Meet Danielle Levin, Nurse Practitioner
Danielle Levin, certified registered nurse practitioner (CRNP), sees patients at Genuardi Family Foundation Maternity Health Center in Norristown and the Women’s Associates for Health Care in East Norriton. She earned her Master of Science in Nursing degree from Thomas Jefferson University to become a nurse practitioner. Before that, she completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at Drexel University. Levin also worked as an operating room nurse and a family therapist.
We talked with her recently about her career, her interests, and obstetrics and gynecology services at Einstein.
Q: How did you become a nurse practitioner?
A: My first degree was in psychology and I worked in family therapy in Norristown. When I thought about furthering my education, I knew I wanted a field that would let me help people, so I shifted gears and went to Drexel for my Bachelor of Science in Nursing. I was an operating room nurse for five years at Jefferson, where I worked on hysterectomies and other women’s health issues. When I later decided to go back to school to become a nurse practitioner, it made sense to specialize in women’s health.
Q: Why did you specifically choose obstetrics and gynecology?
A: My biggest love about OBGYN is that we don’t just see people when they’re sick. Our culture is trying to move to a health model that focuses on preventive medicine. I think women’s health started that. You come in when you’re well, not sick. Working in women’s health is great. It keeps my day very positive.
Q: Does your background in family therapy help in any way?
A: Oh, definitely. A lot of the work I do now focuses on counseling and education. My previous education and experiences make my work today easier, especially when talking about potentially sensitive issues.
Q: What do people want to know about working with a nurse practitioner?
A: You get a mix. Some people know what we do and some don’t. Nurse practitioners are very common today. They’ve been in family practice for years, but now you see them in specialties like cardiology, too.
People who are more familiar with medicine or who have been in the health care system know about nurse practitioners. We still get a fair number of people who only hear the “nurse” part of nurse practitioner. They expect to see a doctor before the visit ends. But I can make diagnoses and prescribe medicines. Some people actually prefer to see a nurse practitioner. Also, due to the doctor shortage, the need for nurse practitioners has increased. We help take the burden off the system. For example, people can make faster appointments for first-time and follow-up visits.
Q: How did you come to Einstein Medical Center Montgomery?
A: It was a combination of things. I worked with Dr. Cheung Kim, the Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Einstein Medical Center Montgomery, when I was at Jefferson. So when he mentioned Einstein was growing a practice, I was very interested. Plus, I live local to the area, and I really like the quaintness of our center. We give the same care that people find in the city, but we’re much smaller, with less hustle and bustle.
Q: What sort of diagnoses and treatment do you provide?
A: It’s about a 50-50 split between obstetrics and gynecology. In obstetrics, I see everything from a first-time pregnancy to a routine pregnancy to high-risk patients with multiple chronic conditions. On the gynecology side, I see women for their annual well exams, I work with infertility issues, and I treat common things like polycystic ovarian syndrome and vaginitis.
Q: What do you like about the work you do?
A: I get to develop close bonds in obstetrics. I helped one woman when she was trying to conceive, then she came back for her obstetrics visits, then back again to Einstein Montgomery to deliver her baby. I don’t actually do deliveries, but then I followed up with her postpartum care. That’s rare to be with someone through the whole lifecycle, but it was really wonderful.
One thing I like about this specialty is that obstetrics is mostly about sharing good news. We get to tell people, “You’re pregnant” or “Your well exams look great.” Of course, there are tough times, but bad news is the exception, not the rule.
Q: Who was your greatest influence?
A: Probably my mom. My dad had to retire at an early age and my mom held down the fort for my family. Her work ethic was amazing. She earned her master’s degree with three kids. She was such a good model to follow when I went back to school. My mom taught me that it might not always be the easiest path, but if you want it and believe it, then you can do it.
Q: Who is the person you would most like to meet?
A: I would say Ellen DeGeneres or Michelle Obama. One for pleasure and one for business! Both are fascinating people. I’d talk all day with them if they’d let me.
Q: What is something people might not know about you?
A: I love sports. I grew up playing sports and I follow all the Philly teams. I like watching the Eagles and Sixers and going to games when I can.