More than “Just a Nurse”

Stephanie Schutter, FNP

Stephanie Schutter has been a Registered Nurse for 18 years, and a Family Nurse Practitioner for 14. She is currently practicing in Woodbridge, VA.

An interview with Stephanie Schutter, FNP

I am a mom, I am a wife, I am a caregiver, I am a friend, I am a confidant. I am more than just a nurse, but I am a nurse and I am so proud of that!

1. What advice do you have for aspiring nurses?

Answer: For my aspiring nurses — enjoy every minute, listen to people, love people.  People need you do right by them, be strong for them but know it is ok to cry with them too. This profession will give back to you tenfold what you put into it. You have a unique opportunity to make a difference every single day, and that in itself is a reward.  There are hard days, days you have cleaned up more bodily fluids than anyone cares to discuss, but so many more days you get that smile, that hug, that note of thanks, those flowers, those thank you’s, they all make up for it.

2. What do you do to destress?Stephanie Schutter, Family Nurse Practitioner, with her family.

Answer: I like to read, listen to music, or spend time with my family.

3. Has a patient changed your life? How so?

Answer: My patients change my life every day. They remind me not to take one moment for granted, to tell everyone you love, that you love them, every chance you get. Whenever I think I am having a bad day someone comes to me to remind me of my many blessings. They are my friends, my family, my community and it is my honor to care for all of them.

4. How do you schedule time for your CE Requirements?

Answer: I try to schedule one big CE event annually. My job allows compensation for my CE as long as schedule in advance as not to disrupt my patient care.

5. Do you think nurses should give medical advice?

Answer: As a nurse practitioner I do give medical advice — I was trained to do so. Nurses with proper education and training are fully capable of giving medical advice. This ability is limited by states and practice acts. The amount of medical advice that is allowed to be given by  nurses varies greatly — some states are way behind.

6. Do you aspire to pursue a specialty within nursing? What’s next for you?

Answer: I am a masters prepared Family Nurse Practitioner. I haven’t gone back for my doctorate yet, but when I am older I intend to do so, and then teach.  I love Family Practice — it has a little bit of everything no specialty for me — I love it all. 🙂

7. If you had to do it all over again, would you still become a nurse? What would you do differently?

Answer: I would absolutely do it all again. It is a blessing to be a part of others’ lives and to make a difference in your community. Nursing is a calling- it isn’t glamorous- it is a bit of an art. We all practice a little differently, but the fundamentals are the same across the board. Being there as new life comes into the world, and as a life leaves this world is a gift and that reminds me daily to be grateful.

8. What’s your favorite music to listen to, on or off the clock?

Answer: My favorite music is ALL music! I love it all depending on mood and type of day, I may go from classical to pop, to rock etc. 

9. What quote do you live by?

Answer: I live by something my teachers taught me… “If you listen, people will always tell you what is wrong with them.”

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