Staff Spotlight – Liz Espinoza, ARNP

Liz is an ARNP in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

I have been a nurse practitioner in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit since December 2018. Prior to moving to Iowa City last year, I spent ten years at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago as a nurse in the PICU, Emergency Department, and on the Critical Care Transport Team.

My husband, Mike, is the Director of Admissions at Kirkwood College. We have two boys- Drew is 6 and a 1st grader, and Zachary is 5 and in Kindergarten.

My favorite thing to do is spend time with my family! We love to hike and do outdoor activities. My family has a home in Southwestern Michigan, so we spend as much time as we possibly can there as well. I also am currently working on my DNP at Vanderbilt University, so that takes up a lot of my free time! I also am a huge fan of true crime podcasts, though I don’t have as much time to listen here in Iowa as I did in Chicago because my commute is so much shorter!

I know it sounds crazy, but I am basically doing my dream job now! I have always wanted to have a split position doing clinical work, research, and teaching. I currently teach at the College of Nursing in the pediatric acute care nurse practitioner program in addition to my hours in the PICU.

I love Thai food! I have been missing it since we moved to Iowa since we used to have two Thai food restaurants within walking distance from our home in Chicago.

Favorite sports teams? Chicago Cubs, Chicago Bears, Iowa Hawkeyes

If I had three wishes, I would only need one. I would love to be able to spend a few hours with my Dad again. He passed away in April after a long battle with cancer.

Fun fact: Prior to going to nursing school, I was a music therapist for 6 years. I completed my Masters in Music Therapy at the University of Iowa and actually completed many of my music therapy clinical hours with Kirstin Nelson here in the PICU here back in 2002! It was fun for me to come back and see how much it has changed!

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