Our Nurse of the Week is Lexi Brown, a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurse at New Hanover Regional Medical Center (NHRMC) in Wilmington, NC. After being born as a NICU baby during a blizzard, Brown later worked her first shift as a NICU nurse during Hurricane Florence.

Brown was born premature during a blizzard and spent the first six weeks of her life in the NICU. When a blizzard dumped four feet of snow in the area a week after she was born, the governor declared a state of emergency, preventing her parents from visiting her for several days. Her own birth story inspired Brown to become a NICU nurse, and she relived a similar situation 23 years later when Hurricane Florence required the governor to call for a state of emergency, leading to a 135-hour marathon shift that kept her at NHRMC for six days straight.

Brown’s stay in the NICU as an infant was difficult for her parents who couldn’t get to her until the blizzard passed. They had to turn her life over to the nurses who were caring for her, and hearing her parents talk about the care her nurses provided inspired Brown to want to become a NICU nurse herself.

Brown was scheduled to work her first official shift as a NICU nurse on September 12, two days before Hurricane Florence hit, and two days after Governor Roy Cooper had declared a state of emergency. Her parents couldn’t be more proud to see her back in the NICU now, this time as a nurse serving other vulnerable families.

Brown tells WECT.com, “Just having my parents’ perspective from it all makes me pay more attention to parents. I have the baby as my patient but the parents are just as important. Just focusing on how they feel and making sure that they know that they’re still great parents even though they couldn’t be there.”

To learn more about NICU nurse Lexi Brown whose family’s experience during her stay in the NICU as an infant inspired her to become a NICU nurse later in life, visit here.

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