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Let's interview a Board-Certified Anti-Aging NP-C!


Introduction

This week’s project aims to discuss the findings of the interview I conducted with Jan Nelson NP-C. She is a board-certified anti-aging medicine provider practicing in Idaho who provides her patients with natural hormone support and supplementation. She has built her own business, Balanced Wellness and her clients range from young teen girls to post-menopausal women. She also treats men with testosterone supplementation and support. This path of practice attracts me the most because of its focus on correcting the root cause of the patient’s symptoms.

Qualifications

To become board-certified in anti-aging medicine, I must pass a written certification test through the American Board of Anti-Aging Health Practitioners. According to the Nurse Licensure website, NPs must be certified through an accredited program, pass background checks, and apply for a temporary practice pending certification if necessary. Idaho recognizes prescriptive authority for the NP with additional training as of 2016 (How to Become a Nurse Practitioner in Idaho, 2020). The Idaho Center for Nursing (ICN) lists some organizations for advanced practice nurses to be associated with including the American Nurses Association Idaho, and Nurse Practitioners of Idaho (Idaho Center for Nursing [ICN], n.d.).

Interview

When I conducted my interview with Jan, she told me about how her nursing journey began when she was young as a CNA in California. She had a strong desire to go to nursing school, however, due to the circumstances in her life at that time she was unable to finish. When she was 48 years old, she was finally able to go back to school and finish what she had started all those years ago. After receiving her RN, she quickly completed a bridge program to obtain her BSN. After working for two years, she began her master's journey. When asked what motivated her to pursue this, she explained that she wished to have a broader knowledge base to better serve her patients and the NP path would allow her to be more directly involved in patient treatment decisions. I asked her how she decided on the anti-aging specialty, and she explained that while working as a hospitalist she became discouraged with the patient's circle of chronic illness and symptoms and medications. Instead, she wanted to learn more about preventative care. This changed her focus of practice to an anti-aging approach. To get her patients healthy before they become a trainwreck of symptoms. In other words, preventing chronic illness instead of managing chronic symptoms (J. Nelson NP-C, personal communication, January 26, 2024). During the time that she was working here, she learned valuable interdisciplinary collaboration skills with multiple different specialties including physical therapy and pharmacy etc. This has served her well in her current independent practice to continue to reach out to other professions to better serve her clients. While doing this she also stays abreast of the latest treatments and research in her field of practice.

Becoming an NP has allowed her to further explore the role of preventative medicine and how it can impact her patient’s lives, this has been the driving force in her career. Her best advice for nurses looking to become NPs is to listen to their patients and consider their symptoms and how they are feeling (J. Nelson NP-C, personal communication, January 26, 2024). This mantra is how she has found the anti-aging and hormone replacement therapy field so intriguing. Because of this her most difficult scenarios have also been her most rewarding. For example, she has had women with severe hormonal imbalances that have caused anxiety and depression that have worsened or not responded to traditional SSRI therapies. When addressed quickly Jan was able to correct the patient’s hormone imbalances and then wean off the SSRIs. When she can help a patient achieve this balanced state, is when she feels the most reward. The advice she gives future NPs the most is to let compassion for your patients be the focus of your career and your passion be the overall well-being of your patients.  

Conclusion

This paper reviews the interview with nurse practitioner Jan Nelson of Balanced Wellness in Post Falls, Idaho. Her practice focuses on hormone replacement and anti-aging medicine. She has found a field of nursing that rewards her, knowing that she helped her clients achieve a level of wellness that goes beyond the limits of traditional theory and medications. Her qualifications are based on anti-aging certification and her experience as a hospitalist and most importantly as a nurse. A nurse whose passion drove her to pursue higher education to deliver the best possible care to her patients.


Q&A


1.     What motivated you to pursue a career as an advanced practice nurse? How did you choose this specialty?

A.    To have a broader knowledge base for my patients to diagnose and treat them.

B.    NP over the other specialties to become more involved in directing patient care and treatment plans.


2. Can you describe your educational background and training in your current practice?

            A. Anti-aging certification, continuing education classes, and conferences.


3. How do you stay updated with the latest advancements and research regarding Anti-Aging medicine?

            A. Anti-aging conferences, stay abreast of the latest research.


4. Could you share an example of a challenging case or situation you have encountered in your practice, and how you handled it?

            A. Balancing hormones of younger females to see improvement in mental health issues. They are misdiagnosed with depression/anxiety which can be corrected with Progesterone supplementation and balancing. Extreme cases are managed urgently with pellets and weaned off of traditional medicines. 


5. What is the most rewarding aspect of your job as an advanced practice nurse?

            A. when the treatment plan is successful and changes their life for the better. When they feel like they’ve gotten their life back.


6. Can you explain what led you to choose this specialty?

            A. After working as a hospitalist, she wanted to learn more about preventative care. This changed her focus of practice to an anti-aging approach. To get her patients healthy before they become a trainwreck of symptoms. In other words, preventing chronic illness instead of managing chronic symptoms.


7. How do you approach collaborative decision-making within a multidisciplinary healthcare team?

            A. She brought the skills from the interdisciplinary meetings from her time as a hospitalist discussing the best plan of care or necessary changes that must be made.


8. What key skills or qualities do you believe are essential to becoming a successful NP?

            A. Listening to your patients.


9. Are there any current issues or trends in healthcare that you find particularly important or intriguing?

            A. Anti-Aging approach to treatment.


10. Finally, what advice would you give to someone considering a career in your field as an advanced practice nurse?

            A. Be sure that what drives you is compassion for your patients and the passion to make their lives better with overall well-being.


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