One of the worst parts of going to college away from home is waking up with an illness. Not being able to be in the comfort of your own bed with a parent eager to take care of you is a harsh reality that comes with adulthood.

The campus nurse practitioner is available to address these issues.

Some students shared their experience with a former nurse practitioner at William Jewell College (WJC). 

“Last year when the whole campus had pink eye, I went into the nurse with what I thought was allergies. I barely walked in and she diagnosed me with pink eye because my eyes were red and swollen. After trying to explain to her that I was pretty sure it wasn’t pink eye, she proceeded to write a prescription for pink eye. She assured me that I had pink eye and kindly escorted me out. After a week of using the eye drops without getting any better, I threw the eye drops away and went to urgent care,” said Macy Tush, sophomore.

Kristen Agar, sophomore, also shared her experience with the former on-campus nurse.

“When I walked into the Wellness Center, her door was closed. There was no sign on the door that said she was with a patient, so I knocked. She barely cracked open the door and asked me what was wrong. At this point, I realized that someone was in her office. She just looked at me through the cracked door and told me to drink more fluids. I thought this was very unprofessional. I would have waited for her to finish or come back later if she had told me to, but she just sent me away,” said Agar.

This year, the College hired a new nurse practitioner, Paula Brown, DNP, APRN-BC, who is excited to make changes to the student health services on campus.

“I’ve already been to the new nurse, and she is lovely. She made me feel welcome and comfortable. I hope she continues to keep up this atmosphere,” said Tush.

Brown has worked as a registered nurse since receiving her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Avila College in 1988. In 1999, she received her Masters of Science in Nursing from Graceland University. In 2012, she received her Doctorate in Nursing Practice from the University of Kansas.

Brown splits her time working at the College part of the week and at Barry Pointe Family Care the other half of the week.

“I love working with this age group. I previously worked in the student health clinic at a local university and loved it. I have been on the nurse practitioner faculty at Graceland University and The University of Kansas and enjoyed working with students in this capacity as well. I really like the environment at William Jewell,” she said.

Brown worked with Student Life to distribute flu shots to the campus. Flu shots are now available to students, faculty or staff who make an appointment with Brown. Each shot will cost $17 She plans on ordering as many flu shots as it takes to vaccinate anyone wants one.

“It takes just a few minutes and is such an important step to ensure the health of our students, faculty and staff. Influenza can put someone in bed for up to a week and can lead to hospitalization and serious illness. I want to make sure everyone knows that you can’t get the flu from the vaccine,” said Brown.

Not only does Brown wanting to provide campus wide flu shots, but she is also working on increasing the spectrum of services provided in the student health clinic. She would like to provide more education to students about their health and provide care to students with mental health conditions. She is also working with the campus psychology services to develop informational resources on smoking cessation therapy.

Brown’s office is located in the Ely Wellness Center. Her clinic hours are Monday and Wednesday from 8 A.M. to 1 P.M. and Tuesday and Thursday from 8 A.M. to 3 P.M.

She can be reached by email at healthcenter@william.jewell.edu or by phone at 816-415-5020.

A previous version of this feature was published with the incorrect hours listed for the nurse practitioner’s hours.

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