Sherri St Pierre, MS, PPCNP-BC

Practice Specialty:
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Clinical Assistant Professor
Boston College
Connell School of Nursing

Practice Location:
TriRiver Health Center

Uxbridge, MA

Describe why you chose to become an NP.

While studying nursing at Simmons College (a path chosen partly because my mother was a registered nurse), I recognized my desire to become an advanced practice nurse. My goal was to be a nurse midwife. I quickly decided that was not the correct path for me once I did my pediatric rotation at Boston Children’s Hospital! If fell in love with pediatrics while taking care of acutely ill infants and children on a medical floor.

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

As a new nurse practitioner, I was working in a pediatric primary care setting and I was seeing a 6-year-old boy who was coming in with ear pain. During that visit, his mother expressed concerns that he was bruising easily. It took just a few hours to determine that he had leukemia. I did not see that little boy much after he was diagnosed but I did hear that his family was very grateful that we did labs on that day and diagnosed his condition early. He lived for several years but did eventually die. I will never forget that little boy.

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

I love children and I truly enjoy providing education and teaching children and families. I try to meet my families where they are and provide information that is understandable and useful. This love for teaching has brought me to my full-time position in academia, educating future pediatric nurse practitioners at Boston College.

Describe your greatest practice challenge in the current healthcare environment.

The challenge for me is the loss of personalized care. Computerized medical records have offered tremendous benefits to healthcare but also bring with them a need to click boxes and get your documentation done. This inevitably takes time away from patients and families.

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

For students, I encourage them to be professionally active and find a specialty that brings you joy, opportunities and job satisfaction. Don’t choose a specialty just because the job market is better, choose a specialty that you are passionate about.