August 14, 2011
KCH's "Missy" Cecchetti, CRNP Presents at Annual University of Pittsburgh Nurse Conference
Ellen “Missy” Cecchetti, MSN, RN, CRNP was a guest presenter at the 18th Annual Nursing Horizons Conference, a continuing education opportunity for nurses of a tri-state region, held at the University Club at University of Pittsburgh in Oakland this summer.
The theme for this year’s conference was “Innovative Nursing Roles.” The conference was designed to help nurses explore career opportunities that empower them to practice to the full extent of their education, training and licensure, and embrace the nurse’s role as a full partner in redesigning health care for the future.
A CRNP (Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner) of Family Medicine at KCH’s Kane and Sheffield Family Medicine Clinics, Cecchetti shared her own career path as an example of achieving an advanced practice degree and a professional role in the field of nursing
Early in her career planning process, Missy was discouraged from obtaining a nursing degree. So instead she earned a B.A. in Business and Economics at the University of Pittsburgh. After practicing in finance for two years, and being unfulfilled, she decided to pursue her goal of a nursing degree.
The University of Pittsburgh Bradford UPB) was 30 miles away from her home, and accepted all her credits from the University of Pittsburgh (Main), so she worked on her ASN degree and a few years after that decided to finish up the nursing courses required for a BSN.
She worked for a hospital that had a strong tuition reimbursement program and was supportive as far as scheduling options for ASN nurses returning for further education.
During her nursing career her main area of employment was as an RN in the Emergency Department and then a CRNP. She obtained national certification as an ER nurse and engaged in as many educational activities and certifications as was reasonable including Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Trauma Nurse Core Courses (TNCC), and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS)
She also took positions in Diagnostic Imaging and Cardiac Stress Testing and serving as clinical instructor and preceptor for UPB’s ASN and BSN students.
Clinical teaching led her to a faculty position with UPB, and this paved the way for her to obtain her MSN degree.
In 2000, technology made it possible to participate in UP’s FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner) program from three hours away. Ninety percent of her program was accomplished from Bradford, that made getting her MSN degree, in a very rural area, feasible as a fulltime working mother with a toddler.
Once she achieved her MSN degree, she taught full time at UPB for two more years Her last year as faculty presented her the opportunity to Direct UPB’s ASN program. In this opportunity her education came full circle. She was able to use some of the business/economics skills and education, along with all of her experience.
Even so, she struggled with not using her clinical degree and decided it was very important to try practicing as an FNP full time. This led her back to the Emergency Department where she obtained certification as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (qualifying her to perform rape exams and collect forensic evidence).
For the last many years Cecchetti serves as CRNP in the clinical system at Kane Community Hospital, an affiliate of UPMC Hamot, located in her hometown. She practices with one main collaborating physician --. Kenneth Langille, MD. She works in two, rural communities -- Kane, and the smaller community of Sheffield -- as a Family Nurse Practitioner taking care of patient’s across the life span. She and Dr. Langille take turns at each of the practices and this allows them to meet the patient’s needs, leaving Cecchetti to practice independently with a secretary and LPN as ancillary staff.
She collaborates with Dr. Langille by phone and often meets with him to do rounds at the hospital in the morning. Once a week, she extends her care to Summit Park Medical Center to do women’s health and GYN exams at the Internal Medicine practice of Mohammed Suddle, MD.
Cecchetti concluded her panel presentation encouraging nurses to “take advantage of opportunities and positions in areas of nursing that you are interested in and identify a mentor at every career juncture. Pursue learning activities that can help you be a leader and expert in an area. Once you have established yourself in your profession, the opportunities for a rewarding career present themselves, especially if you have proven that you are willing to make sacrifices.”
Ellen "Missy" Cecchetti outside her Kane Family Practice at the physician's building behind the hospital.