When he’s not nursing patients back to health, Jonathan Baldridge can be found playing paintball, target shooting, mountain biking or playing video games with his 2 sons. A kid-at-heart, it’s no surprise he brings his playful personality to work. In fact, Akron Children’s newest certified nurse practitioner in Pediatric Hospital Medicine has been known to sing to patients, use silly cartoon voices and tell a constant stream of classic dad jokes.
After serving 13 years as a nurse in various departments within the hospital — from the Emergency Department to Sedation Services — Jonathan decided it was time to take the next step. As he moves into a provider role, he hopes his experience as a nurse will give him a better understanding of the bedside nurse point of view because to him, every interaction must count.
With each and every patient and family, his goal is to make a positive impact and leave a lasting impression — one that’s transformational, rather than transactional. It’s one of many reasons why he votes for less suits and more superhero T-shirts.
Why did you choose to come to Akron Children’s Hospital?
When my oldest son was 12 months old, he had a tumor pressing on his optic nerve that had to be removed. I was 19 and remember being terrified, thinking the worst. The staff at Akron Children’s was so calming and reassuring throughout the whole process that I wanted to be a part of that for others.
Describe your role at Akron Children’s and what you hope to accomplish?
I took a job as an APRN-CNP with Pediatric Hospital Medicine. I hope to be impactful in the lives of these kiddos and their families.
What is your area of expertise and why did you choose it?
I have 13 years experience as an RN at Akron Children’s. I spent many nights working “in the trenches.” Those years taught me how to care for patients and families, and as I move on to becoming a provider, I will now better understand the point of view of the bedside nurse.
When did you decide to become a provider and why?
I started as a nurse tech in the Emergency Department (ED), then became a staff RN. For a few years, I was a clinical coordinator in the ED, then staff RN in Sedation Services. I wanted more autonomy in my day-to-day profession, so becoming an APRN was the next step.
What impression do you hope to leave with your patients each day?
I heard a speaker once say that every interaction is either going to be transactional or transformational. I want to leave a lasting impression for these kids and their families; make every interaction count.
How does your personality fit your role?
I have always been a big kid at heart. I have been known to sing to patients, make silly cartoon voices, and have dad jokes for days. It’s important for us to remember that we work with kids. I vote less suits and more superhero T-shirts!
What excites you most about medicine?
I’m excited to see what will come next. I love how there is always new research and innovations that are moving the field forward.
What’s one thing on your bucket list?
I am lucky enough to have done quite a few things on my bucket list already, from skydiving to surviving off the land for a few days to running a full marathon. One thing I would love to do is hike the entire Appalachian Trail. It’ll be hard to get off work for 3 months though!
What do you do when you aren’t working?
You can most likely find me outside camping, target shooting, playing paintball/airsoft, kayaking, mountain biking, amateur blacksmithing on my home forge or fishing with my family.
As a big kid, I also spend quite a bit of time with my 2 sons online playing Call of Duty and Fortnite on Xbox, or playing Mario Kart 8 on the Switch with my wife. I also enjoy playing the guitar and keyboard. I’ve sang a couple times here at work for the Harvest for Hunger fundraisers, although I never won so maybe that should tell me something!
What’s your favorite quote?
One of my favorite bible verses is Matthew 25:40: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” It shows the importance of loving every person and serving wherever there’s a need.
What is your favorite vacation spot and why?
My favorite vacation spot is a small fishing camp in northern Ontario. It’s so remote that you have to take a boat to get there. It’s a great time to bond with my family, while sitting around the campfire or fishing in a boat.
What’s the last adventure you went on?
I went hammock camping last weekend. I love to camp year-round in the woods. It’s a time to reconnect with nature in a way that not many get to do. It’s nice to unplug from the grid every once in a while and just sit in the quiet of nature.