It’s not often a medical student gets the unique opportunity to train under a favorite childhood physician. But, Nicole Naples is fortunate to have been able to do exactly that while attending graduate school at the University of Cincinnati. As a matter of fact, it was this special time she spent learning from Dr. Matthew Bakos, paired with the positive impact he made on her growing up that solidified her desire to follow a career in dermatology.
Today, as Akron Children’s newest certified nurse practitioner in Pediatric Dermatology, Nicole hopes to be the kind, compassionate and supportive provider Dr. Bakos was to her during times of stress and worry. Just like he did for Nicole, her goal is to make a difference in the lives of children and teens, while treating them with a range of skin conditions — from acne and eczema to more complex genetic skin disorders and vascular malformations.
Nicole strives to do just that with each and every patient through a positive bedside manner, building meaningful, trusting relationships and offering a dose of empathy from someone who, too, was once concerned about her skin. Because to her, it’s a blessing and honor to share her knowledge and be a part of every patient’s healing process.
Why did you choose to come to Akron Children’s Hospital?
My husband, Dr. Jeff Naples, and I both work in medicine. While searching for job opportunities, one institution we both were interested in from the start was Akron Children’s Hospital. Growing up nearby in Medina, Jeff was familiar with the hospital’s excellent reputation, and after interviewing here, I, too, discovered that reputation to be true. We both felt Akron Children’s would be a wonderful fit for us professionally, and we loved the idea of living in Akron and being close to family! Jeff is a pediatric intensivist here at Akron Children’s.
Describe your role at Akron Children’s and what you hope to accomplish?
My role at Akron Children’s is a certified nurse practitioner in dermatology. My hope is to provide excellent care to patients and families struggling with dermatologic conditions. Over time, I also hope to be a valuable resource to other clinicians and have an even broader impact within the institution.
What is your area of expertise and why did you choose it?
One wonderful aspect of being a certified nurse practitioner is the unique opportunity to work in different areas of medicine. Prior to my new role, I had the opportunity to briefly work as a nurse practitioner at a dermatology clinic in Columbus. From there, I began my career at Akron Children’s in the burn institute. I believe these opportunities have made me a well-rounded clinician and have proven valuable experiences that have prepared me for a career in pediatric dermatology. I have had a long-standing, strong interest in dermatology and have been motivated to find a career within this specialty.
Do you have a favorite instructor or mentor?
One of my favorite instructors during graduate school was my childhood dermatologist, Dr. Matthew Bakos. While growing up in Dayton, I went to the dermatologist frequently and formed a great relationship with him as my provider. Then years later, while in graduate school, I had the special opportunity to train under him. It was this time spent training with Dr. Bakos that solidified my desire to work in dermatology.
When did you decide to become a provider and why?
In 2014, after working for several years as a registered nurse at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, I decided to go back to school to become a nurse practitioner. I was ready for new challenges and wanted to build on my clinical knowledge and skills.
What do you like most about being a provider?
As a provider, I love the opportunity to spend time with my patients and form relationships with them. Developing long-lasting relationships with patients and families is what I enjoy most about being in an outpatient clinic. I think it’s a blessing and honor to share knowledge and be a part of someone’s healing process.
What excites you most about medicine?
Medicine is exciting to me because there is always something new to learn. As a provider, I feel there is always room to grow.
What does success mean to you?
To me, success means loving what you do and making a difference in the world while doing it.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Buffalo, New York, and moved to Centerville, Ohio, near Dayton, with my family when I was in high school.
Who makes up your family, including pets and their names?
My husband, Jeff, and I have been married for 4 years. We have a son, Charlie, who is 2 years old and a daughter, Rose, who is 4 months old. We also have 2 crazy labs named Scout and Teddy.
What’s your superpower?
If making ‘To Do’ lists was a superpower that would be mine. Nothing is more satisfying to me than writing out lists, crossing off completed items and having an incredibly productive day.
What do you do when you aren’t working?
Some of my favorite things to do when I’m not working are baking, reading and running (though I’ll admit, post new baby I haven’t done this much!). My husband might tell you cleaning because I’m kind of a neat freak.
What makes you get up in the morning?
I’m a morning person, so for the most part, I love waking up early in the morning! I usually wake up around 4:30 a.m. and enjoy drinking coffee before anyone else is awake. I like the quiet time to prepare for the day ahead.
What’s your favorite quote?
“In a world where you can be anything, be kind.”