Djenny Lobo Lopes, MSN, RN, DNP-C, is the director of nursing and respiratory services on the Medical Acute Care Unit (MACU) at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center in Boston. I sat down with her to learn more about her work with patients, her background and career, and how she’s committed to providing the best quality of care for patients with complex medical conditions or multiple acute or chronic illnesses.
Djenny is originally from Cape Verde and came to the U.S. when she was seven years old. Her family was already settled in the Boston area. After attending a vocational high school and learning many valuable skills, Djenny began to have an interest in medicine and nursing. A family friend was injured in an accident when Djenny was a teenager and she started caring for her. She became her home health aide, providing personal care, cooking, and cleaning, among other things.
“I developed a passion for caring for others, said Lopes. “I love being there for people, helping them, and being a caretaker. I always aspired to work in an intensive care unit at a hospital one day and knew I had a lot of work to do to get there but by getting experience at a young age, it would only help me.”
After graduating high school, Djenny began working as a certified nursing assistant while taking care of her newborn baby and did that for many years before going to nursing school at Roxbury Community College. She obtained her license in 2010 as a registered nurse and continued with school to receive a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing.
Working as a visiting nurse in the Boston area, Djenny realized she wanted a job that would allow her to be inside a hospital-like environment. She began her career at Hebrew SeniorLife at NewBridge on the Charles, a continuing care retirement community in Dedham. She was hired as a nurse on the 3rd floor at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center in NewBridge. After moving around for a few years, she returned to Hebrew SeniorLife, working in the MACU at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center in Boston as a nurse.
“Hebrew SeniorLife is a wonderful place to work, and organization that is dedicated to professional growth. The great reputation, the staff, and the care provided is why I have stayed within this organization for so long and have been able to grow my career,” said Djenny.
Djenny continued her education throughout her career as a nurse. She worked full time as a registered nurse and part-time educating nursing students while attending school full-time and completing her Masters of Science in nursing.
After gaining experience in various care settings, from acute to critical care nursing, Djenny then returned to Hebrew SeniorLife as the Post-Acute Nurse Educator. In July 2019, Djenny was offered a full-time position as director of nursing and respiratory services for the MACU after stepping in as interim for some time. “After the first few weeks in this role, I felt as if I could make a real change and impact on this unit,” Lopes said. “The staff at Hebrew SeniorLife are very skilled at what they do, and I’m happy to be working with such incredible people.”
Djenny has many goals she’d like to achieve in her role but she wants to make an impact through research and improving patient care.
“I feel like Hebrew SeniorLife is my home,” she said. “I get a special feeling working here, I love my patients and my job. It’s special and I don’t think I could’ve done it for any other organization.