Norma Osborn, MS, RN, ACNP
Acute Care NP

Practice Specialty:
Preoperative Anesthesia Screening

Practice Location:
Beth Israel Boston Medical Center
Boston, MA

Describe why you chose to become an NP.

I became an NP because I believed I had the skills, expertise, and the professional accountability to practice more independently. I had been practicing as a staff nurse, charge nurse, and educator in a very busy surgical critical care unit for many years and was very confident in my practice and care. I believed I could rise to my next level of professional patient care.

Describe a situation in which you made a meaningful difference in the lives of one of your patients.

Early in my NP career I cared for 2 young men who each had familial cardiomyopathy. Neither wanted to believe that he was chronically and progressively ill. I was the heart failure NP to whom each was referred for care in my heart failure practice designated for those with heart failure but without a heart failure MD specialist, and without health insurance. One man had frequent admissions for heart failure. The other man was not connected to any cardiac care. For each man after his referral to me I kept calling him over a period of many of months trying to gain trust and giving small pieces of heart failure self-care information while managing medications. Finally the man with frequent admissions became stable without admissions. The other man came into my clinic and learned heart failure self-care very well. Eventually I referred each to a heart failure specialist and each went on to have a heart transplant. Today each man is alive, healthy, and being managed by my heart transplant NP colleagues!

What do you think is the best part of being a Nurse Practitioner?

The best part of being an NP is using my expert, clinical problem-solving brain and organizational skills alongside my compassionate teaching brain to help patients. I love the combination. Right now I am also using my personal and professional nursing skills to continue helping nursing in Haiti thru a fundraiser on April 25, 2020, for the Haiti Nursing Foundation (HNF).

HNF’s mission is to improve health in the Republic of Haiti by supporting quality nursing education, primarily at Faculté des Sciences Infirmières de l’Université Episcopale d'Haiti (FSIL). FSIL is the first Baccalaureate nursing program in Haiti and is now in its 15th year with close to 230 graduates from the BSN program. The Dean and all faculty are now Haitians. A majority of the graduates remain in Haiti, making a difference every day in the health of the country. FSIL is rated the number one nursing program in Haiti by the Ministry of Public Health. HNF is now expanding nursing programs at FSIL by offering a combined Nurse Midwifery/Family Nurse Practitioner Master’s degree. This new program will expand primary health care in Haiti.

Funds raised at the HNF event will go to support this new program, hoping to “win” a donor’s $10,000 match. For further information and donations to the Haiti Nursing Foundation use this link: 

Ticket and donation/sponsorship information for the HNF Fundraiser on April 25, 2020, at the Cambridge Boat Club in Cambridge, MA, will be posted soon at the same link:

Describe your greatest practice challenge in the current healthcare environment.

My greatest challenge in the current environment is reconciling the care required by the patient with the time limits imposed on patient appointments.

What is the best advice you have been given or would give to a student entering the profession?

I would tell any new NP colleague to keep learning and looking forward and believing in yourself. Pretty soon you will have become the NP you imagined you would be!