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.