Tell us about the schools and programs you’ve attended for your nursing career and why those programs were of interest.
I realized, after obtaining a bachelor’s degree in human nutrition from the University of Kentucky, I wanted a career that involved direct patient care. This path led me to nursing and I attended an advanced 13-month, second degree BSN program at Mount Carmel College of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio.
Shortly after graduating, I knew I wanted to advance my career as a nurse practitioner and moved to Washington, DC to attend The George Washington University and participate in their Family Nurse Practitioner Program. GW’s program was appealing because it ranked as one of the top 10 programs in the nation. I enjoyed my time in the program which offered the opportunity of hands-on learning and of course the added benefit to explore our nation’s capital!
Tell us more about how you came to choose the field of medicine.
When I started my undergraduate studied at Kentucky, I told my college advisor I wanted “dry medicine” and I couldn’t do “blood and guts” (funny how things change!). At the time, she encouraged me to pursue a graduate career in pharmacy and throughout my freshmen year felt great about my career choice and if felt as though my life plan was all mapped out perfectly.
I worked as a pharmacy technician throughout college and realized retail pharmacy would never fulfill my passion of direct patient care. What I thought I was going to pursue all along was no longer what I wanted…I wanted to be in the excitement and providing life-changing, quality care. So, during my senior year of college, I applied to nursing school instead of going to pharmacy school.
What about becoming a nurse was attractive?
Becoming a Registered Nurse (RN) was attractive because they have the privilege to work with patients and their families during some of the most challenging and frightening moments of their lives. RNs are right by the patient’s side to act as their advocate in times of need. Nurses are viewed as the most trusted profession in America and has deemed 2020 as the “Year of the Nurse.” What other profession has that kind of reputation?
How did you choose Emergency Medicine as your specialty?
I choose Emergency Medicine because it is a specialty that encompasses just about everything. It can be exciting, challenging, and rewarding all at the same time and there are always opportunities to learn and expand my knowledge and skill set. Also, witnessing the amazing teamwork in the emergency department is extremely inspiring as providing the best patient care requires true collaboration.
What do you enjoy most about your day to day practice?
No two days are ever the same in the Emergency Department and there is always an opportunity to learn something new. I enjoy working closely with all specialties and developing a great relationship with my supervising physicians.
What led you to practice with MEMA?
I was introduced first to MEMA when I worked as a staff ER nurse at Presbyterian Medical Center. The MEMA providers are professional, always willing to teach, and extremely personable, so I knew joining MEMA as an Advanced Practice Provider Fellow would provide me with the best foundation and tools to practice current evidenced-based emergency medicine.
Has there been one patient, staff member, or caregiver story that has stuck with you?
I’ve been involved in many emergency code situations where I’ve seen outcomes for both better and worse. I’ve gone home and cried because something terrible happened that day, and I’ve also gone home feeling rewarded because something amazing happened. However, what I remember the most during my nursing career has been the moments when my patients say, “you’re doing a really great job, thank you!”. Emergency Medicine can often feel like a thankless job some days, but when a patient say’s “thank you” it completely changes my mentality and outlook!
Are you a member of any associations, societies, or organizations?
I am a member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), the Metrolina Coalition of Nurse Practitioners (MCNP), Young Affiliates of the Mint, the University of Kentucky Alumni Association, and the Alpha Delta Pi Alumnae Association.
What was your dream job when you were a child?
My dream job as a child was to be a teacher. I enjoyed sharing knowledge with others and still do.
What about Charlotte excites you?
I’ve been in Charlotte for almost two years and I love watching Charlotte grow into such a vibrant city with major sports teams, big-name concerts, trendy restaurants, breweries, coffee shops, and boutiques. Each neighborhood has a unique small-town feel in a big city and being so close to either the beach or the mountains is fantastic! Let’s not forget the amazing weather – It sure beats where I grew up near Cleveland, Ohio.
Do you have any Hobbies, interests, secret powers that are unique to you?
My hobbies include traveling and exploring new countries with my friends and family, cheering on the Kentucky Wildcats during basketball season, and spending the weekends on our boat at Lake Norman with my two puppies.