I know I talk a lot about ThriveAP+here on ThriveAP. It’s because I believe so much in the nurse practitioners participating in the program and have such a passion for mentoring new grads who sometimes fall through the cracks in their first year of employment. I have to say that this week, I am particularly proud of the nine NPs participating in our inaugural ThriveAP+ class. In just a few short months, they have grown by leaps and bounds.
This week, one ThriveAP+ participant received recognition in the local news as part of her efforts to bring healthcare to an area in need. When new nurse practitioner Noel Barnes applied to ThriveAP+, she was looking for a location where the community actually needed help. She was interested in working with rural or remote communities and using her background in nursing along with her developing talents as an NP to improve healthcare for patients living in such areas. She found her niche in Carlsbad, New Mexico.
Not one to turn down an opportunity for adventure, Noel relocated to Carlsbad, a town of about 26,000 people, in southeastern New Mexico. While the town wasn’t quite as rural as she had originally been looking for, she thought that the support available from the local hospital and somewhat larger community would make the perfect fit for launching her NP career.
After a few licensing hurdles and playing the waiting game on construction of a new clinic, Noel has officially helped to ring in the opening of the brand new Pecos Valley Urgent Care Clinic. The clinic (and Noel!) will provide much needed healthcare services for Eddy County, New Mexico, including care for individuals without insurance. The clinic will also take some of the burden off of the local emergency department giving patients a more appropriate and affordable way to receive medical services. The facility lies on the outskirts of the city and will make healthcare more accessible for those living in rural communities surrounding Carlsbad.
My heart is big today. Noel has worked hard, taken many risks, and consistently displayed an upbeat attitude. Her leadership and can-do spirit is contagious and will serve to make a much needed difference in helping the underserved in New Mexico get the healthcare they need.
Like Noel, the other NPs participating in this year’s ThriveAP+ class are fulfilling the mission of making a difference with underserved populations. They work with Spanish-speaking communities in California, both in urban and suburban settings. They work in mid-sized towns in the South helping patients who might otherwise fall through the cracks. They work with patients who are homeless and have little access to healthcare at all. I am so proud of them for their efforts and for the way they are using their experience to grow as nurse practitioners. Yes, there is a support and education component to ThriveAP+that provides support to NPs, but the effort these new nurse practitioners have extended in return is to be recognized and commended. Well done!