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Multiple sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system and is the most common neurological disorder diagnosed in young adults, but it affects men and women of all ages and all walks of life.
This disorder damages or destroys the protective covering (known as myelin) surrounding the nerves, causing reduced communication between the brain and nerve pathways. Common symptoms include visual problems, overwhelming fatigue, difficulty with balance and coordination, and various levels of impaired mobility. MS is not contagious but is often misunderstood and may lead to a disability.
The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America recognizes March as MS Awareness Month. In an effort to help raise awareness here locally, INTEGRIS is sponsoring a Faces of MS event.
The event will be Tuesday, March 24th from 9 a.m. to Noon at      the James L. Henry Auditorium at INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center,                         3300 NW Expressway. A physician panel of neurologists Husain, Porter, Masih and Salins; psychiatrist Murali Krishna; urogynecologist Arielle Allen; sleep disorder specialist April Merrill; and fitness expert Nancy Shidler will all speak and answer questions.
Topics will include cognitive disorders; urological and sexual issues associated with MS; how MS affects your mood and can cause depression and how mindfulness and relaxation can improve these symptoms; positive effects of exercise on fatigue caused by MS; sleep disorders and strategies for managing sleep issues with MS; and infusion therapy and possible side effects.
The event is free and open to the public. For more information or reservations, please call the INTEGRIS HealthLine at 405-951-2277.

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by Mike Lee
Staff Writer


Unlike most people who work as hyperbaric techs, John Slayton, LPN, has a much more personal understanding of the machinery he works with on a daily basis.
Navy dive school first taught Slayton how punishing pressure could be.
“They had to take you down to over 300 feet to give you nitrogen narcosis to see how you respond,” Slayton said. “It was awesome. You’re in a hyperbaric chamber but it’s full of water and you have a huge, brass Mark V helmet on. You feel like you’re drunk and then you come up and it’s gone.”
The idea behind the test is to weed out the individuals who can’t handle the nitrogen buildup in their system. No one knows how they will react until they’re 300-feet deep.
The Navy makes this test routine for new divers, but for some it can be an experience.
“It’s like an alcoholic, they might be a normal person until they get drunk and then they just flip on you,” Slayton said of some who panic in the tube. “Most people don’t have a reaction to it. It’s always the last person you would think that tries to take their clothes off.”
But it wasn’t until he worked as a hyperbaric tech that Slayton would encounter all the benefits pressurized oxygen therapy could hold.
Slayton picked up his love for wound care while working at Midwest Regional Hospital. He spent three months doing hyperbaric therapy as a CNA. “I really enjoyed it. The only reason I left was because I got accepted to nursing school,” Slayton said.
Slayton later worked in medical surgical, home health and pediatrics after graduating Metro Tech for his LPN and began working on his RN at Rose State.
Helping raise a granddaughter has put getting his RN on hold for now.
Working at Oklahoma Heart Hospital doing vascular, Slayton noticed OHH would soon be doing hyperbaric therapy.
He showed up for the interview and all the people he had previously worked with at Midwest Regional were doing the hiring.
He fell in love all over again.
“The results,” Slayton said of what keeps him interested. “Some of these people have the same wound for a year and they think they’re at the point where they’re about to lose their leg. Then they go to hyperbarics and four weeks later that’s not even an option any more. And you really get to know these people. It’s not like a normal nursing job where they come even once a week and you see them for 10 or 15 minutes.”
“I spend two hours, five days a week with these people for four weeks or longer. They’re like family and that’s how they look at you, too.”
Obviously, nursing is a second career for Slayton, who spent 14 years in the military. Outside of diving with the Navy he also worked supply and then moved on to the Army and Air Force Reserves.
You might even say it’s a third career, as the 47-year-old Slayton is helping raise a four-year-old granddaughter.
“I wouldn’t have it any other way. I was furious when I found out … but now that little girl is everything,” he said.
Oklahoma Heart Hospital Wound Center opened its doors in January.
The new wound center brings the community treatment and protocols to treat chronic wounds including hyperbaric oxygen therapy, negative pressure therapies, bioengineered tissues and biosynthetics. Patients may also have the opportunity to participate in clinical trials and multicenter studies.
A member of the Healogics network, the wound center employs a rigorous scientific approach to explore, test, find and develop the clinically proven methods and technologies which reintroduce the body’s innate ability to heal. The network, comprised of academic medical centers, hospitals and thousands of professionals is committed to advancing wound healing by creating, sharing, and activating wound prevention and care expertise.
The next few years holds an RN degree for Slayton. He says his hyperbaric experience has been tremendous.
So far he’s shunned the inquiries for him to go into management. For now, he’s happy doing what he’s doing.
“I don’t want to get away from patient care.”

