While most of the Healthcare Insights section of the Advanced Mobile Healthcare Care website is dedicated to information on healthcare topics, we also wanted to feature those who work at AMH, so people can put names with the faces. Of course, we decided to start at the top. Rae Lyn Mefford, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, is the founder and owner of Advanced Mobile Healthcare.
Typically, when you ask why someone got in the medical field, it’s a fairly simple, fluffy bunnies sort of answer. With Rae Lyn, the answer was brutally honest: “In middle school, I took an aptitude test that geared me towards the medical field. At that time I wanted to be a physician, but after getting pregnant at the age of 16, I realized that probably wasn’t going to be the route I would take. Unfortunately, I was also in an abusive relationship with my son’s father, and wanted a degree that I could complete quickly in order to get out of the relationship, so I decided to go into nursing.”
After two years of being a nurse, Rae Lyn sustained a back injury that left her unable to perform many of the duties of a nurse, such as lifting patients. “I had to make the choice of starting all over, or proceed on with a degree that allowed me to continue my nursing role without having to lift patents. So, I chose to go back to school for my Masters as a Nurse Practitioner.”
But, Rae Lyn’s role as an APRN went further than just being a practitioner. She involved herself in the APRN community, taking roles in the Kansas APRN Taskforce. The Kansas APRN Taskforce involved itself primarily with the legislative side of the industry, and it evolved into into the Kansas Advanced Practice Nurses Association. According to Rae Lyn, KAPN “promotes excellence in advanced practice nursing, provides leadership, collaborates with other medical professionals to shape the future of health care, offers networking with other APRNs, and helps build a positive image of advanced practice nursing.”
In her doctoral program, Rae Lyn was presented with a new challenge in the form of a class assignment. Her instructor required her to create a 5-year business plan, and it had to be unique, as in something different than a typical family practice. Since she was already familiar with offering house calls in her previous family practice, she chose to take the assignment in that direction. Her business plan would eventually win $10,000 first place out of 69 entries from across the state in the 2011 WSU Center for Entrepreneurship Shocker Business Plan Competition. Her winning business plan resulted in Advanced Mobile Healthcare.
What made her entry so unique? “Until the 1940s most physicians seen their patients through house calls, but that number dropped to 40% by the 1960s and less than 1% by the 1980s due to the decline in the number of general practitioners and increase in specialists. Doctors can see more patients in an office, but with the aging baby boomers, more and more people are having issues getting out of the house to medical practices. So, we’re just bringing back old fashioned house calls like Marcus Welby. There are other house call practices in the area, but I feel their main focus is geared more towards assisted living facilities, group homes, and similar setups with only a few house calls sprinkled into their practice. Whereas, our main focus is primarily traditional house calls. Most of our patients have Medicare and Medicaid (dual eligibles), and not many medical practices are accepting patients with those two insurances.”
Given her work with the APRN community and the success she’s had, I had to ask her if she had any advice for someone looking to become an APRN: “For those still in High School, try to get as many of your college credits out of your way before you get to college. I have a daughter who just graduated High School, and is going into medical school to become a surgeon. First, she has to attain a bachelors degree, which she has chosen nursing. She will achieve her bachelors degree in nursing in only three years, because she’s already earned an entire year’s worth of college credits before she even graduated high school.
“For those who already have kids, if they think that a family is a reason to put it off, I would tell them there’s no time like now. I got my masters with three kids, and my doctorate with five kids.”
You can read more of Rae Lyn’s story in the about section of our website.
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