Following her graduation with her BSN from Wheeling Jesuit University in 2007, Summer Buckenmeyer, MSN, FNP-BC, APRN, CNP began working for the Cleveland Clinic in the Heart Vascular Thoracic Institute where she has remained for her entire nursing career. Since then she also has completed her MSN degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner in December 2014, and then completed her post-Master’s Certification in Nursing Administration in 2018, both from Wheeling Jesuit.
Her career began in the Cardiothoracic Surgery step-down, she then moved to Cardiothoracic ICU –Heart/Lung transplant, fly out procurement nurse for heart/lung transplant, lung transplant coordinator, and then into her NP role with Thoracic Surgery in 2015.
Summer transitioned to her current role as the Heart Vascular and Thoracic Institute Regional APP Manager for Cardiovascular in January 2020, and also serves as adjunct faculty for Wheeling University’s FNP program. She also serves as the Chairman of the APRN Council, as well as the Chair for the Advocacy Subcommittee at the Cleveland Clinic. In addition, she is a member of the Professional Development Subcommittee and a member of the Cleveland Clinic Nursing Legislation Council.
With OAAPN, Summer has been involved with the Government Relations Committee for more than two years and has been involved with the Key Person Program where she shares her passion to advocate for the APRN profession. She was recently appointed as the Director of the Government Relations Committee for OAAPN.
When asked why membership and active participation in OAAPN is important, Summer noted, “we need to continue to be the voice and that comes with strength in numbers.” She goes on to say, “by working towards goals for all of our Ohio APRNs, we can continue to provide the best care for our patients that they deserve.”
Growing up in a small rural town in Southeast Ohio, Summer saw patients’ needs not being met due to the lack of access to quality healthcare. As a result, the opportunity to work closely with OAAPN has been a long-term goal of Summer’s to help advocate not only for the APRN profession but for those patients in need that the APRNs can support.
Healthcare is a revolving door and ever-changing. OAAPN is a support system for the APRN profession that provides opportunities to learn, grow, and advocate. “I am a huge advocate for continued professional development,” Summer says. “OAAPN has personally provided me great opportunities to develop my knowledge base for legislation and educational needs.”
Not surprisingly, Summer’s advice for APRN students is to get involved early! “Start learning and understanding what OAAPN is about and how OAAPN can support your professional goals. OAAPN can help support and shape our APRN practice to allow us to best care for our patients!”
When Summer is not busy advocating for her patients and her profession, you can find her taking walks with her dogs, traveling to the beach, and attending sporting events, particularly football games. She also enjoys reading as a way to escape, with Nicholas Sparks novels being her favorite.
Summer has been married to her husband for 10 years and has two step-daughters, one who attends Ohio University for nursing and the other who is a junior in high school planning on attending college in Florida. She also has three dogs: a lab/pit mix rescue, an American bulldog rescue, and a Weimaraner. She also has twin nephews that she “adores to pieces!”
Summer’s words to live by:
Don’t be afraid to fail, do not let failure defeat you. Learn from failed opportunities and grow. Don’t limit your opportunities because you don’t know how to do something, jump in, figure it out and thrive.
“Always better your best because your best is only as good as your last performance.” –Unknown
Three things you may not know about Summer:
- I love to garden
- I was chosen for the UCA All-Star Cheerleading Squad in 2001 to perform in London
- I enjoy going to Broadway shows. My favorite is Wicked in NYC, I have seen it in Cleveland several times, but NYC effects NAILED it!