We’re proud of the ambitions and accomplishments of our students and alumni – learn some of their stories in our monthly feature:
Kip Powell ‘21
Adult/Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program
Much of Kenneth “Kip” Powell’s bedside nursing career so far has been in the ICU. He spent seven years working in a Medical ICU at Hahnemann Hospital in center city Philadelphia and now works as an ICU resource nurse—rotating through the medical, surgical and cardiac ICUs at Einstein Medical Center in north Philadelphia. Deciding that he wanted to eventually work in an ICU in an intensivist role, Kip began applying to Nurse Practitioner programs in 2018. After learning about PA College’s new program from Associate Professor Dr. Andrea Wolf, Kip decided PA College was the best choice for him after a two-hour-plus phone conversation with Associate Professor and Director of our Graduate NP Program, Dr. Lisa Johnson, Kip notes: “She really got me excited about a small program with professors that are involved in the curriculum and cater to the many needs of the students. I definitely made the right choice!” Now, following his first NP clinical experience in neurology at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Hospital, Kip is considering shifting his focus to a role that does more diagnosing as opposed to treating. “It was also refreshing seeing more patients recover and eventually be discharged home for a change,” he adds.
And then the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. In late March, Kip took a leave of absence from Einstein Medical Center and took a temporary position at a large hospital in midtown Manhattan. Of this intense experience he shares: “I was asked to start immediately and when I arrived at the hospital on my first day I was greeted in the lobby by hundreds of nervously excited travel nurses from all over the United States. No one knew what to expect. After a brief three-hour orientation and N95 mask fit-test we were immediately put to work in one of the seven, 37-bed ICUs full-to-capacity with ventilated COVID-positive patients.
For comparison, my current hospital is considered very large with over 600 total beds, and we only have 48 total ICU beds. It was certainly uncharted territory for all of us as we were practicing without a New York nursing license, ordering our own labs and personally adjusting ventilator settings based on ABG lab results. We were given one N95 mask per week and most of the patients I cared for were being ventilated by outdated travel ventilators. Amazingly, we were adequately staffed with nurses in a hospital completely overwhelmed with patients. Since the hospital was significantly short on ICU trained physicians and respiratory therapists, the nursing staff was very involved in the decision-making process and plan of care for each crucially ill patient. It was inspiring to see so many nurses fearlessly answer the call when the biggest city in the world was in so much distress.”
Kip lives with his wife Katie and their dog Ziggy in South Philadelphia. He is an avid ice hockey player, and so eagerly awaits the arrival of a COVID-19 vaccine so he can get back on the ice!
Seeking People of PA College
Do you know an exceptional current student or alumnus whose experiences and accomplishments would help tell the PA College story? Or someone who has overcome an obstacle or reached a challenging milestone during their PA College experience? Please email your suggested names (and identify them in one of these categories) to Karen Jenkins. Self-nominations are also welcome!