Meet Sofia Rosenberg-Klainberg, MS, RN: 2024 Karen Edlund Future Nurse Leader Awardee!

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I am extremely honored to have won the 2024 Karen Edlund Future Nurse Leader Award, and I am so grateful I listened to the friend who asked me to join an NSRH meeting one day after class. Doing so opened up a community of engaged and incredible leaders and rich educational opportunities that have been integral to my education as a nurse midwife. In my time as chapter co-president, my greatest joy has come from planning and executing events with my hard-working co-leads. We believe that these events can offer supplementary information and perspectives on many topics related to reproductive justice that may be missing from the standard nursing education. 

After completing the master’s RN program at Columbia, I was struck by how little emphasis was placed on the care and respect needed to elicit a patient’s health history in a trauma informed way, which is especially critical for sexual and reproductive health history. A chapter event discussing trauma-informed pelvic care, hosted by Stephanie Tillman, led to student interest in practicing these skills before reaching patients. Inspired by this, I worked with my chapter co-leads to create a workshop titledCollaborative Trauma Informed Sexual History Taking. First, I presented a talk that introduced students to the concept of using a trauma informed approach for all patients and gave examples of model language and questions to ask that they might not have been exposed to prior. After this talk, students were invited to ask questions and then to practice their growing skills on simulated patient actors (we were so lucky to have other DNP students generously volunteer their time). The emphasis of this simulation was not to ask each question perfectly the first time, but to be able to try out these concepts and language in a safe and supportive environment before bringing these skills into practice. Finally, at the end of the session we all gathered to complete reflections on the experience and students were able to ask their simulated patients for feedback. The first iteration of the event was so well and enthusiastically attended that it has since been repeated twice. Each time this workshop is held, attendees come back to share how this introduction to history taking through a reproductive justice framework has had an impact on their personal practice. I was extremely moved  by the students’ interest in this issue. Their eagerness influenced my decision to do my doctoral research project on the subject, investigating the way we educate Columbia student nurses and prepare them for these scenarios. My hope is to improve this education systemically for students, rather than providing a band-aid program.

After completing my comprehensive and board exams this fall, my goal is to find a midwifery job at a NYC hospital with strong mentorship where I can provide full scope midwifery care including birth, abortion, and well person care. I look forward to continuing to learn and grow from the professional resources and community available through NSRH. 

Receiving this award has allowed me to learn about Karen Edlund and discover that her tenure as  Director of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Program at the Massachusetts Department of Health directly coincided with my childhood and teen years there. The excellent sexual and reproductive healthcare that I received was no doubt connected to her tireless work at the state level.  Additionally, I was thrilled to learn about her passion for mosaics and see her memorialized in her community by the Somerville Arts Council. I am honored to carry on her legacy in some small part and it is my hope that my professional work and personal artistic passions will leave a similarly beautiful impact on my communities.