UC Davis nurse practitioner receives national award for excellence

Laurie RoselliLaurie Roselli, coordinator of the UC Davis Children's Hospital neonatal nurse practitioner service, received the 2008 Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Excellence Award for exemplary practice, leadership, service and education from the National Association of Neonatal Nurse Practitioners. The award was presented on Sept. 25 during the organization's annual conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

"The entire Division of Neonatology wholeheartedly congratulates Laurie for the honor bestowed on her by her peers," said Jay Milstein, chief of the Division of Neonatology in the Department of Pediatrics. "We concur with their assessment and are grateful for her expertise and professionalism."

Fellow nurse practitioner Marlys Samski, who was among those who nominated Roselli for the award, lauded Roselli for "going above and beyond" to serve her patients. Samski said that Roselli is "highly respected by her colleagues for her skill, knowledge and expertise."

Roselli is a five-year Children's Hospital employee, joining UC Davis in 2003 to help establish and develop the hospital's neonatal nurse practitioner program, which now consists of Roselli and three other neonatal nurse practitioners. Roselli, a graduate of  Pennsylvania State University, holds a master's degree in nursing with an emphasis in advanced practice in neonatology. She has worked as a neonatal nurse practitioner for over 15 years.

Roselli explained that the goal of the nurse practitioner service at UC Davis Children's Hospital is to provide research-based clinical expertise to all infants being cared for in the hospital, provide leadership and education to all staff and families, and improve clinical outcomes and parent satisfaction.

Neonatal nurse practitioners function under the supervision of the attending neonatologist and provide independent, advanced-level clinical expertise to a subset of critically ill infants from admission to discharge, managing those infants' care, writing orders, prescribing medication, and teaching nurses, interns, residents and fellows.

Dr. Jay Milstein "The entire Division of Neonatology wholeheartedly congratulates Laurie for the honor bestowed on her by her peers."
Jay Milstein, chief of the Division of Neonatology

"Neonatal nurse practitioners have an autonomous role in the health-care setting. They are responsible for the care of what can often be critically ill patients, from delivery through discharge," Roselli said.

Roselli said that, unlike the physician staff, nurse practitioners are assigned to support individual patients throughout the course of their hospitalizations. She said that patients' families find the continuity that they provide very supportive.

"If you have a child in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for six months they may be treated by many different physician specialists from services throughout the hospital," Roselli said. "We get to know our patients very well and we know their families. We help provide continuity of care, serving as a consistent person who parents can turn to for answers. That is extremely important for parents who are experiencing a very difficult time in their lives."

"Laurie works very hard to create the necessary teamwork between physicians and nurses in the neonatal intensive care unit and she demonstrates deep compassion in caring for our patients and their families," said Judie Boehmer, assistant director for patient care services for UC Davis Children's Hospital. "She is highly deserving of this recognition."

The National Association of Neonatal Nurse Practitioners is a division of the National Association of Neonatal Nurses, which was formed in 1984 to address the educational and practice needs within the evolving specialty of neonatal nursing. The organization is based in Glenview, Ill.

UC Davis Children's Hospital is the Sacramento region's only comprehensive hospital for children. From primary care offices to specialty and intensive care clinics, pediatric experts provide compassionate care to more than 100,000 children each year and conduct research on causes and improved treatments for conditions such as autism, asthma, obesity, cancer and birth defects. For more information, visit the UC Davis Children's Hospital Web site.