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YON 2020 Day 145: Michelle Adams, MSN, FNP

After being in multiple nursing roles, Michelle Adams, MSN, FNP, chose to become a Family Nurse Practitioner. She explains the path of her nursing career and offers advice to others on how to keep the passion and enthusiasm for nursing alive.

My career started as a nursing assistant, applying what I learned in school, while helping patients. Over the next 30 years, I continued to fill my brain and fuel my passion, taking positions in the surgical floor, SICU, CVICU, MICU, as a nursing supervisor, nurse manager, interim CNO, and in informatics. The position I will never forget, was teaching as a clinical instructor. I was able to role model my passion, while making a difference in the future of nursing. Although still working, I went back to school for my master’s degree, knowing I would need it to continue to make a difference.

While I was able to experience various nursing positions, nothing beats being with the patients. That is why I decided to become a nurse practitioner. Last year, I chose sleep medicine as my specialty as a FNP. I read many NP job descriptions, but there was definitely a reason why I picked this area, especially in today’s world. My first reason for picking this specialty was that when I started nursing, I rotated between day and night shift. Back in the day, that was all that was available. After getting married and having kids, I chose to work full time nights because it was best for the family. Rotating shifts and working straight nights takes its toll on sleep....ALL nurses know what it feels like to work 12 hour shifts, and then try to drive home safely. It is also difficult to try to lead a “normal life.” I took sleep for granted. Today, I see it in my patients, especially nurses. I can still help and make a difference.


I wanted to share my story because I found that the way to keep my passion and enthusiasm for nursing alive was to be a lifelong learner and not be afraid. Nursing has SO much to offer...no matter what you choose. You CAN and WILL make a difference.

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