Abby Brodbeck, class of 2023
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
Abby Brodbeck has known since high school that she wanted to be a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurse. She loves caring for premature babies and helping families learn how to take care of their newest additions.
“As the bedside nurse, you are your neonatal patient’s biggest advocate because the babies can’t tell you when they’re sick or in pain. It’s on you to be their voice,” she says. “Decoding that puzzle…that’s my favorite part of the job."
For the next step in her nursing career, Brodbeck has enrolled in Alverno’s Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP) program, one of several tracks available for those pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing degree or a post-master’s certificate.
“I want to help families transition into their caregiving role by being their own child’s advocate, and I know the best way I can do this is by being a neonatal nurse practitioner,” she explains.
Alverno’s NNP program, the first of its kind in Wisconsin, prepares nurses to provide advanced nursing care to children from premature neonates to infants up to two years of age. Except for an advanced clinical procedures workshop, courses are online and are open to women and men.
To date, Brodbeck mentored undergraduate Alverno nursing students in a research program. This spring, she presented the group’s research ― about topical human milk as a treatment modality for diaper rash ― at a regional research conference in Illinois, a symposium at an Ohio hospital, the State of Wisconsin Association of Neonatal Nurses conference, and the National Association of Neonatal Nurses Research Summit.
Brodbeck expects to graduate from the NNP program in May 2023, ready to advance in a career she loves.
“The NICU is a magical place,” she says. “How lucky I am to take just a small part in it."
This article appears in the Summer 2022 issue of Alverno Magazine.