Paula Agosto, supporting children and forging their healthy futures
Since joining in 1985, Paula Agosto has been key in supporting Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s commitment to exceptional patient care.
Throughout her life, Paula Agosto has always remained close to home.
One of five children born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia, most of her siblings also did the same.
While in high school, Agosto developed an interest in healthcare and upon looking into different practices within the field, ultimately chose nursing.
“That was based on experiences I had with nurses in my pediatric practice as a kid,” she said in an interview with AL DÍA. “As a kid, I was always impressed by the nursing staff.”
Following in her older siblings’ footsteps, Agosto attended Villanova University and enrolled in its nursing program.
There, she realized the different avenues of nursing, and went with pediatric as her specialization.
Once that decision was made, Agosto made it her goal to work at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia because she loved the idea of providing critical care for children and their families.
She completed her clinical rotation there and upon earning her degree from Villanova, landed a job with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where she’s now worked for more than 35 years later.
“It was truly, for me, a place where I felt like I could help families and their children get through a very traumatic, stressful time in their lives, and that was and continues to be very rewarding for me,” said Agosto.
Throughout her three-decades-plus at CHOP, Agosto has filled a number of roles. Initially, she worked as a staff nurse in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit before taking on various leadership and director positions, such as nurse manager of the PICU, director of Critical Care, Emergency Transport and Emergency Nursing, and assistant vice president of Critical Care, Respiratory and Neuro-diagnostic Services.
“I have had the fortune of building my career there,” said Agosto.
Currently, she is the Senior Vice President & System Chief Nursing Officer at CHOP.
That role makes her the support for the clinical practices of the nurses, respiratory therapists, technicians and all other staff members who provide care.
“My responsibility is to ensure that we work well together, that the staff have the right support that they need and that ultimately we provide excellent care, every day, every shift, for every family that’s in the hospital and in the health system,” Agosto said.
In addition to her work at CHOP, Agosto is also very active with organizations that promote the value and importance of the nursing profession. As an undergraduate, she became a member of the Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society of Nursing, and has remained a member to this day.
“Being the best that you can be, as a nursing professional, is what I’ve always had as my platform,” she said.
As both a nurse and a nursing leader, Agosto has ensured that she maintains and grows her network within the profession.
Agosto is a member of the advisory board for the upcoming AL DÍA Top Nurses Forum & Awards event, taking place on May 26.
As someone who is keen to the idea that the nursing professionals at CHOP and all medical facilities should reflect the families being served, Agosto sees the event as a great opportunity to shine a light on the great work being done by local nurses of diverse backgrounds.
“So to me, it was my way of being able to support even further diversity and inclusion in healthcare,” she said.
It is Agosto’s belief that diversity helps provide the best care possible, and being a part of the advisory board and selection process of the honorees has renewed her outlook and insight as to why being a nurse is so great.
“It’s always good to give back and always good to support other people,” Agosto said.
The 2021 AL DÍA Top Nurses Forum & Awards will take place Wednesday, May 26, 2021 at 5:30pm. For ticket and registration information, click here.