Alumni Spotlight: Michelle Jeannotte

Nursing alumna shares how Nurse Practitioners are shaping the future of healthcare.

Allie Voisin - 31 May 2021

After graduating with distinction with a BScN from the University of Alberta Faculty of Nursing in 2007, Michelle Jeannotte spent some time working in homecare and primary care as a Registered Nurse (RN), yet she knew the fit just wasn’t quite right.

Itching for more independence in her role, Michelle decided to pursue a Master’s in Advanced Nursing Practice, which she attained from Athabasca University in 2013. She is licensed as a Family Nurse Practitioner and currently works in primary care and dermatology. She also has experience as a bilingual nursing instructor at the University of Alberta. 

Below, Michelle shares more about her current role as an NP, the challenges she faced during her studies, and why NP’s are an essential part of the healthcare system. 

Where do you currently work as an NP?

Currently, I work in a few different settings. Primarily, I work in Dermatology at Lucere Dermatology and Laser Clinic doing medical and cosmetic dermatology. I love helping people look and feel their best. This by far has been my favourite position as an NP, as I am very independent. I also contract with Premier Healthcare Services, where I provide private primary care services and wound care in people’s homes. I also contract with Dialogue, where I provide virtual primary care services.

My first job as an NP was in Urgent care at East Edmonton Health Center, and with the Southside Primary Care Network doing chronic disease management.

What challenges did you face during your studies? How did you overcome them? 

There were many! First, it was very difficult working and being a student. I didn’t have much free time. Second, it was extremely challenging to find preceptors. I still consider myself very fortunate to have found great physicians and NPs preceptors, who continue to be mentors today. Because of this, I often take students when asked.

How were you supported through your academic endeavours? 

My husband and my parents were my biggest supporters throughout the program. My husband cooked and cleaned, and was a practice patient for me so many times. My mother, who is a GP, helped review my papers and was always there to ask for guidance and advice.

Do you have a specific research area of focus? If so, can you provide more context? 

I did my final project on starting a program for the prevention of childhood obesity. I am a family/all ages Nurse Practitioner, so I can see all patients young and old and my focus is primary care.

Why are NP's an essential part of the healthcare system? Do you believe NP's are shaping the future of healthcare? 

NP’s are essential. Patients seek us out as they want a nurse’s perspective. We often are able to spend time educating patients and they truly value the care we provide. NPs are currently fighting to have a seat at the table. Our healthcare system is very physician dominated and NPs are trying to have their voices heard. We will see what the future brings.

What words of advice would you offer to someone considering the MN-NP program at the Faculty of Nursing? 

Be prepared to work hard. It’s not an easy program. Finding preceptors is difficult. Your patients will teach you more than just medicine. Finding a job that values NPs is difficult, it takes time and sometimes you have to create your own position. Your patients will love you, and there never seems to be enough time in your days.

To learn more about the Faculty of Nursing MN-NP (Advanced Clinical Focus) Program, CLICK HERE