The best teams come from a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and education. In our interview with Sue Beebe, we met a team member that was an APRN since way before the term APRN was being used. With Christel Harman, APRN, she became an APRN in 2014. “I was a non-traditional student,” Christel told me. “I went to Wichita State University for my Bachelors degree in 2007. Previous to that, I was a medical assistant, a CNA, a CMA, and just kind of worked my way up.”
Christel had decided to get into medicine at an early age, though. “I had a person in my class when I was in 5th grade that died in the classroom of heart complications. It was a helpless feeling. My mom and my grandmother were both CNA’s, so I grew up reading manuals, EMT manuals, things like that, so I knew that’s what I wanted to do early on. Funny thing is, I didn’t do it until later in life.”
But, just because she didn’t get her degree until later on in life doesn’t mean she’s doesn’t have experience. Her first job as a Nurse Practitioner was in Critical access. “It was probably the greatest experience I could have had as a new graduate. I worked emergency room, in-patient hospital, and assistant coroner. Then I moved to Iowa to be a Hospitalist, which was a great experience.”
Born and raised in small-town Kansas, Christel is still an outdoors person. She likes gardening, and fishing with her husband.
What advice does Christel have for those looking to become APRNs? “Do it,” she said laughing a bit when I asked. “Make sure you work the floor as a nurse. Make sure it’s what you want to do. Even as I was working, and was going through school, I was listening to the other nurses complaining about the positions. You don’t realize how much time is put into those positions. Unless you experience that time as a nurse, I think you’ll have a hard time having a good bedside manner.”
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