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Kristen Cole, RN, MSN, CPNP-PC

UNC Health Value Superstars are teammates who exemplify our System Values and make a positive impact on our teammates, patients and communities.

This month’s Value Superstar is Kristen Cole, RN, MSN, CPNP-PC, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, at UNC Children’s. Through her work at the N.C. Children’s Hospital in Chapel Hill and Nunnelee Pediatric Specialty Clinic in Wilmington (a UNC Health/Novant Health partnership), Kristen Leads the Way* in providing exceptional Carolina Care to our pediatric patients.

In 2023, Kristen used her expertise in pediatric feeding disorders to restructure the Pediatric Feeding Team at Nunnelee Pediatric Specialty Clinic in Wilmington. This expansion of services now models the Chapel Hill/Raleigh based UNC Feeding Team, providing children in southeastern North Carolina with greater access to specialized care.

“Helping to lead and mentor the team in Wilmington was the greatest year of my career, especially when I see how they are thriving,” shares Kristen.

Kristen has recently transitioned into a new role in the NICU in Wilmington where she works to improve earlier identification and treatment of pediatric feeding disorders. She also provides educational lectures to primary care providers throughout the state, which has allowed her to leverage her passions and knowledge in a new way.

“My new role allows me to see my career coming full circle. Being a nurse practitioner is about health promotion and disease prevention. What better way to live out that calling than to help prevent the very diagnosis that I have spent so many years understanding, learning and treating.” Kristen reflects.

Kristen’s passion for supporting her patients is especially evident in her ability to truly listen to their stories to provide individualized care plans that address their unique needs.

“I often tell my kids that I am like a detective for the human body. I love the challenge of complex and complicated symptomatology.” Kristen says. “My goal is to see each patient as a unique creation with purpose. I often meet families when they are at their lowest points, afraid for their child’s future. In the quiet corners of these rooms, I am able to be a comfort, provide hope and provide each parent with realistic and reachable goals. Seeing my patients reach those goals is deeply inspiring.”

A UNC Health teammate for over 13 years, Kristen’s thoughtfulness and genuine care for others have made a lasting impact not only on patients, but with teammates as well. Over the years, she has been a supportive mentor and friend, providing guidance and assistance both professionally and personally. During the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kristen stepped up to orient and support new team members. She even extended her support to her teammate’s loved ones, going the extra mile to help with personal matters.

When asked what she looks forward to each day at work, Kristen shares “seeing my amazing colleagues who I could not do this work without!”

“I love to learn, and working on teams with other disciplines has expanded my own knowledge in ways that a single discipline perspective would not be able to,” she continues. “I love collaborating with my colleagues about really challenging cases and seeing the positive outcomes of that work in the healing of our patients.”

Kristen is a shining example of the positive impact one individual can have on our teammates, patients, and communities. Thank you, Kristen, for Leading the Way and for all you do as part of our One Great Team.


*Leading the Way:

  • We make a difference by improving lives every day and training the next generation of health care leaders.
  • Our research is changing the world.​
  • We provide innovative care.​




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