After traveling the world, Health Department nurse finds her passion

After traveling the world, Health Department nurse finds her passion

By May 11, 2020 5:50 am

Travis Electrical Service is a proud community supporter, and the sponsor of Clarksville Now’s Nurses Week celebration. Clarksville Now and Travis Electrical Service will be highlighting nurses all week long. We’re thankful for their support and commitment to the Clarksville community.

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (CLARKSVILLENOW) – Nursing was not Nancy Proctor’s first instinct. Now, the Registered Nurse (RN), who serves at the Montgomery County Health Department as a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist, loves her daily mission.

Proctor has been a nurse since 2011 and said becoming a nurse was a later in life decision.  For many years her main interests were studying other cultures and language, especially Spanish.  Her main goal was to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer.

Proctor served two-and-a-half years volunteering in a small town in the Philippines. As her time was coming to an end, she thought more about life after the Peace Corps.

While in the Philippines, Proctor was asked many times, “‘Why are Americans not nurses?” The question puzzled her.  She never thought about working in the medical field before.

Her primary focus is on prevention, after learning early on the fast-paced emergency or critical care nursing wasn’t for her. “I am at my best when I’m able to educate on the front end to help prevent emergency situations,” Proctor said.

“While COVID-19 is currently everyone’s focus, we still can’t forget that every day, thousands of people are struggling with the complications that come from chronic health conditions such as high-blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and heart and lung disease,” said Proctor.

Proctor guides patients through action planning and goal setting to help them identify barriers to good health. Then together they find ways to overcome those barriers.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, Proctors role has shifted from working with patients suffering chronic disease to filling in where she’s needed. She may ask screening questions, perform actual testing, or call someone with their test results.

Through it all, Proctor continues to find inspiration and strength with the team at the Montgomery County Health Department. “Despite a temporary role shift, one thing that hasn’t changed because of COVID-19 is that I continue to work with a great team whose members are always willing to help where needed.”


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