Betty Demko, MSN, RN, AGPCNP-BC
Franciscan Physician Network Palliative Care
Betty Demko, MSN, RN, AGPCNP-BC, from Lebanon, Ind., became a nurse because she wanted to make a difference and help people. After graduating from St. Elizabeth School of Nursing, and prior to becoming a nurse practitioner, Betty worked with palliative care patients. It quickly became her passion to care for that population, and she has stayed true to that passion as she has advanced in her career.
Betty graduated from St. Elizabeth School of Nursing in 2005 and went on to receive a Master of Healthcare Administration from Walden University. She currently works as a nurse practitioner in Palliative Care.
Betty is a wonderful example of a nurse who learned how she could make the biggest impact and did everything she could to do just that for her patients and coworkers through the pandemic and staff shortages. Learn more about her in the Q and A below:
WHY DID YOU BECOME A NURSE?
I became a nurse because I wanted to help people.
WHAT IS YOUR BEST MEMORY FROM NURSING SCHOOL?
My best memory from nursing school is the time that I spent with all my fellow students getting to know each other.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO NEW NURSES?
Never be afraid to ask questions. We are all a team and should be able to count on each other.
HOW DID ST. ELIZABETH SCHOOL OF NURSING PREPARE YOU FOR YOUR CAREER?
St. Elizabeth School of Nursing did an excellent job preparing me for my career. All the hands-on experience I received during my schooling set me up for success as I entered the workforce.
IF YOU WEREN'T A NURSE, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?
I really am not sure what I would be if I wasn’t a nurse. I love what I do and being able to be there for people when they need me the most.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB IN THE FIELD AFTER YOU COMPLETED YOUR DEGREE?
My first job after completing my degree was as a staff nurse on 3 East (now 3 North at Franciscan Health Lafayette East).
WHAT DO YOU DO NOW?
I work as a nurse practitioner.
YOU RECENTLY CHANGED POSITIONS, RIGHT? COULD YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT THAT SHIFT?
I graduated with my NP and started in Infectious Disease. I had always hoped to be a nurse practitioner for Palliative Care, but when I graduated, there were no job openings. I worked with Palliative Care patients for several years as a nurse on 3 North and I loved caring for those patients and their families. When I heard a position opened up in Palliative Care for a nurse practitioner, I felt like I had to follow my heart. I loved working in Infectious Disease and with those patients, but this is the job that I had hoped for.
I work full time in Palliative Care and one day a week in Infectious Disease, because the need is so great.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOUR CURRENT JOB?
The thing I like most about my current job is caring for palliative care patients.
WHAT IS THE TOUGHEST PART ABOUT BEING A NURSE?
The toughest part of being a nurse is currently all of the shortages that are present. Being a new nurse is already tough enough, but when there are staffing situations and you may have to take extra patients, it makes things even harder.
HOW DO YOU SEE YOURSELF AND YOUR NURSING PRACTICE THROUGH THE LENS OF THE SCHOOL'S MISSION OF PREPARING NURSES TO CONTINUE CHRIST'S HEALING MINISTRY?
I definitely feel like I live the mission. I love caring for patients and do my best to provide the best care for them. I have also maintained my floor-nurse position through the pandemic and staffing shortages to continue to help do my part during these tough times.
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU ARE NOT AT WORK?
I love to spend time with my family. We have game night every week where we make sure to shut off everything around us and just enjoy quality time together.