100 Years, 100 Stories
Children’s Mercy Hospital is the area’s pediatric medical center that focuses on clinical care, research and medical education to serve young patients ages birth to 21.
“It’s amazing. I have so much fun hanging out with kids and meeting their families, trying to take care of kids the best that I can while they are in the hospital,” says Children’s Mercy nurse and MCC alumna Nicole Woodworth.
“It involves bubbles and coloring pages as much as it does the medicine and the procedures. It’s exciting and it‘s different every single day. Every kid is different and every family is different.”
The not-for-profit hospital has multiple locations in Missouri and Kansas and covers a 150-county area across both states. The hospital has received national recognition from U.S. News & World Report and was the first in Missouri and Kansas to receive Magnet Recognition for excellence in nursing services from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
Woodworth works on an inpatient unit that’s primarily orthopedic.
“We take care of broken bones and also any orthopedic surgeries that are congenital anomalies,” she says. “We get a lot of scoliosis and cerebral palsy kids and also we get general pediatrics. We get just a little bit of everything.”
She graduated from MCC in December 2013 and has been working with children since she passed her state board exam.
“I did my clinical rotation here and it was just amazing. I saw a lot of nurses make the best of bad situations and come alongside families in difficult situations. I felt like that was absolutely something I could do,” Woodworth says.
Looking back at her time as a student, she thinks MCC prepared her well.
“Now that I work in a hospital, I talk to a lot of people about their nursing programs. I have compared and contrasted them, and I think MCC does a lot of hands-on training, a lot more practical applications that other programs don’t have available. I think that really enabled me to hit the ground running.”
Woodworth said she hopes more follow in her footstep, because she loves her profession. And she credits MCC faculty and her MCC classmates for much of her success.
“Nursing school is hard, so definitely the teachers were really supportive. They were able to come alongside you with your personal baggage that you brought into nursing school, so a lot of them understood what your home life was like in addition to what you were doing in school. They were able to really help you overcome all of the obstacles that you ran into while you were trying to accomplish the nursing program.”
As for her classmates at MCC, “we were really a team. Everyone was trying to get everyone else through the program and get them to do the best that they could do. I am still friends with most of my class. You have to be really committed to wanting it, but it is so rewarding. You do feel like you are impacting people’s lives and making a difference.”
She is thankful for her MCC experience and now thankful to work with such great little patients and a hospital that serves such a vital role for the community.