Humans of Penn Nursing: Leah Geoghegan, HNP, AGNP-C, Nu’14, GNu’18
I worked in the ER and LOVED it. I loved the action, teamwork, diversity of cases, and most of all helping people through pivotal moments in their lives.
But over time I began to notice a pattern. The same people kept coming in, seeking acute care to manage chronic health issues. We would stabilize their condition and send them home to continue the behaviors which perpetuated their illness. This rotating door approach to medicine was unproductive and unfulfilling. I realized we weren’t actually healing people—we were putting a superficial bandaid on a deeper wound.
So when I began graduate school, I decided to study primary care and functional medicine to understand how I could prevent and reverse disease through early intervention and treatments focused on the root cause of disease. As a Nurse Practitioner trained in both conventional and holistic medicine, I blend both modalities when taking care of my patients.
So now, instead of working in the ER, my passion is keeping people out of the ER.
Health care is ever-changing. It is our role as nurse leaders to adapt to changes and meet our patients where we are most needed. Working in NYC during the pandemic, I noticed patients were reluctant to seek care in a traditional office setting. They were nervous and scared of catching COVID-19 and began to neglect their primary care needs.
So I decided to change my approach to care. I quit my job and started my own practice, Emergence Health, during the pandemic to provide people with a new way to receive primary care and functional medicine services. I see my patients virtually or in the comfort of their homes.
My career has now evolved from NP to NP business owner. It is a different kind of “exciting” than my early days in the ER—but arguably much more fulfilling. I hope my story helps encourage other nurses and NPs to follow their passion and consider holistic health and business owners as part of their nursing journey.”
To submit your own story, visit www.nursing.upenn.edu/humans.