An Inspiring Hispanic Heritage
Jennifer Bouzid, senior director of nursing in the Maternal, Fetal & Neonatal Institute, reflects on her heritage, her work and what inspires her, in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.
Jennifer Bouzid, M.S.N., R.N., RNC-NIC, NEA-BC, C-ONQS, doesn’t need to look far for inspiration.
She speaks admiringly of her parents, and how they instilled a spirit of hard work and family.
“They made a lot of sacrifices to put both my brother and me through private school,” she says. “My dad was an electrical engineer and I would have never guessed he worked as hard as he did — all I remember as a child is him coaching my soccer team after work.
“My mom underwent neurosurgery and is a breast cancer survivor — all happening around the time I was 10 years old. What grown-up me reflects on is the power of family. What I remember during such a challenging time in my family’s life is slumber parties with my cousins, after-school pick-up with grandma, ice cream trips with my aunts and uncles, and playing sports with friends. Life is what you make it and perspective is everything.”
Recently promoted to senior director of nursing in the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Maternal, Fetal & Neonatal Institute, Bouzid took a few minutes in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month to reflect on her heritage, her work and what inspires her. She joined the hospital staff in January 2021.
Tell us about your role at the hospital.
I am the senior director of nursing for the Maternal, Fetal & Neonatal Institute. I have the privilege of working alongside exceptional nursing and clinical teams in our neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), Maternal Fetal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology and our neonatal follow-up programs. This is a special institute — supporting the entire continuum of care for mom and baby. I most recently assumed responsibility for clinical nutritional services, which incorporates a range of important expertise from our dietitians, lactation consultants and milk depot technicians. I am also the interim director for Service Excellence, a small but mighty team that helps drive the patient experience and service recovery in our organization.
What is a typical day like for you at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital?
My favorite part of being a nurse, and in health care, is every day is different. “It’s like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.” (Fun fact: Forrest Gump is my favorite movie). The one constant is the people — warm, rich, and full of compassion. Regardless of what heads our way, I am surrounded by innovative colleagues who work together to accomplish what’s best for our patients. Here, we are a part of some of the best days in life and also part of the worst. It’s an honor and privilege to be a part of our patients’ journeys, and I am always in awe of how our teams effortlessly navigate these extremes each and every day.
What's something people might not know about you?
People might not know that I am a first-generation Colombian-American. My parents are both from Colombia and met here in the United States. I was born and raised in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex by a tight-knit immediate and extended family. Also, people might not know I started the pursuit of my doctorate last month — wish me luck!
This year’s Hispanic Heritage theme is “Uniting Communities.” What does that mean to you?
A perk of working here is the constant reminder by the kids to be happy, be kind and be resilient. We are in uncertain times with many polarizing issues and heightened emotions that can alter our perspectives daily. I have found coming from a place of understanding never fails and Uniting Communities emphasizes just that concept. The more inclusive and understanding we are the better we all will be for it. The need for inclusivity extends beyond the walls of our hospital and I am excited to be part of the upcoming work from La Familia Employee Resource Group (ERG).
Name a Hispanic American you admire or think people should learn more about.
In addition to my admiration for my parents, I would suggest people learn more about Sonia Sotomayor — she is one impressive woman. She is the first Hispanic and the third woman to serve on the Supreme Court. Her story is inspiring and one that gives homage to her roots. I appreciate her courage and perseverance as a Hispanic woman, having conviction in her decision-making, and a fearless demeanor in her leadership.