The Children's Institute Blog

National Nurses Week 2017 Highlight: Jen Jarrell

Posted: May 10, 2017 by The Children's Institute

Nursing is often described as being a passion rather than a job. This is no different for long-time nurse Jen Jarrell, who uses this passion each and every day to help those who need it most.

Jen has been a nurse for over a decade now in various fields such as cardiac critical care, extended hospital care, and homecare for kids. She has only worked in the Behavioral Health Unit one year at The Children’s Institute and yet she has quickly become one of the “go to” nurses on the unit, says Director of Nursing Nicole Garcia.

She also describes Jen as “knowledgeable and approachable, always maintaining a positive demeanor” in addition to being able to “motivate both patients and staff to do their best, and supports the team when there are difficult situations.”

Jen describes her job as “a fun work environment” despite the day-to-day challenges.
“I didn’t expect to like it [the Behavioral Health Unit]. But it’s something that made my career feel fresh again.”

Being the perfectionist she is, she takes on daily challenges as a way to improve, but also recognizes that “the reality of being human is you make mistakes. As a nurse you make mistakes.”

This is one of the many tips she gives out to all young nurses who are just starting their passion.

Advice just like this was passed along to her from role model Patti Harris, a nurse practitioner at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, who she described her as “a fountain of knowledge” who taught her something new every time she saw her.

Having an open mind and willingness to learn is another one of those tips Jen gives out to young nurses saying, “I love being a nurse. There’s always an opportunity to learn new things. You’re pretty much in a position to learn new things every day.”

The Behavioral Health Unit is a unique division of The Children’s Institute that serves patients-in-crisis who stay for short periods of time and often have more complicated obstacles to overcome. However, this is yet another reason why she loves this division so much. She says “we [the Behavioral Health Unit] take kids who have medical complexities that others won’t touch” and that “Everybody who works here is in it for the kids.”

Jen received her associates at the Community College of Beaver County, her Bachelors at Slippery Rock University, and is currently pursuing her masters at Clarion University.

Every day, nurses like Jen use their love for this field as their drive to continue to helping others. Thank you to all nurses during 2017’s National Nurses Week, and every week.

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