Retirement is not in the works for Kathy Baldwin, a 65-year-old nurse scientist with Texas Health Resources.
Baldwin said she wants to continue learning as much as she can and share it with others in the process.
Baldwin, who works with both Texas Health Harris Methodist hospitals in southwest Fort Worth and Cleburne, is one of only 13 nurses in the state of Texas to be inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing this year, Texas Health spokesperson Chandra Caradine said.
“Globally, this is the premier nursing organization,” Baldwin said, adding that the realization of the honor hasn’t quite yet sunk in.
According to the academy, candidates must make “outstanding contributions to nursing and/or health care and have the potential to make a continuing and positive impact on the academy.”
Baldwin spent many years working in the emergency department and in intensive care units. After almost 43 years as a nurse, she said the job is “a labor of love.”
Last year, Baldwin worked with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services funded to pioneer accountable care organizations. While working with THR and the North Texas Specialty Physicians group, Baldwin developed an advanced case management role by identifying patients who needed advanced practice nurses. She also provided case management services to those patients, among other research.
“In order to move health care forward, nurses really need to work to their full potential as far as their licenses,” Baldwin said. “A lot of what advanced nurses work with are patients who can’t find a physician. A lot of people use the ER as their primary care physician because they can’t find one.
“It’s very disheartening at times; they will be given prescriptions they don’t have money for, so they are just back in the emergency room. It’s kind of a revolving door and it doesn’t provide patients with any quality care at all.”