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by Mike Lee, Staff Writer

Nurses from across Oklahoma are gearing up to attend the annual Nurse’s Day at the Capitol.
As a professional organization, the Oklahoma Nurses Association is a community of nurses from all specialties and practice settings that empowers nurses to improve health care.
Each year, the ONA organizes a single day to arm nurses with the necessary information and give them the opportunity to discuss those issues with policy makers.
This year’s event will be held Tuesday, Feb. 24. You can still register online at
ONA Executive Director Jane Nelson says nurses are always well received at the capitol and typically find the day very informative.
“Nurses are powerful political advocates because they are members of the most-trusted profession in the country,” Nelson said. “With that comes a lot of power.”
The day begins with an informational session held at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum followed by an opportunity to go to the capitol and talk with legislators.
Nurses will have the opportunity to:
* Hear legislative experts, legislators and ONA’s Lobbyist
* Talk with legislators concerning the issues vital to ONA and the nursing profession
* Increase your awareness of the role nurses play in the political arena
* Voice your concerns regarding legislation affecting nursing practice, patient safety, preventive care and health education as well as Oklahoma’s health status
The cost for nursing students and LPNs is $30. ONA members and affiliates pay $40 and non-members can participate for $50.
Each year the Oklahoma Nurses Association sets its legislative priorities. For 2015, ONA is focused on the following:
Ensure adequate funding for vital health care related services, including direct care, disease prevention and health promotion. Shortfalls in health and behavioral health services will increase costs in other areas of the state’s budget, and will lead to dire negative consequences for individuals, families, and communities, placing all at risk. When funding falls below critical levels, every other health priority for nurses is negatively impacted. Nursing is one of the few professions in Oklahoma providing care to citizens from cradle to grave.
* Preserving the Board of Nursing’s oversight and regulation of nursing practice. Nursing is the largest group of healthcare providers; LPN, RN and APRN, each one with its own unique scope of practice, is already a consolidated Board. Ensuring professional nursing oversight of this board provides for the critical health and safety of the public. This self-sustaining, non-appropriated Board contributes revenue to the state general fund while providing for efficient, focused regulation of the nursing profession.
Nursing Practice
* Access to efficient, competent health care is supported when licensed Nursing professionals practice to the full extent of their scope of practice.
Competent nursing practice ensures the health and safety of every Oklahoman.
Public Health
* Improving Oklahoma’ Health Status will improve the physical, emotional, and economic well being of the individual, the family, and the community.
* Support only those educational proposals that do not put the emotional and physical well being of school children at risk. Nursing education is an important and critical component in the development of Oklahoma’s nursing workforce, but also in ensuring lifelong learning and continued competency for all nurses in Oklahoma.
“This is a great opportunity to learn about legislative issues affecting nursing practice as well as how to advocate for those issues, Nelson said.”

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Connected to humanity: nursing develops knowledge for young

