Jim Hanna RN MSN NP-C is an adult nurse practitioner on the south side of Chicago working for Parkview Orthopedic Group. He started his medical career as a physical therapist aide at Palos Hospital in Palos Heights, and loved how the nurses took care of their patients and decided to pursue a nursing degree. Hanna spent two years at Moraine Valley Community College earning an Associates and 3 years at Lewis University with a bachelor’s degree in nursing. He spent 7 years gaining experience as a nurse in the areas of orthopedic, surgical and surgical first assisting; with that accomplished Hanna decided to enroll in the Loyola adult nurse practitioner program in which he earned a master’s degree with honors.

(Photo Courtesy of Jim Hanna RN MSN NP-C)

(Photo Courtesy of Jim Hanna RN MSN NP-C)

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Hanna’s position at Parkview is a unique one in which he is able to see patients in the office, assist in surgery and follow surgical patients postoperative. Hanna’s specialty is spine and he works closely with Dr. Anis Mekhail, they work jointly in patient care in the office and surgery. Although Hanna’s specialty is spine, he takes care and assists in common orthopedic problems and fractures. As a nurse practitioner, Hanna has been trained in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of patients.

Scope and responsibilities of current role?

“My role is very demanding in which I am responsible for assessing, diagnosing and treating spine patients. Dr. Mekhail and myself are privileged at 3 major hospitals and are frequently consulted for spinal emergencies as well. This includes a 24hr/7 days a week responsibility. I am also in collaboration with family physicians and office staff to coordinate patient care with surgeries and other forms of treatments and diagnostics. What is unique to my role is I also assist in surgery, which required special training.”

What is your favorite part of your daily duties?

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“My favorite part is patient interaction. I enjoy getting to know my clients and see them progress through the spectrum of care Dr. Mekhail and myself provide. It’s most enjoyable seeing a smile on someone who is free of pain from my intervention.”

Do you feel your education prepared you for your current role?

“Absolutely. The Loyola Nurse Practitioner program has not only provided me with the information to perform my role, but they have also taught me critical thinking skills to be successful. One outstanding instructor, Dr. Marijo Letizia, comes to mind in which we would have long discussions on patient care and how to think outside the box.”

Do you have any advice for people who desire to pursue a similar career?

“As a nurse practitioner in spine, my biggest advice is to work with a good collaborating physician who you are comfortable with. One who is patient, understanding and provides specific teaching that will make your role successful. This allows you to practice independently with confidence.”

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Michelle Guilbeau is a writer, reviewer, teacher and business owner. She also has experience in school administration, literacy coaching and is proud founder of CraftKitsForKids.com and MichelleGuilbeau.com Michelle enjoys sharing her knowledge of cities, food, travel, education and parenting issues with her readers. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.