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 that are focused on the mission of educating nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners to deliver quality health care to underserved and rural populations.
We are honored to announce that Ms. Tharrington, ANP, is this spring term’s featured preceptor. She was nominated by RCF Denise Orrill and former student and 2014 graduate, Catina Rieves (FNP class 109). Ms. Tharrington recently purchased Primary Care of St. Pauls, NC, but had worked as the medical director at the Warren County Free Clinic in Warrenton, NC for over 10 years. Catina Rieves shares this touching tribute of her former preceptor:
Ms. Tharrington had a posting on EPNetwork offering to precept a nurse practitioner student. I remember interviewing with her; she had me shaking in my skin. This was my last clinical site, but the first one who interviewed me! I was sure that I got every question wrong. To my surprise she offered me a slot to work under her at the Warren County Free Clinic. Later, I would learn why she was so strict about the type of student that she accepted.
I understand the concept of understanding the disease process but Ms. Tharrington thinks you should be able to draw it! I call her the “patho junkie”. She had a white board that she would love to draw diagrams on. You would be in the middle of a discussion and she would walk past you and go to the white board. The other student and I would silently cringe. We loved being there together for the two in one effect.
Another quality I loved about Ms. Tharrington was how she let her students take over the patient, and she would never rush us. When we presented the case, she would always say, “So what are you going to do?” If you decided to order a medication, she would nicely slide over her script pad. After you finished writing the script (so you thought), she would nicely slide over a new, blank one so that you could do it over, the correct way. How quickly you realize that electronic charting is a luxury.
At the Warren County Free Clinic, Ms. Tharrington was the sole provider for the uninsured of this county. Not only did you have to treat the patient and coordinate their care, but you also have to find a way to fund it. The population served here are in a rural county with a very high unemployment rate. I was honored to witness her struggle between remaining in this clinic and venturing off to open her own practice. In May 2015, Ms. Tharrington opened her own practice, realizing a lifelong dream.
Because of Ms. Tharrington’s steadfast guidance, I have been able to convert my Registered Nursing position into one of an Advanced Nurse Practitioner with confidence. Today I am a Commissioned Officer with the United States Public Health Service stationed at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, NC.
Ms. Tharrington will receive a Starbucks giftcard as a small token of our appreciation for her being a great preceptor.