as a new mom to empathize with them. There is nothing like having a child that refuses to sleep through the night to help you to understand the sleep-deprived desperation of a parent!
I have immensely enjoyed coming to know the families of East Cleveland, Cleveland and Cleveland Heights and look forward to fostering those relationships as I serve the medical needs of their children.
My role as a pediatric nurse practitioner challenges me and fulfills me every day. If you have any questions about what nurse practitioners do or general pediatric health topics, I would be happy to answer them.
Thank you, Northeast Ohio, for your warm welcome to the area and I look forward to getting to know you better.