Meet Kate: Climbing the Nurse Leadership Ladder and Only Looking Up

Kate worked in different nursing roles at several hospitals before finding her home at Connecticut Children’s. Between the collaborative culture, endless opportunities for advancement, and supportive leadership, Kate envisions her career here is just getting started.

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Name: Kate Porrini

Role: Centralized Staffing Office Float Pool Manager

Time at Connecticut Children’s: 2 years

Nursing Experience: 7 years

What are the advantages of working in Connecticut’s only health system dedicated to children?

Where other hospitals might have different viewpoints and different teaching, we’re 100 percent focused on pediatrics. When you walk through the doors of Connecticut Children’s, you don’t realize what goes on past the colorful doors and the walls and the smiles. So much innovation happens here – so much caring, so much empathy. Everybody is positive. Everybody wants the children to get better.Kate Porrini, Nurse Manager at Connecticut Children's

WORKING WITH KIDS

What’s the most rewarding part of being a pediatric nurse leader?

Being a voice for my team, whether it be my patient care partners, nurses, or PCAs, and making sure their voice is heard and that they have somebody to go to whenever they need it. It’s about always being approachable and having an open-door policy. I do not know all the answers, and I know I never will. But being a resource you know will go that extra mile, that extra step, and ask if I don’t know.

What advice would you give a nurse considering a move to pediatrics?

If you have even an inkling to come to pediatrics, go out on a whim, interview, come shadow, and see what it’s like – because it’s totally worth it. We all get into the nursing world to take care of patients and taking care of the pediatric population is a totally different experience, and one every nurse should have. And here, we have the resources to support you through your transition.

LIFE AS A PEDIATRIC NURSE LEADER

What motivates you as a nurse leader?

Hands down, the nurses and the team members that support them. Seeing them interact with children – whether it be on the floor reading a book to them, holding and feeding them, consoling a grieving mother or father ­– they’re what motivates me to walk through the door every day.

What is your most memorable experience so far?

Every time a child graduates from chemo, all the nurses and team members line up along the aisle to for a “Bubble Parade” to congratulate them. We blow bubbles, clap, and cheer them as they’re walking out and heading home. So that was really, really moving.  And I loved it.

CONNECTICUT CHILDREN’S CULTURE

How would you describe the culture at Connecticut Children’s?

Collaboration, joy, and teamwork. Connecticut Children’s has the most amazing culture of any hospital I’ve ever worked in – and I’ve worked in many hospitals. Here we have a “One Team” approach. So many different skillsets come together as a team, and even if just one piece is missing, we feel it. Every single team member matters here and that’s important to all of us.

What’s special about nursing at Connecticut Children’s?

All nurses here are leaders in my opinion, some of us just happen to have it on our name tag. Nurses here are an integral part of patient care. Without the nurses, the children could not get the care that they need. They are so focused on making patients and families comfortable. If they don’t know about a certain culture or background, they ask and go that extra mile, just to make sure that families feel accepted and that we’re practicing their way of taking care of their child the same way they would.

What does it mean to you to work for a Magnet designated hospital?

Being part of one of only seven percent of hospitals nationally to achieve Magnet status is incredible. Every day we put our best foot forward, and the fact that we have the designation behind us to back us up is so important. Plus, it takes the team members’ perspectives into account, so it means the world that our nurses love being here.

BENEFITS & CAREER GROWTH

Best perk or benefit?

The Total Rewards package here is outstanding. I’m getting my master’s and use tuition reimbursement. Most facilities require you to work for a couple of years before you can take advantage of the benefit, but here it starts when you start. They want you to learn and grow from day one.

How does Connecticut Children’s support career growth?

The career opportunities are endless. I am an example of one of those. Soon after I started as a bed manager, we realized that the float pool needed a nurse manager. With the help of my manager and our other nurses, I applied and was promoted to nurse leader.

How do you envision your future at Connecticut Children’s?

My long-term career goal is to stay at Connecticut Children’s. Every day, if not every hour, is a teaching moment, especially in a new leadership role. I know there’s always room for growth here and I hope to climb the ladder and be a director one day.

 

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