Brianne R. Fitzgerald, MSN, FNP-C
PMHNP-BC, MPH


Practice Specialties:
Addictions, Behavioral Health,
General Medicine

Practice Location:
Boston, MA
                                             

Describe why you chose to become an NP.

Originally, I thought about retirement and that I could work at a local CVS (no hospital stress), but I had to be an NP. I became an FNP through U Mass Boston and loved the fact that all those years of practice made the actual learning easy. It was Nursing Theory and Cultural Competency that wore me out. Once I had that degree, I recognized that my real love was in the addictions and community and so I decided to keep going at become a Psych NP.

Describe a situation in which you made a meaningful difference in the lives of one of your patients.

It is always hard to know if you made a difference, but it is my philosophical belief that each encounter where I can join with the patient in laughter, tears and or helping them figure out what might be the problem always makes a difference. I have patients who remember me from the 80’s. I have patients who tell me that I was a B%$@* back then, but that they are glad I was hard on them. Each human connection for one visit or a regular encounter over time changes me and I hope each of them.

What do you think is the best part of being a Nurse Practitioner?

I believe that NP’s who have the basic nursing experience know that nursing care is holistic and encompasses way more than writing scripts. I love the autonomy and confidence from years of experience that being an NP affords me. I am proud to say that I am an NP

Describe your greatest practice challenge in the current healthcare environment.

I try and not pay attention to the “current healthcare environment” as it is toxic to all who work in the field. I keep my eye on why I became a nurse back in the 70’s. I want to make the world a better place.

What is the best advice you have been given or would give to a student entering the profession?

Please practice as an RN for at least 5 years before you decide to pursue NP certification. Our patients are our greatest teachers.