Get News Straight to Your Inbox

Tag Archives: ARNP

National Nurse Practitioner Week

Choosing the right primary care provider is an important first step in managing your health, but for many Americans, finding a
health care provider to meet their needs can be a challenge.

Today, America’s nurse practitioners represent 270,000 solutions to improving patient health. In fact, nurse practitioners are the health care provider trusted by millions of Americans, and 80% of adults have been treated or know someone who has been treated by a nurse practitioner. In all 50 states, nurse practitioners assess patients, order and interpret tests, make diagnoses and provide treatment — including prescribing medications. Most importantly, as clinicians that blend clinical expertise with an added emphasis on disease prevention and health management, nurse practitioners bring a comprehensive perspective to patient care. As we celebrate National Nurse Practitioner Week, be sure to thank the nurse practitioners that provide care at Ringgold County Hospital and Mount Ayr Medical Clinic for their contributions to our communities’ health, and if you are considering an nurse practitioner for your health care, check out the providers at the Mount Ayr Medical Clinic! To learn more about nurse practitioners and how they are impacting rural healthcare, visit www.AANP.org.

Welcome Nurse Practitioner Denise Coleman

Denise Coleman, Nurse practitioner and lifelong learner

Denise Coleman didn’t plan to go into medicine. She had a pretty typical childhood growing up on her family’s farm near Bedford. She had her three sons very early and settled into a factory job where she assumed she would stay. When the factory closed, she had to make a decision. “We had an opportunity to go to school to learn new skills, or to find another job,” she explained. “A really close friend said ‘Denise – we’re going to nursing school!’ and so I went. It was the luckiest thing I ever did!”

After commuting 90 miles a day for two years to attend Southwestern Community College in Creston, she earned her associate degree and became a Registered Nurse. She had done her clinical training at Ringgold County Hospital and when she graduated, she was offered a job immediately. “I’ve done a lot of work in the Emergency Room,” she said. “ER is my baby. I worked there and did bedside nursing with medical-surgical patients for two years.” At that point, she was approached by the hospital’s leadership to help build its electronic medical records system. “I did that for about a year and enjoyed it. I’m a jack of all trades,” said Denise. In the meantime, she was promoted to be the manager of ER and Med-Surg.

Not satisfied with the status quo, Denise went back to school in 2015 to earn her bachelor’s and then her master’s degrees. She has now completed all the work necessary to become a Nurse Practitioner. “I can diagnose, treat, prescribe, and provide medical advice,” she explained. “I could open an independent practice in the state of Iowa.” But she has no plans to open her own clinic. Ringgold County Hospital is her home away from home. “The hospital has been my employer for 11 years. I love the variety of my job. I’m a utility player. Somedays I’m in the ER, I do some hospital rounds, and I care for sick patients in the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic. That allows the clinic staff to keep appointments available.” Caring for patients who are part of a rural population is particularly rewarding for Denise. “I’m dedicated to providing the best care – no matter where you live. Our patients become our family. I love getting them well and keeping them well.” Denise’s hard work and dedication has contributed to her success while providing an extraordinary role model for her three sons, now in their 20s. “They’ve absolutely seen the value of hard work and of not being complacent.” She’s not about to rest either. “I’ll continue my education and add some more certifications!”

Erin Leonard, ARNP Joins Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic

Daniel, Erin and their daughter Parker
are making their home in Mt. Ayr

Ringgold County Hospital has been home to Erin Leonard since the day she was born. She was one of the last babies born at the hospital 26 years ago. Now she’s come full circle and is the newest Nurse Practitioner at the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic. Her decision to enter the medical field was progressive, according to Erin. “When I was in high school I was looking to fill my schedule with a class. I signed up for a nursing assistant class, and loved it.” She ended up working part time at a nursing home while she was still in high school. “I discovered that I loved helping people,” she continued. “Interacting with people, helping them, and watching them progress. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do.”

Erin became a Certified Nursing Assistant even before she graduated from Mt. Ayr High School. She went on to become a LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse), and received an associate’s degree as a RN (Registered Nurse) from Southwestern Community College in Creston. “I worked as a RN all through school while I was getting my bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Clarkson College in Omaha,” she explained. In what may be an understatement, she added, “I like to be busy.”

Erin has been serving as an RN in acute care and the emergency room at RCH. In August, she began her new position as a Nurse Practitioner in the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic. “The difference between an RN and a Nurse Practitioner is the ability to assess, diagnose, and come up with a treatment plan for a variety of patients. I can prescribe medications and provide complete healthcare.” She’s pleased to be working in the Clinic because it allows her to see patients throughout their lifespans, from birth to advanced age. “I’m also really interested in women’s health,” Erin added. “The variety is one of the reasons I decided to pursue a career in a rural area.” That, plus her personal feelings about Ringgold County Hospital. “I’ve seen all the great things about this hospital. We have some of the greatest healthcare providers in the state. I want to provide care to the community where I’ve always lived.”

Erin and her husband Daniel, a native of nearby Clearfield, have a six-month old daughter, Parker. They look forward to raising their daughter in the same community they grew up in. Erin joins the experienced team of healthcare professionals at the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic which includes physicians, a physician’s assistant, a nurse practitioner, a large team of nurses, and a health coach. The clinic provides family practice services to all ages. Appointments can be made by calling 641-464-4470.

Read & Print the Full Story