Molly King Story
For Molly King, MSN, MPH, RN, CPNP-AC, one of this year's D Magazine Excellence in Nursing winners, her interest in the medical field began in early childhood. She was born with a birth defect that required several surgeries at a young age so she was in and out of the hospital often.
"I was always fascinated by everyone who had a hand in taking care of me," Molly says.
She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Illinois Wesleyan University and worked in the PICU for five years before deciding to pursue a Master's degree at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. After earning her MSN/MPH, Molly moved to Dallas and began working at Children's Health in the CVICU as a Nurse Practitioner, where she has worked for the past six and a half years.
Many of Molly's patients are facing complex, chronic conditions – such as congenital heart disease – that can be challenging for even the most medically-minded individuals to comprehend. But she enjoys helping families understand their child's heart disease and celebrating their child's success.
"It is really rewarding when it just clicks with a family," she says. "I love helping our patients achieve their highest potential, and it's so rewarding to watch them attain each milestone, bit by bit."
Each patient's story is like a puzzle, Molly says, and she enjoys the challenge of putting the pieces together to understand their own unique complex medical story, which often begins before a child is even born.
"Family education truly starts on day one," she says. "And we walk alongside each family as they adjust to their child's new reality."
For Molly, the best part of her job is when a child who has been in the hospital for a long time is able to go home for the first time.
"We reminisce with the families about all those long, sleepless nights in the ICU and all their fears and tears and then marvel at how far their child has come," she says. "Often the patients are sitting in a stroller beside us, smiling and laughing and completely unaware of what they have conquered in their young life."
Her commitment to heart patients doesn't just stay within the walls of the hospital, however. In fact, it doesn't even stay within the United States. For the past several years, Molly has been traveling internationally with a medical mission organization called For Hearts and Souls to screen and treat children with congenital heart disease. She has taken care of children with heart disease on six continents, and for the past eight years, she has been spending much of her free time caring for heart patients in the Kurdish region of Northern Iraq.
To those around her, it's clear that nursing is her passion and her calling. Joscyln Patrick MSN, CPNP-PC/AC, who nominated Molly for the Excellence in Nursing Award described it best in her nominating letter.
She wrote: Molly doesn't see nursing as just something to get a paycheck, but as a way of life. She knows the impact this profession can make on a daily basis and cares for each child as if they were her own, navigating their complicated medical courses with such grace … She exudes every attribute a nurse should encompass.