Senior Nurse Practitioner
Meghan Shackelford worked in the Johns Hopkins PICU for over 6 years as a bedside nurse while earning her MSN in acute care. Now, a nurse practitioner since 2011, she acts as a patient advocate and manages patient care collaboratively with multidisciplinary teams. The teams can comprise many different specialties and subspecialties, such as nursing, medicine, neurology, cardiology, neurosurgery, cardiac surgery, urology, gastroenterology, general pediatrics, kidney transplant service, liver transplant service, nephrology, Child Life specialists, and dieticians, to name a few. Ms. Shackelford may work with staff from any number of these specialties to provide care for complex patient populations, such as children with cardiac, transplant, burn, trauma, and neurologic conditions.
Ms. Shackelford loves treating and interacting with patients and their families. She also loves watching children as they make progress and persevere. She finds that children have an amazing ability to surprise and inspire and believes that each child is a miracle. She enjoys working with the physicians and nurses on the unit and has taken pleasure in watching how the PICU has transformed, grown, and advanced over the last 10 years.
Ms. Shackelford’s focus is on quality and education. She orients new nurse practitioners and staff, instructs nurse practitioner students, and serves on the Safety, Quality, and Logistics (SQL) committee, which works to identify areas in the PICU that can be improved. Some of the committee’s initiatives have included nurse-driven rounds, safety timeout, and improving communication during transfer of patients from the operating room to the PICU. She has also worked on a chapter for the first Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Acute Care board review book. She anticipates that her quality-improvement work will stimulate collaboration, promote a culture of safety, and ensure family-centered care while reducing errors and increasing satisfaction of both patients and their care team.
In the long term, Ms. Shackelford hopes to obtain her doctorate of nursing practice, begin collaborating with the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, and perhaps one day become professor there while maintaining her work in the PICU. Outside of work, she supports her nonprofit organization, Love Caroline.org, which offers families of children with medically complex epilepsy the opportunity to enjoy a family vacation and a brief period of normalcy.
Ms. Shackelford earned her BSN at Towson University in 2005 and her master’s degree in nursing from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, in 2011.