Geriatric Clinical Nurse Specialist Felicia Cruz, MSN, APRN, AGCNS-BC, RN-BC, knew she wanted to become a nurse when she had the opportunity to complete a shadow day in Bayhealth’s Labor & Delivery (L&D) unit while she was in high school. “I was torn between becoming a nurse and a teacher, but once I realized that becoming a nurse still afforded me the ability to provide education to patients and care partners, it was a win-win,” said Cruz.
Cruz enjoyed her shadow day experience so much that she reached out to Bayhealth’s Human Resources department and became a summer volunteer in the L&D unit. In December 2006, she came on board as a unit clerk while she was still in nursing school. “I worked in that position for about a month and then moved into Telemetry, working as a monitor tech for about five years. After achieving my associate’s in 2013, I started working as a staff nurse on 3East, which was a medical surgical/stroke unit at the time,” she explained. Cruz continued her nursing education, eventually earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. She became a clinical coordinator prior to her current position.
When asked what she considers as her nursing “superpower,” Cruz said it is being a good listener, which includes listening to patients’ concerns and trying to meet their medical, emotional and social needs.
Cruz is equally proud of her involvement with some key initiatives, including one in which she collaborated with Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and others to adopt a nurse-driven early mobility program to decrease hospital-acquired conditions such as falls and skin breakdown. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she also collaborated with various Bayhealth departments to provide virtual visits for patients.