Amy Fotino, RN

For most nursing students, passing the Boards is an accomplishment in itself but for Amy Fotino, the accomplishment came after receiving a passing grade. In 2006, immediately after passing her Boards, Amy landed a job at St. Anthony Community Hospital and could officially refer to herself as a Registered Nurse.

St. Anthony Community Hospital holds a special place in Amy’s heart, especially because it will always be the place where all four of her children took their first breath. In 2002, after birth of her third son, Amy was so amazed by the care of her nurses at St. Anthony’s that she registered for nursing school, hoping to impact others the way she had been impacted. With plans of being an OB nurse, more specifically—an OB nurse at St. Anthony Community Hospital, Amy started classes when her son was nine weeks old. Amy passed her Boards in the summer of 2006 and on a December 2006 day, Diane informed her that she would begin training in OB in January 2007. In Amy’s words, the news brought an incredible amount of excitement; she said, “I was over the moon! I felt like I had won the lottery! I LOVE my job!”

After the birth of her daughter, Amy recognized she had another passion—breastfeeding. She had been very outspoken and one of the unit’s “go-to girls” whenever a patient needed extra help with breastfeeding. Although she was always willing to help new mothers, she didn’t realize that she had to go further with it unit the birth of her fourth and final baby. In 2012, Amy Fotino started an online support group that has grown to almost 250 mothers who support each other on a daily basis. In October of 2012, after realizing there was no place for a nursing mother to comfortably feed her child at Warwick’s annual Applefest, Amy started the “Breast And Rest at Applefest” tent. Over the past two years, the tent has been a huge success, continuously providing comfort to nursing mothers at the fall festival. Over the past two years, Amy has also been involved in staff education, teaching her coworkers about up-to-date standards. Recently, Amy participated in the two-day education fair at St. Anthony Community Hospital to spread the word to all of the hospital’s professionals.

While providing support for nursing mothers and educating her coworkers, Amy looked for ways to continuously add to her credentials. After researching, Amy learned that the Gold Standard Certification for Lactation Consultants, IBCLC, was her next step. Current RNs have to prove they have obtained 1000 hours of direct patient care involving breastfeeding over the past five years, followed by 90 hours of accredited CEs in actual breastfeeding education within the past year and finally, sitting for the Board Exam. Sitting down with Diane, Amy learned that she was well over 1500 hours of direct patient care and had completed her necessary 90 hours. The Board Exam for the Gold Standard Certification for Lactation Consultants is offered one day a year, internationally. Amy Fotino took the exam in July and this past Monday, she received her official letter of Certification from IBCLC.

If you are a nursing mother, or know someone who could benefit from Amy’s knowledge and/or her breastfeeding support group, feel free to contact her through email at lactology@gmail.com or call Diane or St. Anthony Community Hospital’s birthing floor.