by James Coburn – Writer/Photographer

Lana Adkisson’s favorite part of nursing is getting to know her patients as a registered nurse at Bone and Joint Hospital at St. Anthony.
“I like talking to our patients. I like to hear their story,” she said. “A lot of our patients are older, so they’ve had tons of life experience. And they have all kinds of crazy stories that you would never picture them being associated with. They like to reminisce, too, about their younger days.”
She serves in the Joint Replacement Center on the second floor of the midtown Oklahoma City orthopedic hospital. But she will occasionally work on the acute care floor.
“We mainly do hip and knee replacements, post surgical care,” Adkisson said. Most of her patients are older adults but there are also younger adults.
Orthopedic surgeons are specialized in sports medicine. People also come to the hospital for shoulder injury procedures, hands and feet, anything orthopedic in the body.
Several surgeons have clinics in the Oklahoma City area, but go to Bone and Joint to conduct their surgeries.
Before the patients even go to sleep for surgery, an injection of medication will be given around the nerves to feed the joint, the arm, whatever the surgeon is working on, to render that numb.
Less anesthesia is given as it proceeds, so patients will have fewer side effects from things like nausea and sleeplessness.
The pain is blocked for several hours following surgery. Many of the patients return home pain free and begin a regiment of pain medication taken orally. This helps the patient to stay ahead of the pain curve. It’s important for a patient not to wait to be in a lot of pain before trying to control pain.
Adkisson loves the nursing profession, she said. It’s a wide-open field where everybody can find something they like.
“Family members and friends will say, ‘Oh, I don’t like the blood and needles.’ But there are jobs you can find that don’t involve that. So I’ve tried to push everybody into it since I started.”
Adkisson graduated from nursing school in March at Oklahoma City Community College and past her examination in April of last year. At OCCC, she went through the accelerated program.
“I loved it. It was fantastic,” she said of meeting her educational needs. “So it was quick. It only took 10 months. They are pretty organized. And I’m told they have the highest pass rate at the lowest cost.”
Prior to going to nursing school, Adkisson earned a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology degree, which allowed her to go through the accelerated program.
She knew about Bone and Joint because her father had been a patient at St. Anthony Hospital. He had always seen Saints physicians, so it was a natural tie-in for Adkisson to find somewhere within the Saints umbrella, she said.
“I think that is why I became a nurse, to understand what was going on with him,” Adkisson explained. “A lot of the stuff he went through was over my head even with the science degree. So it was encouraging to go to nursing school and understand more.”
She enjoyed the surgical aspect during school. So Bone and Joint became the closest path as a new graduate without jumping straight into surgery.
Bone and Joint made the process smooth for Adkisson with 12 weeks or orientation.
“Everybody was great. They were so nice and helpful,” she said.
Adkisson is part of a team of professionals who have been recognized for exemplary care. In 2014 Bone and Joint earned the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for its total knee and total hip replacement program by demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety in disease specific care.
The certification award recognizes Bone and Joint’s dedication to continuous compliance with The Joint Commission’s state-of-the-art standards.
“Other than it’s a great place to work, we’d love to have them here. They don’t have to be here, but we’d love to have them,” she says about people considering the nursing profession.
She enjoys coming to work each day. It’s not a job people dread going to every day, she said.
“Everybody here is so nice. It’s almost like a family of coworkers. We get along very well, and like to have a good time while we work,” she continued. “We always help each other out as much as we can.”
Her typical day in The Joint Center involves doing a morning assessment of her patients. She will change dressing and at times, even help out with therapy, she said.
“Morning is the busy part and then it kind of tapers off,” she said.
Adkinsson said she has a good balance between work and home. On some days she will relax and be lazy, but she also likes to spend her leisure time gardening and entertaining.

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Q. I know your paper is for medical professionals but as a teacher I wanted to get my message to as many people as possible. This is for all the parents who are using technology as a babysitter and sending your children to my classroom to deal with their behaviors. The following are examples of this problem.

A. Charlie – age 5  – preschool
While out on the playground Charlie had an altercation with a young male peer and stated, “If you do that again, I am going to kill you.” The other little boy was scared of Charlie and reported this situation to the playground teacher. There had been one previous problem with Charlie being physically aggressive.
When the teacher met with Charlie’s mother to discuss expelling him from preschool she was surprised the school would take such drastic measures. She did admit that Charlie “played on his phone a lot.” His teacher said Charlie was focused on acting out the fantasy of the games he was playing and feared that he could lose touch with appropriate behaviors and boundaries.
In order for Charlie to remain in school his mother had to agree that Charlie would not have access to a phone or any other device to watch and play games. She was encouraged to actively engage Charlie in appropriate age related games and activities, which were somewhat foreign to him.
Taylor  –  age 7 – 2nd grade
When Taylor’s phone was taken from her during English, for the 3rd time, her teacher called a conference with her parents. They were somewhat uninterested in the teacher’s concerns that Taylor’s grades were below average, she was easily distracted and oppositional to authority. They said that it was difficult to get her to do her homework and she often stayed up late playing on her phone which affected her sleep.
They presented as somewhat helpless to setting rules and sticking by them. This 7 year old was running the house and her parents. Then she came to school and tried to run the teacher.
These are just two of the many situations that have presented themselves in the classroom and playground. As teachers we are extremely concerned that parents have normalized the use of cell phones and other forms of technology as babysitters, something to keep their children busy and “out of their hair.” We need teamwork in order for this problem to get fixed. We are not excited about children missing out on their education because they are lost in fantasy.
When children as young as 5 use the word “play” to describe activities on their phones and show no interest in “playing” with legos, dolls, or swinging in the park, we have a BIG problem.

