Palliative care does not need to be an either-or decision, but it can be provided alongside any disease-directed treatments or therapies.

Carolyn Spilman, MS, RN, CPNP, has worked in pediatric units her entire career — most recently at the University of Virginia Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. And in that time, not only did she witness firsthand the need for pediatric palliative care, but she developed a passion for delivering that care. All it took, she says, was finding the right fit, which she found in Noah’s Children. She joined the Noah’s Children team in April 2018.

 She serves families as a pediatric nurse practitioner; increasing home visits to address palliative care needs, including helping patients and families manage symptoms, navigate complex hospitalizations and offer practical advice and guidance. She believes that palliative care “does not need to be an either-or decision”, but that it can be provided alongside any disease-directed treatments or therapies. She enjoys partnering with patients and families to create and address their goals so they can find comfort and enjoy each day.

She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Virginia and later completed her Master of Nursing and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner certification from Columbia University in New York City. She undertook additional courses in Pediatric Palliative Care during her graduate level education. She is a board certified pediatric nurse practitioner and is working towards board certification in palliative care.

When she is not spending time caring for patients, Carolyn enjoys cooking and traveling and can often be found outdoors hiking, running, or spending time with her family—including her dog, Katydid!