In April we welcomed Diana Fabian as our Nurse Practitioner Fellow, her first position since earning a Doctor of Nursing Practice award at Rush University College of Nursing.
The Fellowship provides a boost to new nurse practitioners in all aspects of care, from the clinical to addressing public-health issues in our communities. It’s a partnership between Rush and Heartland Health Centers, supported by the VNA Foundation.
“One of the big things you learn in school is, always look for a place that is going to support you,” Fabian says. “The first year in practice, even though you’re an independent provider you just have a lot of questions… being in an environment where you feel like you can ask questions and bounce ideas off others is really nice.”
The Fellowship gives Fabian a clinical mentor to support her in her patient cases, deeper instruction on best practices for providing women and immigrant health care, and support to help her plan and lead a quality-improvement project.
For her project, Fabian will focus on increasing the number of patients who receive cervical cancer screening. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends regular screening for cervical cancer in women age 21 to 65.
“It’s exciting for me to have this cool opportunity,” Fabian says. “It’s great to have all this support and feel like I’m also providing the organization and the community something important.”
For Fabian, 45, the new job is part of a second career. The Illinois native majored in English, then worked as an editor at the Art Institute and Museum of Contemporary Art. She decided to go back to school for nursing when she realized she wanted to do something that felt more meaningful.
Nurse practitioners have played a major role in serving patients with growth in access to care in recent years. The first fellow, Laquisha Carroll, was able to see nearly 400 patients in 9 months. Carroll, who now works at our Wilson and Hibbard sites, praised the support she received from Heartland Health Centers staff as a fellow on moving from school to providing care.
Fabian echoes the sentiment: “Heartland Health Centers is one of the organizations I most wanted to work for because I had such a good experience doing clinical hours at the Wilson, Senn, and Devon clinics as a Rush student,” she says.