Profile: Rebecca Bernardo

Social Work, Teaching, or Nursing?

This was the tough decision faced by Rebecca Bernardo her first year of college before choosing a path in nursing, a combination of all three!

“I’ve always had a deep desire to serve and love others, and I wanted to be able to address the holistic needs of my future patients.” Says Rebecca.

As a nurse for the Nurse-Family Partnership at RVNAhealth, Rebecca is a new face on the scene.  Graduating from UConn with a BSN and RN license during the rise of a pandemic, Rebecca began working right away and later joining NFP as a Nurse Home Visitor in December of 2021.

Learning about NFP in college, Rebecca strived to be part of the team one day.  After college, she worked in med-surg oncology for a year and later took on a part-time position in postpartum but, she never forgot about her desire to work for NFP.  “Just about everything about Nurse-Family Partnership aligns very closely with my passions and long-term career goals. I had read about NFP in college and thought “wow, this is where I see myself long-term, I just need to get a few years of experience first,” but when a job opening arose and I happened to see NFP was hiring right here in Connecticut, I had to hop on it!”, Rebecca explains.

“I’ve always had a deep desire to serve and love others, and I wanted to be able to address the holistic needs of my future patients.” Says Rebecca.

Although grateful for her opportunity working in postpartum, caring for mothers and their newborns, Rebecca felt that her time connecting with new mothers was “extremely short”.  Her favorite part about working at Nurse-Family Partnership is the quality time she is able to spend with mothers and babies where she is not only able to address physical needs, but psychosocial/emotional needs as well.

“Through NFP, we truly get to know our client’s, their families, their history, and strive to connect with them, support them in any way we can (whether through being a person to talk to, connecting them to certain resources/ services, or providing education), and develop therapeutic relationships. The fact that we enroll clients prenatally and meet with them up until their child turns 2 years old is incredible. During those 2+ years we have a wealth of time to support our clients and promote not only a healthy pregnancy but also a healthy postpartum period and child development. I love that as an NFP nurse I am able to take the time to get to know my clients and address their holistic needs. In this role I actually can think about social determinants of health in each of my client’s lives and how that might impact their current situations. The list goes on and on about all the reasons I was drawn to NFP, but overall, it amazes me how NFP is a voluntary, free program with over 40 years of evidence-based research showing how our program has proven to have long-term positive outcomes for the families we serve. Education and support is empowering to the individual, and necessary to help low-income families break out of cycles of poverty and achieve better health and wellness for themselves and their families.”

When asked what her favorite advice is to give to new mothers, Rebecca replied with, “I think it’s important that new moms know their doing their absolute best and they’re doing amazing! There is no one way to parent and no one is an expert. Especially right after having their baby, women often don’t feel well/ are exhausted/ recovering from delivery, despite this, now they must try to breastfeed on demand (or every 2-3 hours), engage in skin-to-skin, be alert to their baby’s needs, and more. Breastfeeding often isn’t easy and every woman’s experience is different. It’s important that new moms give themselves grace and seek out or try to allow the support of others in their lives.”

In her free time, Rebecca enjoys spending time with friends and family and especially with her Shih Tzu puppy, Mayo that she got from Ecuador a year ago.  She also enjoys a variety of physical activities such as running, Zumba, and being outdoors.  On Sundays, Rebecca teaches CCD which she has been doing every Sunday since her freshman year of college.  She also enjoys destressing with prayer, football, and ice cream!

Rebecca Bernardo

If you are an expectant mother and need guidance and support, we’re here to help.

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