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“It may sound a little bit like a fairy tale, but most of us really do go into medicine because we want to help others,” said Family Nurse Practitioner Tia-Monique Nelson. And she admits that like many other clinicians caught up in the fast pace or stress of the day it can be easy to lose sight of how they really are helping.
“Sometimes we take it for granted, but patients come in looking for help and answers, and a lot of what we do is listening and providing peace of mind, and at the end of the day that is very gratifying,” said Nelson.
Nelson started as a PCT and then worked as a bedside nurse before going back to school and earning her Advanced Practice Nursing degree. For the last three and half years, she has worked as a nurse practitioner in Immediate Care, sites that have been critical for caring for patients throughout the pandemic.
One of the first nurse practitioners hired for Immediate Care, Nelson said she enjoys the autonomy she has taking care of patients as well as the teamwork and collaboration with her support staff.
“We have people coming to Immediate Care for all kinds of things, and we never know what’s going to happen from one day to the next, but every day you just roll up your sleeves and say ‘here we go,’” said Nelson.
Her long-term goal is to continue working in medicine as part of a community, serving the greater community. To that end, she is beginning a doctorate nurse practitioner program with an emphasis on health equity. Nelson’s passion for issues of racial and health equity is also reflected in her involvement in NorthShore’s new Black Leadership Forum, a group that came together in the wake of protests following the murder of George Floyd.
“There’s not a lot of representation for people who look like me in my field,” said Nelson. “I really love being part of this group and think it’s a great opportunity to help others too.”