A student who “fell in love” with the Frontier Nursing University (FNU) mission statement years ago is now living it out as a Family Nurse Practitioner in rural Ohio. Laura Willis, a 2014 graduate of the MSN program and 2015 graduate of the DNP program at Frontier, treats underserved, underinsured patients out of Urbana Family Medicine and Pediatrics through Mercy Health Physicians Group in Urbana, Ohio.
Laura chose Frontier for her FNP because she believed strongly in FNU’s mission statement: to educate nurses to become competent, entrepreneurial, ethical and compassionate nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners who are leaders in the primary care of women and families with an emphasis on underserved and rural populations while embracing a culture of diversity and inclusion.
“I couldn’t imagine attending any other program,” said Laura.
She began practicing at Urbana Family Medicine one day a week, treating patients of all age groups as well as many multi-generational families. Realizing her love for the work and the people, she returned to FNU for a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree.
“I chose to get my DNP so that I could enhance my ability to improve the health of my patients, increase the understanding and ability of NPs to provide great care, and to affect positive changes in healthcare,” said Laura.
Because so many have costly and low-coverage insurance, Laura works to maintain the health of her patients by using low-cost medicines available at local pharmacies, home remedies, and an extra dose of compassion.
In 2013, her third year of the MSN program, Laura was the recipient of FNU’s NP Leadership Scholarship bestowed to a student who shows leadership, academic excellence and excellent clinical judgement. On Sept. 21, 2017, at the provider’s group annual dinner, she also received the Service Excellence Advanced Practitioner Award, a peer-chosen honor recognizing leadership, clinical skill, service, and dedication to the mission of Mercy Health.
Laura remains supported by the Frontier community as she transitions from student to alumnus. She relies on the connections of faculty, staff, students and alumni that have become colleagues to help push her and offer her a listening ear.
She also recently accepted a position at Mercy College of Ohio in Toledo as an adjunct professor in the Master’s of Science in Nursing program. Additionally she works with a publishing company as a freelance clinical editor for nursing books.
“Both of these things keep me busy but also keep me plugged in to academia and will hopefully help me reach my goal of one day teaching at FNU,” said Laura. “I credit what I learned at FNU with the ability I have to work so closely with my patients and help them find cost-affordable ways to treat their health concerns. I just hope that I would make Mrs. Breckinridge proud!”
Laura, you make the Frontier community proud every day! Thank you for continuing to put FNU’s mission into practice.
At the heart of Frontier Nursing University is a talented and diverse community of students, alumni, faculty, staff, Couriers and preceptors. Spotlight blogs feature members of our FNU community who are focused on the mission of educating nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners to deliver quality health care to underserved and rural populations.