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  • Writer's pictureAlison Monette

Cynthia - Roadmap to a Holistic Nurse Practitioner

What do you do for a living?

I’m a Family Nurse Practitioner, Licensed Acupuncturist and Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner.

What does a day at your job look like?

I own my own functional medicine/eastern medicine business. I spend my days seeing clients. I do a history and physical exam and draw blood for labs on each client so I can use objective and subjective information to guide treatment. Then I individualize their treatment plan to include acupuncture, herbs, supplements, nutrition education and/or lifestyle work that fits their needs. Right now I’m doing everything in the clinic, including reception, marketing and ordering supplies.

What path did you take to get here?

I got my CNA in high school at age 16 because I knew I wanted to be a nurse —>

Graduated high school —>

Got my Bachelors of Science in Nursing from University of Tennessee Chattanooga—>

Worked as a nurse in med surg for a year, and then in the ER. I realized in the ER that people were not getting better and kept coming back. The nurses didn’t care about patients the way I thought they should. So I decided to become a holistic nurse—>

I did some research, found acupuncture and herbs and knew I wanted to do that —>

Enrolled in the Oriental Medicine Program at National University of Health Sciences->

Graduated in April 2013, started the business in July 2013 and started Family Nurse Practitioner school in August 2013–>

I work everyday with the mission to combine Eastern Medicine and Western Medicine to give the best care to my clients.

What are the biggest Challenges of your Job?

I struggle with the business side of things, like getting and retaining clients. I do all my own marketing, but I didn’t get taught about how to do business when I was in school.

What are the greatest blessings of your Job?

1. I’m able to help patients who have been struggling for so long. That’s the biggest satisfaction.

2. Having the business be open for as long as it has, through everything I’ve gone through.

What 3 characteristics do you have to possess or develop to do your job well?

1. Love for people

2. An open mind

3. Willingness to give up your social life to accomplish your goals

What are 3 concrete things you’d tell someone on their journey to doing your job?

1. Volunteer at a health care facility.

2. Find somebody to shadow and spend time with.

3. Start in high school if you can. Take science classes, I took anatomy in high school when it was offered. Use your school resources to find trade programs. I found my CNA program through my high school.


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