Rawhide Rural Health Clinic’s new hire is “meant to be”

Jennifer Murdza, FNP, Family Nurse Practitioner, arrival to Lusk from Livonia, Michigan can be described as “being meant to be”. Livonia is a city in the northwest part of Wayne County Michigan. The municipality is a part of Metro Detroit.

Murdza was a traveling nurse, completing assignments in California. Occasionally she would be contacted and asked if she was interested in other positions. That is how she learned of the opening at Rawhide Rural Health Clinic, which peaked her interest. “I got a email that caught me eye and I thought, let’s try it. It was meant to be”.

Nurse Practitioners are Registered Nurses who serve as primary and specialty health care providers under a physician. Nurse practitioners have a higher degree of training, in both the classroom and clinical setting, than Registered Nurses do, although becoming an RN is a prerequisite. Much like a family doctor, Family Nurse Practitioners work with patients throughout their lives, diagnosing illness, conducting exams, and prescribing medication.

The biggest difference between NPs and RNs is the level of autonomy granted to nurse practitioners. They can see patients on their own or refer to a physician or specialist, as a case requires. Unlike RNs, nurse practitioners can diagnose and treat acute illnesses, and can prescribe medications.

Murdza was a Registered Nurse for over ten years when she returned to college to further her training. She was leaning towards education. The school discussed their Nurse Practitioner program and she felt that was the direction she would like to pursue. A RN and a Nurse Practitioner are opposite scopes of practice. Being a nurse provides Murdza with the caring bedside care, which serves her well. “You see a lot when you are a nurse. And when you go back to school it makes it a little easier to understand the disease processes, prescribe and educate”, said Murdza. Murdza also has experience in pediatrics and completed an internship in a large pediatric cardiology clinic. 

In February Murdza and her family arrived in Lusk during beautiful warm weather, to interview. “It was colder when we arrived last week”, smiled Murdza.

Murdza and her husband Tony have two children. Christopher is six and attends first grade at LEMS. Ella is three. “Christopher loves it. The first day we walked in, everyone said hi and offered to help”, shared Murdza.

When asked what she thought of Lusk, she replied, “I love it. Everyone is so nice here. Totally different from the busy hustle bustle and traffic. When I drove into work everyone waves at me”, she smiles.

Murdza begins accepting patients on May 10. Join Rawhide Rural Health Clinic in welcoming Jennifer Murdza, FNP and her family to Niobrara County.

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