Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
After graduating from Adelphi, Veronica Groth began her nursing career at St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson, New York. Mrs. Groth will forever remember her first day on the medical surgical floor. She was responsible for 13 patients, with just the support of one licensed practical nurse and one aide. “It was a horrendous day,” she recalls. “One of my patients died and many others were very sick.”
Mrs. Groth vividly remembers leaving late and crying, asking herself, “What did I get myself into?” Luckily her nursing supervisor was reassuring. She told Mrs. Groth she did the best she could; this was her right of passage – her “baptism by fire” – and she survived. Mrs. Groth found these words to be very comforting and strikingly true. She did survive, and she knew with time, everything would get easier.
Mrs. Groth continued working in medical surgical nursing for the next two years, after which she spent ten years working as a nurse in the emergency department. She also performed CAT scans, Thallium stress testing, and other special procedures.
Psychiatry was a specialty that had always appealed to Mrs. Groth; in fact, her high school yearbook said: “twenty years from now you’ll be giving advice.” Mrs. Groth followed this prediction and went to Stony Brook University to become a nurse practitioner in psychiatry. She graduated in 1999, after which she worked for Family Service League in Mattituck, New York. Here she began to specialize in child and adolescent psychiatry. In 2001, Mrs. Groth went into a semi-private practice with several social workers. Five years later she went into her own private practice; today she has a partner working with her.
Mrs. Groth is married to Dr. Timothy Groth, who specializes in pain management. They have five children, and live in Setauket, New York.
When and why did you first want to become a nurse?
I chose nursing as a career because of my deep desire to help others. I realized I would like to be a nurse at 16, when I worked as a nursing aide at an adult home. As I was exploring my career path, nursing presented so many opportunities.
Do you have favorite memories of your time at Adelphi and your residencies?
Getting up at 5:30 in the morning for an hour commute and meeting my friends at the Union for breakfast, where we would talk and go over notes together. The friendships that I developed at Adelphi lasted beyond my college years.
Justina Eisenhauer Mickiewicz was the dean. I thought she was funny, witty, and inspiring.
My professors at Adelphi were all caring and very professional. They demanded excellence from their students in regards to academia and the clinical experience. My favorite professors were Dr. Carol Mitchell, Donna Anderson, and Netta Kendell.
Adelphi prepared me very well for my career. My knowledge base was excellent and I was able to apply it confidently to my evaluation, treatment, and discharge planning of the patient. My nursing skills were outstanding, and my patients benefited from them.
What advice would you give to today’s nursing students?
The most important advice that was given to me came from Donna Anderson: get one to two years of medical surgical nursing under your belt. While doing medical surgical nursing, you will experience and get to know other areas and then start to develop an interest. After you get a foundation, a basis for understanding basic nursing, then specialize.
Get involved, it’s fun. Meet people; networking opens up all kinds of doors for opportunity.