Neonatal Clinical Nurse Specialist, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Akron Children’s Hospital, Akron, OH

Connie Teal has worked in the Level 4 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Akron Children's Hospital for over 30 years in various roles including staff nurse, education coordinator, case manager, and for the last 9 years as the clinical nurse specialist. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Akron in 1985, her Master of Science in Nursing degree from Regis University in 2006. Connie got her Post Master's Certificate as a Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist from Kent State University in 2012 and her Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree from the University of Akron in 2017. In her many roles, she has worked with babies with chronic complex medical needs and their families both in the NICU and as they prepare for going home. Many of these patients live in the NICU for many months, and some over a year before they are discharged. NICU nurses become very attached to these chronic patients. During this session we will talk about how nurses support these patients and their families and how they deal with their own feelings during these hard times.