Profiles in Telehealth: A virtual care clinician reflects on nine years of practice as an NP

Kerri, an NP and avid knitter, shares the differences between working at an in-person clinic versus a virtual care setting. Kerri also tells us what the road ahead looks like now that she is transitioning completely to telemedicine.

What’s your background and what brought you to virtual care?

I became a nurse in 2005 after going back for a second Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. My first degree is in Journalism from Pennsylvania State University (“We Are!”), but I realized towards the end of my time there that I wanted to shift gears and become a nurse.

I come from a family of medical professionals and they urged me to join the healthcare field. Once I started nursing school, I knew that nursing was the career for me. I love helping people and being a nurse has always been fulfilling and challenging.

I worked as a cardiac nurse and then as a travel nurse in San Diego, CA. I later moved back to my hometown in Binghamton, NY, and decided to go back to school at Binghamton University for my Master’s degree in Nursing. I became a Nurse Practitioner in 2013 and started my career in a rural Federally Qualified Health Center where I worked for close to 4 years.

I started picking up per-diem shifts at a local walk-in clinic and loved it so much that I eventually went full-time. I love the day-to-day of acute care and never knowing what is going to come through the door. I have also gained so many skills by working in this type of care setting. I am now about to hit my ninth year as a Nurse Practitioner and I’m so glad that this is the career that I chose.

What’s your life like outside of work?

I currently live in Binghamton, NY where I spent my childhood. I love living back in my hometown and near family and close friends. I am married to my husband, Jonathan, who I met at PSU in my senior year of college. We have been married for 12 years (together for 18) and have a 10-year old daughter named Sloane.

Our house is filled with 3 loving dogs and 2 cats. We rescued two English Setters from Istanbul, Turkey through an international rescue and we have a very large and goofy Goldendoodle. We also rescued our 2 lazy cats.

As a family, we love to travel. We often go to Florida at least once per year and we have family on the west coast in California and Oregon that we also love to visit. Now that our daughter is older, we are planning to start doing some more travel when we can find time on school breaks. My goal is to take a trip to the Caribbean within the next year since I have never been!

When I am not working and spending time with my family and pets, I can usually be found knitting or reading. I taught myself to knit from Youtube videos and joined a local knitting group. I find it to be very therapeutic and I own way more yarn than I could ever use. I love to play tennis and go hiking with my family. I also really enjoy watching my daughter play sports and attending her games.

What brought you to telemedicine?

Since I work 12 hour shifts in the walk-in clinic, I was looking for another part time job that I could do on my days off. I joined Wheel back in 2019 when it was still Enzyme Health and fairly small. It has grown leaps and bounds and has been a great second job for me.

What’s your Wheel Moment of Freedom?

I recently took some time off from my full-time job this past fall and had more time to work with Wheel. It was so nice to be able to work a few hours from home each day and then spend the rest of my time with my family. We were able to go away for a few weekends and I could still open my laptop and complete consults when I had time.

I quickly realized that I wanted to work exclusively in telehealth so I could have more time at home with my family and the freedom to work from anywhere if we wanted to go away at a moment’s notice. I can schedule my working time around family events and my daughter’s sports games.

Working in a clinic that is open into the evenings and on weekends caused me to miss a lot of events. Not having to worry about scheduled shifts or finding coverage is very liberating and I will now be transitioning to a completely remote role.

What do you think the future of healthcare holds?

I am so excited about where the virtual healthcare space is headed. It has been amazing to see the growth within Wheel that has occurred over the past few years.

Since the pandemic, more patients are comfortable with seeing their healthcare providers online. I believe that it is incredibly important to be accessible to them. I look forward to continuing to provide quality care to patients from the comfort of their homes.

Thanks, Kerri, for being an essential member of the #WheelCareTeam!

Interested in joining our team of virtual care clinicians? Learn more about working in telehealth with Wheel.

Discover more clinician experiences in our previous Care Team spotlight interviews with an an APRN on why she practices in virtual care, an LCSW on how he got started in virtual therapy, and an NP on fulfilling her dream of working completely remote.

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