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3/6/2014

Kristen Nichols

Kristen Nichols

PharmD, BCPS

Assistant Professor, Pharmacy Practice, and Co-Director, Pediatric Antimicrobial Stewardship Program

Butler University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health

Indianapolis, IN

Specialty

My current role is an Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice at Butler University. I'm co-funded with my practice site, which presents unique challenges. During residency, I had excellent opportunities for training in infectious diseases and antimicrobial stewardship. I'm the co-director of the Pediatric Antimicrobial Stewardship Program at Riley Hospital for Children, and I am also the clinical pharmacist for Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Pediatric Nephrology, & Pediatric Endocrinology.

Role

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice at Butler University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. I precept 16 APPE students per year. I advise student research projects including PharmD projects, Research Track students and more. I lecture in team taught classes including Therapeutics series, Clinical Pharmacokinetics, Self Care & Health Promotion, and Immunization Training. I am a small group case leader for Therapeutics Case Studies series. I cocoordinate a pediatric pharmacotherapy elective. I am an advisor for pediatric pharmacy student organization, which is a local network of PPAG.I serve on several committees including the Honors Committee, Therapeutics Curriculum sub-committee, and Interview Committee. My main research focuses are antimicrobial pharmacokinetics in children, prolonged infusion beta-lactams, and antimicrobial stewardship.

I am also the Co-Director of the Pediatric Antimicrobial Stewardship Program at the Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health. I am on-call for the antibiotic restriction program 50% of the time and conduct prospective audit and feedback on weekdays. I also work on initiatives to improve use of antimicrobial agents; educate medical students, residents, midlevel practitioners, and attending physicians regarding optimal, judicious antimicrobials. I provide pharmaceutical care for patients admitted to the Peds ID, Nephrology, and Endocrinology services. I also serve on committees including the Antibiotic Management Group (with the microbiology lab), Infection Control Committee for the Academic Health Center, and CRRT Committee.

How She Got There

I have always been interested in pediatrics because of the hope and resilience of the patients, the challenges in extrapolation of information, and the ability to serve a vulnerable population. During my PGY2 year I realized that antimicrobial stewardship is my passion, as I am to ensure that we preserve the use of our valuable resources. Prior to pharmacy school I coached and taught cheerleading camps, and always knew that I would like to teach in some capacity in my career. Two of my mentors in my PGY2 and current faculty members, my residency director Chad Knoderer, and another preceptor, Jennifer Morris, really helped me to understand the role of a faculty member and see that this role aligned with my personal career goals. My initial plan was to gain a few years of experience in practice in order to maximally serve my students, but my dream job at Butler University became available at the end of my PGY2 year.

Other Professional Activities

I am Treasurer of the Indiana College of Clinical Pharmacy, and a Volunteer pharmacist at Camp Riley. I am a member of the Pediatric Pharmacy Advocacy Group; I was the local planning chair for the 22nd Annual Meeting in Indianapolis and a member of the Research Committee, Infectious Disease SIG, & Education Committee. I am a Journal Reviewer for PIDJ, JPPT. I am a member of AACP and a member of the Pediatric SIG- Education sub-committee. I am a member of the ASHP New Practitioners Forum as well as the Section of Clinical Specialists and Scientists.

Advanced Training

I completed my PGY1 Pharmacy Residency at Clarian Health which is now Indiana University Health. I completed my PGY2 Pediatric Pharmacy at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health. I also completed the Indiana Pharmacy Teaching Certificate Program.

Advice

It's difficult yet important to find the balance between taking every opportunity and learning when to say no. In a position with many competing interests, time management can be a difficult process that requires continual improvement. It’s okay to “fail” in your time management as long as you learn from it.

Some of the best advice I ever heard was from Stephanie Phelps at a career panel for students last year at PPAG. She encouraged students and new practitioners to “get in the faces” of experienced practitioners- meaning introduce yourself, ask questions, and learn from the experiences of others. I can't emphasize the importance of relationships enough. As a new practitioner, it's important to draw your own conclusions and make your own decisions, while recognizing that we don’t practice in silos. There is so much we can learn from peers, individuals with more experience, and even students. Good relationships are important in providing honest feedback to students and ensuring acceptance of antimicrobial interventions. Most importantly, the many relationships I have developed with students, physicians, and colleagues locally and around the country are an incredibly rewarding aspect of my job.

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