I am an instructor in the nephrology division and chairperson of the AR Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Advisory Council. I earned my master of arts degree in Applied Psychology at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and my master of science degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner at UAMS. UAMS has provided me the opportunity to engage in many areas/activities within nephrology, including development and management of the first Home Peritoneal Dialysis Program in AR (1980-96) and key faculty for the Nephrology Fellows Dialysis and CKD rotation (2000-2013). I was able to complete a Nurse in Washington internship and serve as legislative committee chairperson for the American Nephrology Nurse’s Association (ANNA), working with their lobbyist to promote legislation that address needs of both nephrology providers and patients. I have served on several national task forces (ANNA, ASN, RPA) developing position statements on collaborative practice models. I was honored to join the Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC) as we developed the national certification exam for Nurse Practitioners in 2005 and served on the board and/or as an item writer through 2016. I share these examples to demonstrate that UAMS is an institution that encourages and supports staff to pursue their interests and enables them to achieve goals that they may never have dreamed.
- Public, provider and patient CKD education
- Slowing the progression of CKD
- CKD Stages 3-5
- Community engagement
- Health equity
- Health policy
- Continuous quality improvement
- Any activities with my grandchildren
- My church
Having a large, loving family
What Do You Like About Nephrology?
The people. In 1976 when I started in nephrology, I quickly realized that I was adopted into a new family. The chronicity and complexity of kidney disease required a holistic approach. Each member of our multidisciplinary team is valued and everyone has each other’s back. Access to education and mentoring is ongoing and lifelong relationships with both peers and patients are common. The relationship with patients through CKD, dialysis, and transplant spans years. You not only know the patient but frequently their extended family too. CKD is a scary diagnosis and patients have told me, “I felt like it was a death sentence.” Educating them and empowering them to become active, engaged members of their health care team is so rewarding.
Why Little Rock?
I am a native Arkansan, born and raised in Little Rock. After living in Florida for 13 years early in our marriage, my husband and I decided to return to Little Rock to raise our three children on a small farm and be close to family. I had been a RN for only two years at that time. I interviewed at all the LR hospitals and chose UAMS. My original goal was to choose an area that was new to me. The ophthalmology, renal dialysis, and transplant unit certainly met that goal! UAMS was the only hospital where I was interviewed by both the nurse manager and the medical director, and it was enticing to become an integral part of the renal transplant team.