The Essence of Nursing: Stephanie Shine, BSN, RN
Clinical Nurse, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Nominated by clinical nurse Mary Anderson, BSN, RN; former clinical nurse educator Marie Field, MS, RN; and clinical nurse Kerry Franey, BSN, RN; with letters of support from NICU Nursing Director Marianne Cummings, MSN, RN; and Haley nurse scientist Kate Gregory, PhD, RN.
When Stephanie Shine, BSN, RN, was 26 weeks pregnant with her second child, she developed severe pre-eclampsia, catapulting her into a hospital experience she had not expected, but one that ultimately gave her a different perspective on her own nursing practice.
Her son, Sam, was born 14 weeks early and taken to the NICU, where Shine had worked for eight years. Shine, who was critically ill herself, was not able to see her son for 18 hours and couldn’t hold him for two weeks.
“Not being able to see Sam was the hardest part of my NICU experience,” Shine wrote.
When she regained her health, Shine returned to work in the NICU with a new insight into her patients’ experiences. “I couldn’t imagine what it was like for my patients’ mothers, whose babies were taken from the delivery room to the NICU without having all the inside information that I had,” Shine wrote.
She was inspired to find a way for new moms to connect with their babies in the NICU when they cannot be there in person. She researched Google Glass, a wearable technology that streams live video, allowing parents to see and hear their babies in real time.
She submitted a proposal to the second annual BWH Clinical Innovation Day to use Google Glass in the NICU—and she won. Now, Shine is working with a group of her colleagues on a study called “Love at First Sight,” for which she is the principal investigator. The study investigates the influence of video conferencing via Google Glass and Apple FaceTime between the Center for Labor and Birth and the NICU on maternal stress.
“The potential for reducing maternal stress and depression during the difficult period of post-delivery separation via the use of this technology is tremendous,” wrote Marianne Cummings, MSN, RN, nursing director of the NICU, in a nomination letter. “Stephanie endured one of life’s greatest heartaches when Sam was in the NICU for four harrowing months, but she emerged from that experience and made a powerful commitment to improve it for future generations of parents.”
Shine advocates for parents to become educated about infant health and use their knowledge to have a voice in their baby’s care.
“We have come to regard her as an intermediary,” Mary Anderson, BSN, RN, clinical nurse, wrote in a nomination letter. “She helps us see things from a different perspective.”
In what is a true testament to their admiration for her, Shine’s colleagues routinely ask themselves, “What would Stephanie do?” when they find themselves in difficult situations.
Shine attended the University of New Hampshire, where she received her BSN. In addition to her role as a clinical nurse, she serves on the Parent Advisory Council and is an avid March of Dimes volunteer who has raised more than $57,000 in the last two years.