Q&A | Rebecca Longo, N.P., of the Joslin Adult Clinic
Tuesday, July 06, 2010
After working in intensive care and a variety of other nursing fields, Rebecca Longo, N.P., decided that diabetes care was where she needed to be.
Longo, who joined Joslin’s team in December, works in the adult clinic as well as with the Why WAIT program. She recently took a few minutes off to answer six questions about becoming a nurse, ending up at Joslin and the work she does here.
What led you to become a nurse?
My family is full of nurses, including my mother, great aunt and grandmother. I was a little stubborn and said I wouldn’t become a nurse. However, when I started at Boston University I decided I really did want to be a nurse! That’s when I transferred to Northeastern University to complete nursing school.
What led you to Joslin?
After I finished nurse practitioner school at New York University, my husband and I decided to move back to Boston to be closer to family. I immediately thought of Joslin. I had a great mentor in the diabetes community in New York who really encouraged me to apply here. I had worked as an intensive-care nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital and in trauma and surgery at New York Presbyterian Hospital, but even in these jobs I’d get pulled into the diabetes realm of things. It is really what I enjoy.
Do you have any personal connection with diabetes beyond that?
Yes, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at Joslin when I was four. In nursing school and later in my career, I wanted to get as far away from it as possible. But at every point in my career, things kept drawing me back to diabetes and I really started to enjoy the work. In New York I got involved with the diabetes professional community and I finally decided it was what I enjoyed and knew well, so I ended up back here, 21 years later!
How is working at Joslin?
I think everybody has a sense that they’re here for a purpose. It’s more than a job. Everyone has the patients, diabetes research and the advancement of diabetes science at heart. That’s a core value and everything else revolves around it.
What is your specialty as a nurse practitioner?
My specialty is acute care, which deals with clinically ill, acutely ill and chronically ill patients. It is outside of the primary care realm and dealing more with heart disease, diabetes and the inpatient side.
How do you like working on the Why WAIT program?
It is really exciting! There are some amazing results and it’s a great place to work. People are very motivated and we see great results. They are really determined to lose the weight and determined to exercise and change their lifestyles. Many get off their diabetes, blood pressure and cholesterol medications, plus they lose weight and are healthy. It’s nice to see them excited about the future.
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