Get to know our Central Region Co-Director, Bethany Parsell, APRN, FNP-C. Bethany works in Urology at Mercy Health in Tiffin and she recently shared her career evolution and why she joined OAAPN last year.
Q: What led you to your career as an APRN?
Bethany: I graduated from Marion Technical College with my Associates Degree in Nursing in 2010. I immediately got an ER job at the hospital in my hometown, Wyandot Memorial Hospital. About six months into my nursing career a critical care internship became available at a bigger hospital in Lima, Ohio. Upon completion of the internship, I obtained a position in the Open Heart unit, CVICU. I loved the intensity of this unit, and I learned something new every day. Unfortunately, Lima is an hour drive away from where I live, and when my son, my first child, was born, this distance became too far for me. It is amazing how quickly priorities change when children are in the picture. I then returned to the hospital in my hometown, and worked as a float nurse. I did this while completing my Bachelor of Science in Nursing from The Ohio State University. Becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner had always been a goal of mine since starting nursing school, so I started graduate school at Kaplan University. Kaplan was the best choice for me, because the nurse practitioner program was regionally and nationally accredited and offered flexible online learning so that I was able to still work full time, be a wife, and mother, all while obtaining my dream. In January 2015, I completed my MSN and Family Nurse Practitioner post-graduate degree.
Q: When did you become an OAAPN member? Why?
Bethany: I joined OAAPN last spring (2016). I believe that part of being a great APRN is being actively involved in our state organization. It is important to be engaged with other advanced practice nurses in improving not only our profession, but improving patient care along the way. Serving as a board member has allowed me to be a part of something bigger than myself. This position has provided an opportunity to grow as a leader, nurse practitioner, educator, and political activist. It is empowering to be part of an organization that values the unique role of each advance practice nurse and each member of OAAPN. We all come from different backgrounds, life experiences, career paths etc. If we celebrate our differences, lift each other up, and link arms, we can make a difference for ALL Ohio APRNs and improve healthcare for Ohio patients.
What is your best advice for current APRN students and recent college grads looking for their first job?
Bethany: Do not be afraid to reach for an opportunity, even if it scares you. Build a strong network of APRNs that will build you up, support you, and guide you because the first few years of being an APRN can be challenging. Support your fellow APRNs, regardless of the type of APRN they are. Be a member of your state and national organization; this is the only way to remain current on all practice changing updates. Always look things up. Never stop learning. Learn to not be so hard on yourself. Never be afraid to ask for help.