Julie Cunningham, RN, BSN

Julie Cunningham, RN, BSNGeriatric Care Manager

NJ State Registered Professional Nurse

Growing up I always enjoyed math and science, yet I never envisioned myself working in healthcare.  This is surprising since I was surrounded by family members working in the healthcare field:  my father was a pharmacist with his own retail pharmacy (where I worked since age 15) and my mother was a nurse and had been telling me since I was 5 years old that I should be a nurse!

Despite this maternal encouragement, I went to college and graduated with a degree in psychology.  Following graduation, I continued to consider career options that would allow me the opportunity to integrate science and social work.  Nursing became the obvious choice – finally!

After obtaining my nursing degree, my first job was at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Paterson where I cared for a variety of patients with cardiovascular and neurological conditions.  The unit was fast paced, clinically challenging and an invaluable experience.  Yet something was missing, there seemed too little time available to listen and get to know my patients and not enough opportunity to provide them with essential education and emotional support.

This feeling led me to Home Care, and I spent the next 21 years supporting patients’ healthcare needs in their home setting.  This allowed for the one to one, individualized plan of care that I yearned for.  I fully enjoyed the time I spent developing personal relationships with my patients and their families.

My experience as a home care nurse, clinical liaison, and care coordinator led me to working in acute care, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living communities, physician offices and residential settings.   I so enjoyed helping patients transition safely to home.

I find working with the geriatric population extremely rewarding; I delight in helping clients during this challenging life stage.  In my position as a geriatric care manager, not only can I assist in improving my clients’ quality of life, I also gain so much learning from their stories, wisdom and values.

Being a geriatric care manager is the perfect cumulation of clinical and social fields and I am grateful to have to opportunity to be a true advocate for seniors and their caregivers.

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