Nicole Freeland

Nicole Freeland, RN

University Medical Center Brackenridge
Austin, Texas
United States

... Nicole was the lone nurse in the NICU and was caring for a particularly challenging family situation. The baby was stable but the family needed extra care. I was so impressed because of Nicole's careful consideration and thoughtfulness of this mother. The father of the baby had gone back to work after several days in the NICU. The mother wanted to breastfeed and bond to her new baby in the NICU, her fourth child. Nicole called me to weigh in on her thoughts about allowing the mom to "nest" in our sleep room with her other three children. We reviewed the safety concern of leaving the children in the room unattended, and that if that was her only option with no child care then that should be allowed. I liked that Nicole was open to considering the person, not the situation and just making a black and white decision.

Nicole and I discussed the concern about the mom having to wake her other children to come into the NICU, and would it be better for the mom to just stay home? I appreciated that Nicole gave the family the options with safety limitations and then let them decide what was best for them. The mom ultimately decided she would go home at night. She did not yet have a breast pump from WIC to use at home. So, Nicole educated her and gave her a home manual pump and then coordinated with WIC after hours and social work to try to get the mom a pump as soon as possible.

Over the course of that Friday, I talked to Nicole a few times and just really appreciated her sensitivity and openness to this family. She was supportive and their advocate. I feel like this is exactly what we need in the NICU environment for our families! In the Level II NICU there is often only one nurse and therefore it is
especially important that every team member make differences like this every day.

Great job Nicole and thanks for all you do!