Cavalier County Memorial Hospital has welcomed back a familiar face to their staff. Courtney Short previously worked at CCMH as a nurse but has recently returned to fill a much needed provider role as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP).
By Melissa Anderson
Short, who is originally from Langdon and is the daughter of Kent and the late Julie Feil, was actually born at CCMH. Since her graduation from Langdon Area High School in 2007, Short attended the University of North Dakota graduating with a degree in nursing in 2011. Short returned to Langdon and worked at CCMH as a full-time RN. During that time, Short decided to pursue her master’s degree to become a FNP.
“I graduated from UND in 2016 with my Master’s in Nursing in the Family Nurse Practitioner track. I have been a FNP in Wishek at a rural health clinic and critical access hospital for the past two and half years. I saw patients with acute and chronic illnesses across the lifespan. I also worked in the inpatient and ER setting as well,” Short said.
The decision to pursue her master’s and become an FNP had a lot to do with the autonomy that Short would have. Short explained that while nursing is a very fulfilling career, she wanted more autonomy and wanted to push herself.
“As a nurse I would fulfill orders from a provider but as a nurse practitioner, I am responsible for writing the orders and developing the treatment plan. As a nurse practitioner I am able to diagnose and treat patients for their acute and chronic illnesses,” Short explained.
Growing up, Short knew she wanted to be in the medical field and had often considered becoming a doctor. However, listening to her grandmother, who was a nurse at CCMH for many years, talk about how much she enjoyed her work- how rewarding and satisfying it was to her- had a huge impact on Short’s decision to pursue nursing rather than a medical doctor.
“To this day, it is one of her favorite things to talk about, and she loves to give me advice,” Short quipped. As she learned more about nursing, Short felt that the nursing model and what nursing stands for was the direction she needed to take for herself. Nursing fit for what Short wanted for her career in regards to the care that she wanted to provide and how she wanted to practice.
“I wanted to feel a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction with my career that I could still beam about like my grandmother 60 years after the fact. When I became a nurse, I knew that I wanted to continue to push myself and grow within my profession which led me to pursue my master’s,” Short said.
Making the decision to return to Langdon with her husband, Josh, and their two dogs was an easy one for Short as she loves the community of Langdon. To Short, having a hospital and clinic in this small of a town is essential to the growth and sustainability of the community.
“I want to be a part of that. I am looking forward to providing care to a community that I love. I love seeing this little town grow. I feel we have a tight knit community, and I missed that while I was gone. I hope to be involved with the community and the many different events that take place here,” Short said. As she starts seeing patients, Short hopes that she can develop trusting relationships based on quality, patient-centered, evidence-based care between her and her patients. She hopes that relationship will develop with the community as well.
“I would love to encourage the community to become more aware of prevention and preventative treatment/screenings rather than only utilizing healthcare after a problem has developed,” Short stated.
Looking ahead, Short has set goals and hopes that she wants to reach including continuing to grow within her profession. She feels that as healthcare is an ever changing entity, she wants to be able to provide her patients with the most up-to-date healthcare guidelines, recommendations, and treatment.
Even though she carries the title of FNP, Short feels that she will always be a nurse first when it comes to patient care, but now that she has the additional education and training, she will be able to use critical thinking skills, challenging herself to diagnose and treat patients as well. Currently, Short is serving on the North Dakota Nurse Practitioners Association and will begin seeing patients at CCMH on Monday, January 14.