Entering the nursing field at the age of 17 earning my Nursing Assistant certificate from Lake Pend Oreille School District, my passion for serving my community as a nurse was solidified. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else with my life!
After working at the bedside for a number of years, I moved to Hawai’i to work in an urgent care clinic. I was assigned the task of educating patients about their ailments, reviewing treatment options, and providing comprehensive care coordination in addition to hands-on nursing care under the direction of a physician. I valued the unique diversity of Hawai’i and learned so much about what “health” means to different populations around the world.
As wonderful as that experience was, life brought me back home to Idaho where I became a sponge, learning and experiencing as much as I could in areas such as cardiac intensive care, general medical and surgery such as orthopedics, podiatry, plastics, and women’s health, all while working towards my nursing degree.
My husband enlisted in the Army which took us to Oklahoma and Texas where I continued to learn and work toward my lifelong dream of becoming a nurse. I had the opportunity to work in diverse environments within large health systems and small privately owned hospitals and clinics. Shortly after being accepted into a highly sought-after nursing program, my husband was medically discharged from active duty and we decided to return home to Idaho with our now two children.
Through some of life’s curve balls, I persevered. Earning my Bachelor of Science in Nursing with a graduate certificate in nursing management & leadership from Lewis-Clark State College and began working at the bedside once again. That’s when the real education began. I had filled my brain with loads of really helpful “head knowledge” that made me a mentor for many other nurses.
What I began to understand is that healing is not linear and no one person’s journey is like another. I noticed that when I took into account a person’s level of fear or uncertainty, beliefs about their ability to heal, and sense of security in their providers, I could better identify their unique barriers to healing. While much of the care and treatment in western medicine is proven safe and effective, I believe that it does not serve to the depth of what it takes for someone to truly heal. I believe our emotional, mental, and spiritual bodies are just as important as the physical. Through this awareness, I gained “heart knowledge”.
This approach to nursing practice led me to the field of trauma-informed healthcare and psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) and I haven’t looked back since. I continue to be amazed at the discoveries being made that prove the connection between ones mind, spirit and physical body. I am committed to life long learning and sharing my knowledge with those who desire a deeper understanding of themselves.