Class of 2021: Pediatric nurse looks forward to comforting young patients

Class of 2021: Pediatric nurse looks forward to comforting young patients

D arby Pinkard is lucky to start her nursing career in the field she hoped to specialize in—hematology/oncology pediatrics with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) at Scottish Rite. She begins her new position in early January. 

Darby Pinkard
Darby Pinkard

Pinkard not only studied nursing at Georgia College, she played outfield in softball, as well. Participating in sports taught her time management, when she juggled that and maintaining good grades through the nursing program. Although this wasn’t an easy task, Pinkard feels this experience will prove useful in her career.

“As a nurse, understanding how to manage my time will be essential, as I will have multiple patients with many needs throughout the day,” she said. “Using time management will allow me to ensure that all tasks get completed in the most effective, safe manner for my patients.”

“I always felt like I was a part of something at Georgia College,” she said. “I was able to associate with the athletes and nursing students. Being at a smaller college allowed me to feel more involved in the school and gave me more opportunities to be a leader.” 

Darby Pinkard bats.
Darby Pinkard bats.

Pinkard’s favorite professor was Dr. Talecia Warren. She had a way of clarifying the content, so students could understand it. Warren also made learning fun.

“I was lucky enough to be a student of hers for several semesters, and each time I grew to love her more,” Pinkard said. “I could talk to Dr. Warren about anything, and she would help me with whatever I needed.”

Pinkard took what she learned from Warren and plans to apply these concepts at CHOA. The main lesson that resonates with her is that mistakes are bound to happen on the job. 

“I know that my specific specialty of nursing is going to be hard. It will take a major toll on me mentally. However, the benefits will outweigh the costs. I want to be not only a nurse, but a friend to them, as well to help them through these scary times. I want to be someone who brings some light into their time at the hospital to make it less scary.”
– Darby Pinkard

“It’s how we approach them and what we take away from the experience that really matters,” she said. “Even if we make a mistake, she encouraged us to never be afraid to ask for help and to advocate for our patients to ensure their safety.”

Pinkard feels the lessons learned from Warren will help her become a better, stronger nurse every day. 

Darby Pinkard checks a medication out to be administered to a patient.
Darby Pinkard checks a medication out to be administered to a patient.

“Nursing is a hard career, and things are always changing forcing us constantly to learn and adapt to new skills,” she said. “Understanding that mistakes will happen, but knowing to learn from them will help me become better. Overall, this will help all of my patients have the best outcome.”

Pinkard hopes that she can help save as many patients as possible and help them make a full recovery.

“I also hope to help my patients get back to the best that they can be,” she said. “This will vary for each patient as they will all come in with different problems with differing levels of severity, but I want to help them to feel good and make them as comfortable as possible.”

More than anything, Pinkard wants to be a source of comfort to her young patients.

“I know that my specific specialty of nursing is going to be hard. It will take a major toll on me mentally,” she said. “However, the benefits will outweigh the costs. I want to be not only a nurse, but a friend to them, as well to help them through these scary times. I want to be someone who brings some light into their time at the hospital to make it less scary.”