Meet Ashley Moore, RN, BSN, CPN
“When I was born, I only weighed one pound and eleven ounces,” says Ashley Moore, RN, BSN, CPN, a nurse on 4 Main’s Short Stay Unit at Children’s National. “I had to stay in the NICU at Children’s for two months.” She was featured in a Washington Post article in 1991 which highlighted the important role medicine has in saving premature babies. “My family showed me the article when I was a child. They would always say I was so small, I could fit in the palm of their hand. Because I was in the NICU at Children’s, I survived. Since then, I always wanted to help others, like the hospital that helped me.”
The fact that Ashley works as a nurse at the hospital that helped save her is not by chance. A native Marylander, she knew she wanted to be a nurse. When she got the offer to work at Children’s, Ashley took it right away. As a nurse on 4 Main, Short Stay Unit, on the main campus, there are different experiences in every shift. Some days, she is a bedside nurse to patients who are experiencing a wide variety of conditions from jaundice to pneumonia. Other days, she serves as a charge nurse and oversees the organization of admissions of patients and creates the daily nurses and PCT assignment. “One of my favorite things about working as a nurse at Children’s is meeting the patients,” Ashley says. “The patients are never the same and neither are their stories. I get to connect with them and learn about their whole lives. You feel like family here because everyone gets to truly know the team.”
In her four years at Children’s, Ashley has strengthened her sixth sense of how to best interact with patients and their families. “The families get to see how hard the nursing team works to ensure their child is taken care of and is happy,” Ashley says. “When I get compliments from parents, it’s so rewarding.”
Ashley is a big proponent of empowering parents when their child is under her care. “The parents are key players in their child’s health care team. I always involve them and guide them so they know that they make a difference. Parents are watching how the hospital staff take care of their children so they see us as an example to follow when their child goes home.”
Ashley makes an effort to show, not just tell, parents how to take preventative measures for their child’s health. “Especially for teaching parents how babies should sleep on their backs,” Ashley knowingly says. “Parents will tell me, ‘I saw it at the hospital, so I made sure I did the same thing at home,’ so I know that I am who they look to for guidance. The support I get from Children’s National continuing education for nurses really strengthens my knowledge base so I’m always prepared.”
Ashley is very well aware of how uncommon pediatric nurses are. She always wanted to work with the pediatric patient population, but going into pediatrics can be somewhat intimidating for nursing students because medicine is usually focused on adults. However, Ashley has some advice for aspiring and current nurses. “Go after what you want, whatever your dream maybe. Nothing is impossible. The excellent skilled nursing training from our Pediatric Nurse Residency Program, mentors and opportunities offered at Children’s have instilled the foundation that helped prepare me to be the professional nurse that I am today. I truly believe that a great foundation of knowledge in pediatrics will take you far.”
She has always reminded herself that empathy plays a central role in her work at Children’s. “I follow the golden rule – how would I want my child to be treated? When I use that as my compass, I know I’m doing the right thing. Nursing makes a difference in people’s lives and I keep that in mind.”
Working at the hospital that helped save her is a ‘full circle’ moment for Ashley in many ways. One of the nurses that took care of Ashley when she was in our NICU is now her boss, Chief Nursing Officer, Linda Talley, M.S., B.S.N., R.N., NE-BC, who worked as a bedside nurse throughout the 1980s and 1990s in the NICU. Ashley still keeps that old Washington Post article with her as a reminder of how important the nursing profession is. Ashley will be featured again this year in The Washington Post to commemorate nurses. This time, she will be a medical provider. “It’s an honor,” Ashley says.
Being featured in The Washington Post for a second time is not the most rewarding thing about pediatric nursing to Ashley. It’s how strong-willed her patients are when they visit her on Short Stay. “I see a lot of sick babies,” Ashley says. “They are hurting; sometimes they are struggling to breathe. But despite all that, they will still smile when they see you. It’s a pleasant surprise every time I see them smile and go home.”
Thank you, Ashley, for all of the great work that you do for our patients, families and the Children’s community!