Jennifer (Jenny) DalMonte is the honored recipient of the 2020-2021 Nurses Educational Funds, Inc. Journal of Nursing/Thelma Schorr Scholarship. Jenny received her undergraduate BSN degree at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. This fall, she will start her second year in the Pediatric Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist/Doctor of Nursing Practice Program at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing.
Jenny knew from a young age that she wanted to be a nurse. As the daughter of a seasoned ICU and school nurse, Jenny was exposed early on to the vast influence nurses have on healthcare. After volunteering at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia as a high school student, Jenny had no doubt in her decision to pursue nursing. She was inspired by the power of nursing science and quickly became a true advocate for the nursing profession. During Jenny’s bedside nursing experience, one particular role stuck out to her: the Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS). As a nurse at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Boston Children’s Hospital, Jenny witnessed the work of leading CNSs who provided expert patient care, fostered the professional development of bedside nurses, and enacted several quality improvement/evidenced-based practice projects to improve patient outcomes. Jenny was inspired by the incredible impact these CNSs had on the quality of care, and, last year, she decided to follow in their footsteps.
In addition to pursuing her graduate degree, Jenny continues to work as a nurse in a pediatric cardiothoracic intensive care unit, caring for infants and children with congenital heart defects. Motivated by her passion for the nurse’s role in evidence-based practice, Jenny is active in several multidisciplinary projects to help improve patient outcomes on her unit. One project that she is currently involved in is the creation of a sedation weaning protocol. Her hope is to help standardize sedation weaning practices on her unit in an effort to decrease opioid and benzodiazepine exposure, decrease length of stay and cost, and improve patient outcomes. Jenny also precepts new graduate nurses and nurses training to care for postoperative patients. Furthermore, Jenny has played an active role in ensuring safe donning and doffing practices during the pandemic.
With the CNS’s three spheres of impact, including the patient, the nurse, and the system, Jenny will have the opportunity to directly influence patient care, promote the growth of the bedside nurse, and translate evidence into practice in order to improve healthcare systems. She anticipates further work with sedation in critically ill pediatric patients, including delirium screening. She also has strong interests in improving healthcare team dynamics as well caring for marginalized populations in the intensive care environment.
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