Neurology Central

International Nurses Day: a day in the life of Michelle VanDemark

To mark International Nurses Day this month (12 May), we’re asking neuroscience nurses from across the field to share their typical working days, what inspired them to become a nurse and the challenges that are present in the field.
In this interview, we speak to Michelle VanDemark, a neurocritical care (NCC) Nurse Practioner at Sanford USD Medical Center (SD, USA) and current President of the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses (AANN; IL, USA) – a community of neuroscience leaders that support professional development through quality education opportunities, collaboration and networking in local chapters and more.

What led you to become a neuroscience nurse? Did you always want to work in nursing?

I come from a family of healthcare professionals so healthcare debates were always held around our dining table. My brother has epilepsy and as a child when he had a seizure, the whole family would respond and help. I felt passionate about learning and making a difference in people with seizures. I was particularly drawn to nursing because I wanted to care for people at the bedside. When I first started my nursing career, I was excited to have the opportunity to work as a nurse on a neuroscience unit. The more I learned about neuroscience, the more fascinated I became; it is a challenging and complex field.  I am fortunate that neuroscience nursing chose me.

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