We appreciate the APRNs

In the midst of what is rapidly becoming a scorching drought of physicians, GraceMed would simply not survive were it not for the many APRNs who we are blessed to have on our staff.  Advanced Practice Registered Nurses have taken their training to a much higher level that prepares them to provide most of the services you would expect to receive from a primary care physician.

More specifically, they can examine patients and diagnose their conditions. They can then develop treatment plans and prescribe medications. APRNs can also order lab tests and interpret their results. And if you need a referral to a specialist, an APRN is fully authorized to make that referral.

Dr. Julie Elder, our Chief Medical Officer, has had a great deal of experience working with APRNs, and had nothing but confidence in their professionalism. “An APRN is a highly qualified healthcare provider. They have all achieved a Masters level nursing education and some go on to get their PhD. They can practice in just about any clinical environment, but we are so fortunate that the majority choose primary care.”

Ashley Graber, who serves at GraceMed’s Evergreen Family Clinic, sees the choice as essentially a matter of “first do some good.” “This is where we are most needed, where the care you provide is of the everyday kind for people who are most vulnerable. There are plenty of physicians who want to specialize; there’s nothing wrong with that. But primary care puts you in the best position to prevent the more serious health problems before they require a specialist. Then, of course, you get to know your patients much better, too.”

Of course, there are still opportunities to specialize, even at GraceMed. At our Capitol Family Clinic in Topeka, Cornelia Campbell is our go-to APRN whenever babies are on the way. She also specializes in women’s health. “Prenatal health issues are much more prevalent in the underserved segments of the community,” Cornelia noted. “There’s plenty of research to indicate that the use of Nurse Practitioners makes pregnancies safer and healthier, particularly for mothers and babies who are at-risk due to either socio-economic or pre-existing conditions.”

Here at GraceMed, our APRNs work within the context of oversight provided by our physicians, so our patients get the benefit of a team of highly qualified providers working to achieve the best possible outcomes.

“There’s no question about it,” said Dr. Tracey Alexander at our Good Samaritan Clinic. “Nurse Practitioners are nothing less than critical to provide care to the growing ranks of patients we see in the community health setting. They have a real energy and enthusiasm for the difference they can make for patients who are really at risk. In this ongoing battle to provide enough access to care, APRNs are too often the unsung heroes. I know I value and appreciate their heart and professionalism every day I have the privilege to work with them.”


This post originated in our State of Grace quarterly news magazine. If you would like to receive the magazine, please visit this link and give us your information. Thanks!

2022-01-11