How did I even get into nursing?
Thankfully I was good at science. I didn’t love math or history, so I joke that science was the path of least resistance. After taking (and enjoying) a Human Anatomy and Physiology course, I received clarity, and continued on with my pre-nursing requirements to become a RN (registered nurse), and eventually a Family Nurse Practitioner.
So no, I did not dream of being a nurse when I was 6 years old (I was too busy singing Spice Girls), but I did find this path organically. And we’re all about things happening organically at Skin Pharm.
While in undergraduate school I discovered that I had a huge interest in the heart — literally, in the human heart. I took a job on congestive heart failure, and on that unit I was amazed at how an ill heart could present visible symptoms in the skin with weeping, oozing wounds. Perhaps this was where my interest in skin was piqued, but it still took several years for me to find my path to what would eventually become Skin Pharm.
Upon graduating, I knew the ICU would be a great opportunity for me to exercise being a critical thinker, and to apply my knowledge of how to treat a sick patient when any or all of the body systems are failing. The experience I received was invaluable, but I knew it wasn’t my forever job.
I took a job with a plastic surgeon who focused on reconstructive surgery, which was partially a continuum of what I was previously doing, but more specialized. He didn’t have much of an interest in cosmetic plastic surgery, but he offered me the opportunity to learn injections and lasers. Once I realized how much I enjoyed medical aesthetics, I read every article, watched every video, went to every course, and asked for every trainer to visit the office.
I was also studying to earn my master’s degree at this time and found a particular interest in a course called Clinical Decision Making for the Family Nurse Practitioner. This course emphasized the utilization of evidence-based practice and integration of technology into primary care — all coming together now, right?
I was 24 years old and just beginning to pay off student loans, so I found myself amazed by the money people would spend on their faces.
But I also realized that the people sitting in the chair — who were investing a great deal of money in themselves — took their consults very seriously. They took my advice about how to take better care of their skin, and their overall health.
So, when I said, “Buy SPF before you even start Botox,” they would. And they’d use it — I could see the difference in patients I’ve been seeing for several years now, and it’s still my number-one piece of advice for patients. When I said, “Get out of the tanning bed and then come back for lip filler,” they really did it!
I was doing cosmetic procedures, which some may view as superficial treatments, but I was also playing a part in helping people make positive changes that didn’t just impact their appearance, but their overall health. When you can help someone make a healthier choice, there’s nothing superficial about that.
Launching Skin Pharm — and then the Skin Pharm skincare line — was a big leap, but I knew it was the right one.
We quickly outgrew our first office, landing at our current spot on 21st in Nashville, where I work alongside my dream team each day.
But my job is never really finished. There’s always new medical research for me and my team to learn about, or innovative technologies and treatments to consider bringing to Skin Pharm. I do my best to balance my work with everything else in life — like spending time with my husband and two kids, hanging with friends, or traveling — but I wouldn’t change anything. Well, except maybe having more hours in the day!