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FIND US ON FACEBOOK! DID YOU KNOW? As an independent newspaper – Oklahoma’s Nursing Times print edition is distributing every week to more than 26,000 RNs and LPNs. The Nursing Times is the largest weekly health care publication in the state.  If you have a news idea, press release, announcements or personnel changes that affect the industry – call 405-631-5100 or  RECRUITERS: STATEWIDE PRINT AND/OR DIGITAL ADVERTISING AVAILABLE! To request rates and information or register on our job board!

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Nurse seeks to change hospice market

by Mike Lee
Staff Writer

Debra Moore, RN, didn’t sleep much the night before.
Her new job as clinical director of Oklahoma Hospice Care is a daunting one and keeps her busy.
But the award-winning nurse wouldn’t trade it for the world.
“I feel like I make a difference,” she said, just a few hours removed from sitting up most of the night with a dying patient and their family.
Moore became Oklahoma Hospice Care clinical director near the end of 2014, accepting a staff of more than 10.
“She’s just an amazing, charismatic leader,” says Jennifer Forrester, RT, community relations director. “People want to follow her and she takes ownership and the magnitude of responsibility for that position.”
Moore was the gem Oklahoma Hospice Care had been looking for.
And Moore is a firm believer that Oklahoma Hospice Care is poised for expansion. Oklahoma Hospice Care has offices in Oklahoma City and Shawnee with a radius stretching 50 miles from each office.
She floats the idea of one day having an inpatient hospital.
She’s never been one that dares to dream.
“Here I get the best of both worlds,” Moore said. “I still get to teach about oncology and I get to take care of patients because I’m not a behind-the-desk clinical director. I feel like the only way you’re going to lead something is if you have your hands on it and know what’s going on.”
Oklahoma Hospice Care is a Christian-principled organization specializing in caring for their patients and the patient’s families wherever they call home through personalized plans of care developed with input from the family physician, the hospice physician, the patient, the patient’s family and the members of the hospice interdisciplinary team.
Community Relations Representative Tori Aldridge sums up the task at hand nicely.
“Families invite us into their lives at their most vulnerable point,” Aldridge said. “We get one opportunity to take a tragic situation and make it bearable, even good. We aren’t there to focus on a person’s death. Instead, we focus on the remainder of their life.”
“We don’t speed up their disease process and we don’t slow it down. We go at their pace and do our best to minimize the surprises. The diagnosis and prognosis have been the most paramount surprises in their lives.”
Moore is a native of Oklahoma City. She obtained her nursing degree from Oklahoma City Community College in 1999. She began her nursing career at Presbyterian Hospital in the Med Surgery/Neurological Center and served as RN charge nurse.
Moore spent the next chapter of her career at Midwest Regional Hospital where during her tenure she worked as an oncology certified RN, manager of the Outpatient Oncology Center and finally director of inpatient and outpatient services.
She received the Nursing Award of Excellence in 2008 and the Spirit of Transformation Award in 2011 from the Oklahoma Hospital Association. She has also been an Ambassador for the United Way and served many years as team captain for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.
Moore credits her mother, Anna Rose Wilson, for instilling love and compassion that has led her to be the woman and nurse she is today.
With five children and two grandchildren, Moore stays busy even when she’s not busy at work.
She exudes happiness. It’s hard to ever find her in a down mood. And that’s who she looks for when she hires.
“I was looking for caring, compassion and someone who didn’t mind hard work,” Moore said of the opportunity to hire new staff when she got the job. “I was looking for someone to go into the home when I couldn’t be there.
“As far as a clinical perspective you can have all the commercials and advertising you want but word-of-mouth and letting people see what we do, that tells it all right there,” she said. “We’re different because we all do actually care and that’s why I’m glad we handpick our people. We know the people we have working for us.”
And that’s a comfort for both Moore and her patients.
“I measure success by the patient saying ‘job well done,’” Moore said. “It’s simple. Being in this field and probably any field it just takes common sense. What would you want done for your mom? What would you want done for your grandmother? Whatever you would want done for them that’s what you do for the patient.”
And sometimes that means getting a few hours less sleep than she’s used to, like the night before.
“I asked (the family member) if we could have done anything else. She said ‘Debra, you guys were amazing,’” Moore said. “That’s what keeps us going. I got a couple hours of sleep last night but that’s what keeps me going. That’s what makes me not even care about sleep. I can wait until Friday.”

