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 healthcare to underserved and rural populations.
With an impressive background in nursing and lactation consulting, FNU student Jade Potter, BSN, RN, IBCLC, PMH-C, has dedicated her career to empowering families during the postpartum period and providing essential healthcare services to underserved populations. Since January 2022, Potter has served a diverse population of patients through her role as a full-time private practice lactation consultant.
A member of the FNU Class 205, Potter is set to graduate in 2024. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and has achieved multiple certifications, including International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and Certified Perinatal Mental Health Professional (PMH-C). She’s currently pursuing her Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner specialty (WHNP).
Potter’s journey in the healthcare field began at the Lisa Ross Birth and Women’s Center from 2013 to 2015, where she worked as a receptionist, gaining valuable experience in maternal and newborn care. She then moved to the University of Tennessee Medical Center, starting as a registration clerk in the ED/Trauma Center before advancing to roles as a bedside RN in Acute Care Vascular Surgery and Transplant Unit, Antepartum/Postpartum/GYN Oncology, and eventually as a specialist in hospital-based IBCLC.
From 2020 to 2022, Potter further honed her skills as a bedside RN in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and as a hospital-based IBCLC at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. During her time working in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Potter’s dedication and excellence were recognized when she was nominated for a Daisy Award.
Potter started her journey as a lactation consultant in 2001, offering in-home lactation consulting services through Milk+Honey Lactation Services. Her commitment to serving underserved urban communities in her independent practice has been a cornerstone of her career.
Potter’s private practice focuses on supporting families throughout their postpartum journey, often meeting with them weekly. Her approach goes beyond improving breastfeeding outcomes. She places a strong emphasis on postpartum mental health, encouraging self-trust, fostering family bonding, providing information and support for autonomy, and ensuring equal access to lactation care for all members of her community.
“Our patient population is broad, from surgeons, lawyers and academics, to students, fast food workers, homemakers and those in recovery from Substance Use Disorder,” Potter said. “We are the only lactation practice in our region to be granted in-network status with Medicaid in our state, and we are able to bill most major insurance plans. Because of this, we are able to care for individuals from every socioeconomic status.”
Potter’s practice collaborates with the Knoxville Black Doula Collective, contributing to the Knoxville Black Maternal Health Symposium, and soon, will offer Spanish interpretive services. Additionally, they host monthly community breastfeeding classes and open-to-all postpartum support groups. Her commitment to maternal and perinatal mental health is highlighted by her certification through Postpartum Support International as a Certified Perinatal Mental Health Professional.
For Potter, the motivation to pursue her Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner (WHNP) specialty and master’s degree is deeply rooted in her desire to bridge the gap in postpartum, GYN, and gender-affirming healthcare. She said she has encountered countless individuals who struggle to find competent care tailored to their unique needs. Her goal is to bring about significant changes in her community by providing inclusive and accessible healthcare services for all.
“I’ve encountered thousands of people in their postpartum period who have had to fight to be heard about their mental and physical health,” Potter said. “My sister and other dear friends living with physical disabilities struggle to find providers who can provide competent care for people with limited mobility or disregard their need for empowering sexual healthcare. Countless gender non-conforming individuals in my community have no access to gender-affirming care or hormonal therapies. I want to change all of this in my community.”
Potter said her introduction to midwifery during her first pregnancy sparked her passion for women’s health, and that much of the midwife care she has received came from FNU alumnus. She said her experience at FNU has been exceptional and she said she appreciates the support and understanding she receives from instructors and classmates, especially during challenging times.
“From my advisor, to my RCF, to my instructors, and my classmates, I’ve been very impressed with how interpersonal my graduate education experience has been, especially as distance education,” Potter said. “One of my children has a chronic illness that has been very difficult the last year and my instructors have been incredibly supportive and understanding when I have communicated with them. Frontier has never made me feel like I’m out on an island or an anonymous poster on a discussion board; I feel like I’m part of a community.”
Potter is a mother of three children, a loving wife, and a devoted dog owner. When she finds a moment for herself, she enjoys porch-sitting, reading, sewing, and listening to true crime podcasts.
Thank you, Jade, for your outstanding contributions and commitment to making a difference in healthcare in your community.
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