On the occasion of her recent nomination for an Excellence in Practice Award from ACS, we sat down with Bronx Nursing Supervisor Cristina Moffitt to learn more about her approach to nursing and reflect on her 16-year career with JCCA.

What inspired you to get into nursing?

I wanted to be a doctor but didn’t have the money to pay for medical school, so I became a nurse. JCCA was actually my first nursing job out of school––I started in 2006. I’d always wanted to work with children and I was so happy to get the job––it was my first choice, and given that I’ve never left, it must have been the right one.

What experiences inform your approach to medical care?

I also worked with St. Mary’s Children’s Hospital, where many of the young patients face really challenging medical circumstances. I’ve worked with children’s oncology units, with medically fragile youth, and with children who are confronting terminal illness. It’s hard, but I’ve always wanted to challenge myself and bring what I learn to JCCA. I always try to strengthen my medical practice and share what I learn with my colleagues.

Did anything change when you became a supervisor?

Even though I became a supervisor, I still kept a nursing caseload. I insisted on it when accepting the position. I take such satisfaction from interacting with kids and families. I never want to lose touch with that.

What do you love about your job?

I love seeing the kids grow up and get adopted. I love working with foster parents, too. I feel like I’m training them to be the best they can be. I’m giving them the help they need to do their very important job. A lot of our clients have had difficult lives, but our work is not all sad. We see a lot of success. So many of our clients really do get to a better place. I’m still in touch with kids who’ve aged out of care, some of whom are in college now. The foster parents send me pictures of the kids as they grow up and reach new milestones. We receive a lot of gratitude for what we do.

Any final thoughts?

I think I’m made to do this, made to be here. I often get offered other jobs but I’ve never been tempted. I always follow my feelings and I feel like I’m living out my purpose. When I see our kids and our foster parents, I feel I can’t leave them.

We also asked Ms. Moffitt’s supervisor, Vice President of Clinical Operations Dina Cicillini, what inspired Moffitt’s nomination for the ACS award.

Cicillini: Cristina exemplifies excellence in all aspects of her practice. She is a skillful and compassionate nurse who always puts the needs of the clients and their family before her own. In addition to her clinical responsibilities, she is actively involved in guiding the nursing team in many different areas. She helped enormously in adopting a new computer system, which required many hours over and above her regular assignment. She helped update our billing and compliance processes, she teaches several classes for foster parents, and above all she attends to every case as if it were her own child.

Words could never capture all that Cristina contributes to JCCA and the community we serve. She wants excellence for our youth and their families. She will not tolerate mediocrity! In my 25 years of nursing, individuals such as Cristina are rare finds.