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by Mike Lee, Staff Writer

When it comes to wound care in Central Oklahoma, Elaine Soter, MD, CWS is a well-known commodity.
That’s why the physician-owned Oklahoma Heart Hospital decided it was high time to put Soter’s reputation and expertise to work for its vascular patients.
The Oklahoma Heart Hospital Wound Center opened for patient care earlier this month.
The new state-of-the-art facility opened its doors at 530 SW 80th Street in Oklahoma City, under the guidance of Soter, who serves as OHH Wound Center Medical Director.
The new wound center brings the community treatment and protocols to treat chronic wounds including hyperbaric oxygen therapy, negative pressure therapies, bioengineered tissues and biosynthetics. Patients may also have the opportunity to participate in clinical trials and multicenter studies.
“More than 8 million people in the U.S. suffer from chronic wounds of which healing has been impeded by such diseases and conditions as diabetes, obesity, aging and the late effects of radiation therapy,” Soter said. “With the prevalence of both diabetes and obesity in Oklahoma, specialty treatment centers like ours are a great addition to the medical landscape.”
A member of the Healogics network, the wound center employs a rigorous scientific approach to explore, test, find and develop the clinically proven methods and technologies which reintroduce the body’s innate ability to heal. The network, comprised of academic medical centers, hospitals and thousands of professionals is committed to advancing wound healing by creating, sharing, and activating wound prevention and care expertise.
Denise Caram, MHA, serves as the director of the new center. She served with Soter in the same capacity at at the Healogics clinic at Midwest Regional Medical Center.
Caram understands OHH’s draw to Soter.
“Their relationship with her is so strong that once they decided to do a wound center they wanted her,” Caram said. “They went after her and that’s a tribute.”
Soter says the new clinic is invigorating and the fact it bears the Oklahoma Heart Hospital name is exciting. “Oklahoma Heart has a stellar reputation and I already work with a good many of these physicians. It was an opportunity for us to knit that relationship more closely and access a different group of patients in need,” Soter said. “It was just an opportunity for me to align myself with an already well-known group of doctors that get it. They get what our aim is.”
Oklahoma Heart Hospital serves every county in the state of Oklahoma with more than 60 outreach centers.
Oklahoma is No. 1 in the number of amputations in the U.S.
Caram remembers the story of a patient who came from Arkansas who had originally been told his lower leg would need to be removed.
“All they had to do was take a toe,” Caram said. “I think that’s pretty impressive. We’ve just not bragged about that very much here.”
Soter knows the statistics and said it’s an education battle as it is a medical one.
“I think part of it is the traditional fatalistic attitude we have with diabetics and the belief once a diabetic’s foot starts to have trouble that there is nothing they can do and it’s a guarantee they will have an amputation,” Soter said. “And we’ve actually proven that that’s not quite true and that if you put that effort into limb salvage maybe you can reduce the level of amputation and maybe you can completely avoid it and certainly you can preserve function.
“The philosophy that is traditional if you applied it to hearts and to cancer they would never have angioplasty, bypass or chemo and I like to think what we do is very much like that.”
Many patients treated for problematic wounds may be candidates for hyperbaric oxygen therapy, a treatment in which the patient breathes 100 percent oxygen inside a pressurized chamber for short periods of time. This therapy can be beneficial for treating wounds that are difficult to heal.
Chronic wounds affect millions of people in the U.S. and the incidence is rising, fueled by an aging population and increasing rates of diseases and conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and the late effects of radiation therapy.
Untreated, chronic wounds can lead to diminished quality of life and possibly amputation of the affected limb.
Two nurses will work the clinic with plans to add another.
The center is run by Healogics, the nation’s largest provider of advanced wound care services.
Using an evidence-based systematic approach to chronic wound healing, Healogics provides specialty wound care for an underserved and growing patient population through its 500 wound care centers.
Nearly 200,000 patients per year are seen through a connected network of centers, partner hospitals, academic medical centers, patients and families.

