Q-and-A with Karyn Brundige, CPNP, Nurse Practitioner
Karyn Brundige, CPNP,
What’s the best thing about working at Seattle Children’s?
My co-workers – the medical and nursing staff, our multidisciplinary team (social work, nutrition, Child Life) and our support and administrative staff.
What do you like most about the work you do as a member of the Cancer and Blood Disorders Center team?
I enjoy the combination of autonomy and teamwork with the medical and the multidisciplinary teams. Also, the continuity that I provide for patients and the center’s approach that each oncology patient has a nurse practitioner case manager who provides much of their clinical care at Children’s and coordinates their referrals to other specialists and care in their local communities.
What makes Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center unique?
The complexity of patients and coordination of care is not just for oncology but also other diagnoses. Also, the longevity of our clinical staff – some of our nurses have been here more than 20 years, and many of our attending doctors were residents and/or fellows here.
What made you want to come to Children’s?
Nursing was a second career for me. Early in my nursing studies at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, I decided that I wanted to be a pediatric oncology nurse practitioner. I was motivated in part by my mentor/advisor who was one of the first oncology pediatric nurse practitioners in the country.
I did my senior clinical rotation on the pediatric oncology unit and prior to graduating I accepted a job at Seattle Children’s on the unit that cares for teenagers with cancer and other disorders.
I returned to Johns Hopkins for my master’s degree a few years later, and afterwards I was eager to return to Seattle to be one of the first nurse practitioners in the oncology program. Our staff has grown from two nurse practitioners to eight nurse practitioners and we continue to grow.
What do people say when they find out you work here?
"Oh, how sad it must be to take care of those poor little kids…" is what I frequently hear when people find out where I work. Many people are surprised to hear how much fun I have at my job.
I enjoy sharing the success that we have had in pediatric oncology nationally and here at Children’s. Working with children and their families is such a privilege. I have the opportunity to become quite close to children and families and both rejoice in the successes and walk with them through the more challenging times.