Rachel Hewitt, RN, BSN, MSN, FNP-C
Family Nurse Practitioner
Estep Family Medicine - A Unity Healthcare Partner
For most, nursing is a calling. It is a career path that should not be chosen without serious consideration and passion. Most nurses realize they want to become a nurse either because of family members or friends who inspired them or because they have a personal experience that made them realize healthcare was their passion. For Rachel Hewitt, RN, BSN, MSN, FNP-C, it was both. While inspired by her mother, a registered nurse, Rachel was on the path to becoming an elementary school teacher…until her grandmother fell ill, and she realized nursing was her true calling.
Originally from Michigan City, Ind., Rachel received her diploma from St. Elizabeth School of Nursing and her Bachelor of Science in nursing from St. Joseph’s College in 2012.
She went on to complete a Master of Science in nursing from Purdue University Global this year. She now works at Estep Family Medicine – a Unity Healthcare Partner as a family nurse practitioner in Lafayette, Ind.
To learn more about Rachel, her experience at St. Elizabeth School of Nursing and how she decided to pursue nursing, check out her Q & A below:
WHY DID YOU BECOME A NURSE?
My mother is a registered nurse. I have always looked up to her and admired her passion for caring for others. Initially, after high school, I enrolled in the elementary education program at Purdue University. One year into my program, my grandmother became severely ill, requiring time in the ICU. Observing the nursing staff care for my grandmother made me realize I was not on the right career path. My grandmother is still here today. She has always been a huge supporter of my nursing journey.
WHAT IS YOUR BEST MEMORY FROM NURSING SCHOOL?
I have so many wonderful memories from nursing school, including the support I received from both classmates and professors. One of my best memories occurred on a clinical day. That morning my car would not start, so I called my professor about my circumstance. A fellow classmate offered to come pick me up, and because of this support, I was able to attend clinicals. St. Elizabeth School of Nursing truly is a family!
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO NEW NURSES?
I would tell new nurses that nursing can be very demanding and overwhelming but is an extremely rewarding career. I encourage all nurses to stay strong, take advantage of the opportunities presented to them and never give up. I additionally encourage new nurses to take time for themselves. Self-care not only helps to decrease stress but also helps to increase the quality of care provided to patients and families. One thing I love best about nursing is the countless opportunities it provides. Nursing is a wonderful career, and you will be so happy you chose this path!
HOW DID ST. ELIZABETH SCHOOL OF NURSING PREPARE YOU FOR YOUR CAREER?
St. Elizabeth School of Nursing prepared me for my career in so many ways. The school provided clinical rotations from the beginning. The firsthand experience provided me with the skills and knowledge needed to become a registered nurse. Additionally, the support from staff and professors made a significant impact on how I became the nurse I am today.
IF YOU WEREN'T A NURSE, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?
I would be an elementary school teacher.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB IN THE FIELD AFTER YOU COMPLETED YOUR DEGREE?
In nursing school, I worked as a patient care intern in the ICU at Franciscan Health Lafayette. After completing my degree, I began working as a registered nurse in the ICU at Franciscan Health Lafayette. Years later, I began working as a school nurse for the Lafayette School Corporation.
WHAT DO YOU DO NOW?
Currently, I am a family nurse practitioner. I work in a family medicine office providing care to all individuals from infancy to geriatrics.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOUR CURRENT JOB?
As an ICU nurse, I saw patients at their worst. I genuinely enjoyed my career in the ICU, but as a family nurse practitioner in my current job, I get to provide care to patients in a unique way. I really enjoy being able to educate my patients about chronic diseases, help them to maintain their optimal health and help patients to stay out of the hospital.
WHAT PATIENT POPULATION DO YOU SERVE?
I provide care to patients across the lifespan. This includes all individuals from infancy to geriatrics.
WHAT IS THE TOUGHEST PART ABOUT BEING A NURSE?
Although nursing is a tough job, it comes with so many rewards. Throughout the years as a nurse, I have experienced numerous obstacles. One important thing I have learned is to always remain adaptive. Not one day in my career has ever been the same. Even though this is a tough part of the job, I feel it has made me a better individual today.
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?
As a patient care intern, registered nurse and now family nurse practitioner, I have always treated my patients the same. I provide all patients and their families with respect, joyful service and compassionate care.
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU ARE NOT AT WORK?
When I am not at work, I am spending time with my family. I have been married to my amazing and incredibly supportive husband for eight years. We have two children, one girl who is eight and one boy who is seven. We adopted a puppy this year. She keeps us very busy, but we are so happy to have her as a part of our family. We love being outdoors. My hobbies include gardening and camping.