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Meet Michelle O'Brien, RN, BSN

Nurse Manager, Hematology/Oncology Unit
Meet Michelle O'Brien

What kind of education and training did you need for your job?
I was a recipient of the 2002 pediatric nursing scholarship given by Children’s National. I received a bachelor’s of science in nursing in 2003 from Washington Adventist University. I completed the nursing internship program in 2003 and became chemotherapy/biotherapy certified.

How did you end up at Children’s National Hospital/in pediatrics? How long have you been with Children’s National?
During my second year of college my younger brother was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. He was brought to Children’s National for treatment. During his treatment I spent a great deal of time with him, my parents and sisters on the inpatient unit. I decided to change my college major in pursuit of nursing. I graduated in 2003, took my boards a month later and started on the Hematology/Oncology unit at Children’s National in August 2003. I have been working on this unit since I was a new grad in 2003. I was a bedside RN for six years and moved into the role of shift coordinator in 2011. I'm now nurse manager for the unit.

What’s your favorite part of your job?
Even if your days are tough and you’re tired at the end of your shift, there is such a sense of purpose and meaning that you walk away with that makes you feel proud to be a nurse. My two younger sisters are also nurses and one was hired in the Hematology/Oncology out-patient clinic last year. It’s nice to work at the organization with her!

What’s unique about your job at a pediatric hospital as opposed to an adult hospital?
I love working with children because they are so resilient. Not only do you get to care for them, but you care for their families. When you’re in pediatric nursing, you’re not just focused on the child; you get to deal with so many different aspects of their treatment and form a relationship with families.

What else would you like your colleagues to know about you and the work that you do?
At the end of the day I just feel honored to work on the Hematology/Oncology unit at Children’s. I feel grateful to share the compassion and learn from the knowledge and dedication of the team of professionals that I work with every day.