Yoga Diabetes Nurse
My path to become the Yoga Diabetes Nurse
First the diabetes part:
I have a passion for helping people live successfully with diabetes. I have been a registered nurse (RN) for 24 years and a Board Certified Adult nurse practitioner (NP) for 10 years after graduating from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. I went back to school to become a NP with the idea that I would practice as a cardiology NP (most of my bedside nursing experience was in critical care and cardiology). I really enjoyed caring for patients with cardiovascular diseases and wanted to learn how to manage diabetes well because so many of the cardiac patients had diabetes. I sought out an opportunity to learn from an endocrinologist during my clinical rotations. I was blessed to find an amazing physician who truly treated each patient as an individual and as if they were a member of her family. I enjoyed working with her so much and learned so much from her over the course of a semester that I requested and was granted the approval to train in her private practice for a second semester. When I graduated with my Master of Science in Nursing I accepted a position at a 900 bed hospital that was starting an inpatient diabetes management service. In that role I was the first NP hired by the hospital’s Department of Medicine. I spent 4 weeks at nearby Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC training with their inpatient endocrine service. It was an incredible learning opportunity. I worked full time at the hospital for 2 and a half years getting the new inpatient diabetes management service up and running. For the first year and a half I also worked on Saturdays at the office of the endocrinologist I trained with during school. I became pregnant in March 2008 and had gestational diabetes during my pregnancy. I tested my blood sugar 4-6 times a day, carb counted, and took 1-4 shots of insulin a day for most of my pregnancy. While I was pregnant the hospital I worked at brought in a speaker for a diabetes presentation and she and I hit it off. She was a NP for the Department of Endocrinology at a health system in Durham, NC. We exchanged information but didn’t stay in contact. I enjoyed working with the patients, nurses, and providers at the hospital in Northern Virginia. I continued to learn all I could about diabetes management and became Board Certified in Advanced Diabetes Management. I gave birth to a healthy son and went back to working full time at the hospital but did not return to the private endocrine practice on the weekends (working full time as a new mom was tough enough). About a year and a half after my son was born my husband and I decided to move out of the Northern Virginia area. We ended up deciding to move to the Raleigh-Durham NC area. I knew I wanted to continue to work in diabetes and endocrinology so I dug up the contact information for the speaker I had met. I sent her an email asking if she knew of any endocrine NP positions in the area. There were! We moved to the Durham area in 2011 and I have been working as a full time NP for the inpatient diabetes and endocrine service of an area hospital ever since. I became pregnant again in 2013 and once again had gestational diabetes that I managed with frequent blood sugar monitoring, carb counting, and insulin. I gave birth to my healthy daughter in March 2014.
Then the yoga part:
I have never been athletic or into sports. I maintained a healthy weight despite my lack of activity until my mid -20s when the stress of working as a nurse led to poor self-care habits. I steadily gained about 10 pounds a year between the ages of 25 and 30. By the time we moved to NC I certainly didn’t look like a “typical” yoga person. I was stressed out and overweight. Despite how I wanted to feel and act I was trapped in my pattern of over-doing and reactivity. The daycare my children were in offered yoga for the children a couple times a week. When I saw the emotional benefits of yoga on the children I decided to take some yoga classes at the local gym myself and loved them. The summer my son was transitioning from that daycare to kindergarten I found a week long summer camp offering yoga and mindfulness for kids. He loved it and it really helped with his emotional regulation. Around the same time I took a continuing education course for nurses called: YogaNursing and I quickly saw the benefit of incorporating yoga into my nursing practice. I wanted to use yoga with patients and I wanted other nurses and healthcare providers to learn how to use yoga for self care. At the end of the training I knew I wanted to be a certified yoga nurse. There was just one problem – I would need to complete a 200 hour yoga teacher training to be eligible to become YogaNurse Certified so that idea went to the back burner because now I was overweight with minimal yoga experience, had 2 young children, and was working as a NP. The next summer I signed my son up for the same yoga and mindfulness camp but unfortunately the camp got cancelled that year due to low enrollment. However I saw that the woman who ran the camp was offering a Yoga and Mindfulness Teacher training for Novices. I contacted her and asked her how novice could one be and she assured me that despite my very limited experience with yoga I would be welcome to attend so I had her keep the camp deposit as my initial payment for the Yoga and Mindfulness Teacher training. I completed the 200 hour a summer intensive program in August 2017. Once I successfully completed the yoga teacher training my thoughts returned to incorporating yoga in the treatment of patients and people in the community living with diabetes.
Now the union of Diabetes and YogaNursing:
As you can see there were a lot of things (and more that I didn’t mention) that aligned for me to get where I am in my career. Yoga has made such a difference in my life and YogaNursing is a proven, effective, and accessible way to incorporate yoga into ANYBODY’s life. In addition to my yoga training I have years of training and experience as a nurse practitioner specializing in diabetes management. I have created this page to help blend these two aspects of my professional life. This page is not for medical treatment advice for specific patient care. As a nurse practitioner I can only provide medical advice to patients with whom I have a professional care giving relationship. This page can serve as a source of support and general health information.
Education, Licensure, Certifications, and Memberships
Associate of Applied Science in Nursing 1994 - Marymount University Arlington, VA
Registered Nurse - 1994
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 1996 - Marymount University Arlington, VA
Master of Science in Nursing - Adult Nurse Practitioner 2008
George Mason University in Consortium with George Washington University Fairfax, VA and Washington DC
Adult Nurse Practitioner - Board Certified AACN 2008
Board Certified Advanced Diabetes Management AADE 2011
Yoga Nurse Essentials Training 2015
Yoga Teacher Training - 200 hour August 2017
Savvy Soul Yoga Winston-Salem, NC
Certified Yoga Nurse May 2018
Earned Certificate of Completion Integrative Yoga for Seniors from Duke Integrative Medicine Nov 2018
Basic Life Support- American Heart Association
Member- American Association of Diabetes Educators
Member- Yoga Alliance