On Tuesday, Jessica Spiegelberg was honored as the Nurse Practitioner of the Year at the South Plains Nurse Practitioner Association luncheon.
Spiegelberg works as a family nurse practitioner in a clinic and outpatient setting, she said. “Our day-to-day is different depending on our discipline,” Spiegelerg said.
Her primary patient population is psychiatric patients, an underserved area of nursing. Her days are spent providing patient care, going over diagnosis with patients, ensuring each patient has an adequate understanding of what’s ailing them and much more, she said.
“We’re a very busy population of providers,” she said.
Mia Latham, a local nurse practitioner honored with the organization’s Preceptor Award, reiterated that statement as she spoke about her job at a local clinic.
She works in the area of women’s health, she said. In addition to seeing patients, Latham also guides students interested in the profession.
“I love what I do,” Latham said, referring to her specialty as a women’s health nurse practitioner. “You get a little bit of everything in there.”
During the event, several nurse practitioners who spoke described their jobs in similar words.
Emily Merrill, a certified family nurse practitionerand co-executive director of the doctor of nursing practice program at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, said the event was scheduled to coincide with National Nurse Practitioners Week and to honor the local few who chose to take part in the profession.
“It’s important that we recognize the contributions to improving healthcare and their professionalism, their committment and dedication to the nursing profession,” said Merrill, also a professor, associate dean/department chair for advanced practice registered nurse programs through HSC.
Spiegelberg said she, like many of her peers, got into nursing because she wanted to help an underserved population.As her career advanced, she got a taste of working with psychiatric patients and her plans shifted a little bit.
Spiegelberg has spent the last five years working as a family nurse practitioner with the psychiatric patient population, an underserved area of nursing.
Spiegelberg’s contributions to her field as an advocate in maximizing the reach of mental health care in Lubbock is why she was chosen, Merrill said.
“Jessica is just an outstanding nurse practitioner who is dedicated to working interprofessionally,” Merrill said.