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If you could change places with someone for a day, who would it be and why? Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital

If you could change places with someone for a day, who would it be and why? Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital

“I would change places with Angelina Jolie to have the means to give to charities and do humanitarian work.” Robbi Ketch, LPN

“I would have changed places with Whitney Houston because I wish that I could sing.  I would love to WOW people with my voice.” Christine Onaolapo, RN

‘I would trade places with one of my patients to see what it is like to be in a hospital, so I can be a better nurse.” Shari O’Connor, RN

“It would be Charley Boorman.  Charley has acted in a few films but now takes adventurous motorcycle tours all around the world.” Micah Puckett, RN, PMRU Team Leader

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Nursing instructor sees FNP program thrive

by James Coburn
Staff Writer

Gina Crawford, RN, DMP, was the inquisitive one out of five children.
Her father, the late Dr. Thomas Stough was a physician in Okarche. She would spend a great deal of time following him around in his practice going to the hospital and talking to the nurses, said Crawford, wholesale jerseys a certified nurse practitioner and clinical instructor for the Family Nurse Practitioner program at Kramer School of Nursing, Oklahoma City University
He was a small town family practice doctor, the third generation of physicians in Crawford’s family.
“He was a great mentor in clinical practice with him,” she said of her dad, who had been in practice for 45 years.
Crawford’s mother was a nurse and her uncle was also a physician. There wholesale nfl jerseys is a long family history from the medical community, she said. So it’s not difficult to understand why she developed an aptitude for nursing at an early age.
“I knew that I wanted to work in the health profession in high school,” she said. “I wasn’t real sure how Careers that looked at 18 because I started nursing school when I was 19.”
She graduated from an associate nursing degree program in 1989 from El Reno Junior College, which is now Redlands Community College. For several years she worked at Mercy Hospital in the Pediatrics and Maternal Child unit. Later she worked in home health as a nurse and manager.
“And then I went back and finished my Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Oklahoma,” she said. “I went on to graduate school at ONSA OU and finished my master’s as family nurse practitioner.”
Crawford returned to Okarche and worked as a family nurse practitioner Seattle Seahawks Jerseys with her father in her home town for cheap nfl jerseys seven years until 2012.
She always wanted to teach. Kramer School of Nursing was creating a new program that was suitable for her nursing expertise. The previous director was somebody she knew. So she spoke with him and became more interested in the program
“I’m happy I came” Crawford said. “Kramer is very supportive of their students. They expect the faculty to be accessible and available to their students, which I think is a very positive attribute for a program. It was Dark an opportunity to come here and teach nurse practitioners how to learn to be nurse practitioners.”
The Doctor of Nursing Practice program she teaches allows students to begin with a bachelor’s degree in nursing and finish with their doctorate. Then they are eligible to take their examination to be certified as a family Annual nurse practitioner. To A certified nurse practitioner who has a master’s degree can come back through Kramer’s completion track to earn their Doctorate in Nursing Practice, she continued.
There has been a lot of discussion on the federal level about changing the rules for having a Doctorate in Nursing Practice degree, but it has not become a regulation at this time.
“They talked about changing it in 2015, but that has been put on hold,” Crawford said.
Kramer graduated their first class in the program in 2014 with 10 students. Each of them passed their certification exam the first time.
“That was very good,” she said. “Then Issue currently the class that will be graduating in 2016 has 22 students.”
More nurse practitioners are needed in Oklahoma as there is a shortage of primary care providers in the state with most of the shortage in rural parts of the state, Crawford said.
“Nurse practitioners have been found to be very good primary care providers,” Crawford explained. “It’s what we’re educated to be. So as that shortage continues to grow, you are seeing more of a need for nurse practitioners in underserved-areas.”
Nurse practitioners are seen everywhere these days. When Crawford first went into practice in Okarche, the area had never had a nurse practitioner. A lot of education was necessary to share with the public about the role of a nurse practitioner. Now, the Okarche community has four nurse practitioners offering their services, Crawford said.
“How we educate our students, our philosophy has a strong foundation in health promotion, disease prevention and education, and how to not just treat your diseases with screening,” Crawford said. “We do a lot of education towards health behavior change, so if we identify a risk or a health behavior problem, we help those patients understand what those risks are and what they need to do to prevent disease, not just treat the disease after it has already been diagnosed.”
Crawford smiled when asked what she likes to do her leisure time. She is an avid reader of books and likes being outside, she said.
“I’m trying to find time to travel and go more places I haven’t been,” she said. “I volunteer at a free clinic and see uninsured patients. I love baseball and the Oklahoma City Thunder.”