Beth Wieczorek is manager of the nurse practitioners in the Johns Hopkins PICU, where she has worked since 2007. Under her leadership, the nurse practitioner program has grown from a small group of three practitioners to a program of 13 over the last 3 years. She has worked collaboratively to build the program from one that involves the day-to-day management of children in the PICU to one that encourages practitioners to develop an area of expertise that will enable them to participate in interdisciplinary education, quality and safety projects, and research activities. As part of her clinical duties, she works in collaboration with a multidisciplinary team of practitioners to provide children with comprehensive patient care. She performs physical assessments, provides direct patient care, evaluates outcomes, and participates in discharge planning.
Prior to her position as a nurse practitioner in the PICU, Ms. Wieczorek worked as a nurse practitioner at Kennedy Krieger Institute, where she was a member of an interdisciplinary rehabilitation team caring for children with neurologic disease processes. There, she developed a deep passion for facilitating the care of chronically ill children with acute disease processes and exacerbation of the underlying disease.
While at Kennedy Krieger Institute, Ms. Wieczorek learned the value of rehabilitation medicine and strives to facilitate rehabilitation of the critically ill child. To that end, she participates in a quality improvement project with an interdisciplinary team of PICU providers to develop guidelines for early mobilization based on a child’s clinical status and individual needs. Children will participate in developmentally appropriate activity such as walking, getting out of bed, and playing. Ms. Wieczorek hopes that mobilization and play will normalize the environment for the children and lead to earlier discharge from the PICU and hospital with fewer immobility-related complications.
Ms. Wieczorek received her BSN from the University of Maryland in 1979 and her MSN in trauma critical care from the University of Maryland in 1986. She expects to earn her doctorate of nursing practice in December 2015.