Nurse Practitioner Does Her Part to Keep Public Healthy

The spark that led Jeanne Horsey ’90 – mother to McCormick Horsey ’20 and Sadie Horsey ’21 – into the health profession, first flickered while working as a volunteer EMT during high school.

Even after college, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing, the flame remained lit as Horsey continued her volunteer EMT work in Harding, NJ, to help those in need.

Horsey, now a part-time pediatric nurse practitioner at Madison Pediatrics, has been doing what she loves for years now and when COVID-19 hit her practice in March, she pivoted and was ready.

“Oak Knoll prepared me to be flexible, adaptable to meet new challenges and to problem solve,” said Horsey.

These were just some of the many qualities that health care workers on the frontlines in hospitals across the world demonstrated while navigating the pandemic. And they are the real heroes, said Horsey, who considers herself behind the frontlines.

While COVID-19 hit hard and fast, Horsey said her employer, Atlantic Health System, did everything they could to help those affected – like setting up a COVID-19 hotline, which Horsey manned from home while also working in the office during the height of COVID-19 from March to June.

“We received many pediatric inquiries about COVID-19 on the hotline, guided many patients through the testing process and helped them navigate any exposures they may have had,” said Horsey.

For now, a general Atlantic Health COVID-19 hotline still exists, although most of the calls that come in are geared toward mental health services – services Horsey and her colleagues know will be necessary this fall as children begin to re-enter school.

“There will be a lot of re-entry anxiety and anxiety in general about leaving the house for some,” said Horsey.

This summer, however, Horsey saw her patients via telemedicine so that her practice could adhere to social distance guidelines.

“It has been fun this summer seeing children via the virtual visits,” says Horsey. “They are in their Spider-Man pajamas, showing me their pets, siblings and toys and it’s nice to see them comfortable in their own home environment.”

For now, Horsey remains vigilant for the months ahead until a vaccine is found. In September, she returned to seeing her patients again in the office.

“Everybody knows that once fall and flu seasons hits, there will inevitably be more fevers and normal respiratory viruses and this is just going to be compounded by COVID-19,” she said. “It will be a challenge to know what we are looking at.”

Despite the unknown, Horsey feels very safe and comfortable at her office – which has gone above and beyond – to shield their staff and patients against the virus.

“I have been happy to do my part by helping to keep the public calm and healthy and to avoid situations that might place them in the hospital,” said Horsey. “We remain flexible and alert for now for any new developments and we are still very aware that this is a changing dynamic.”

“This fall will be a new frontier,” said Horsey.


Stories from the Frontline is a signature Oak Knoll editorial feature that aims to highlight all of the hardworking alumnae/i of Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child who are out on the frontlines of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. These alumnae/i may be in the medical, law enforcement, and other emergency service fields. Do you know someone we should talk to? Email communications@oakknoll.org.

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