Tracy Markwell,  APRN, BC  

Practice Specialty:
Geriatric Nurse Practitioner
Complex Care Medicine

Practice Location:
MGH inpatient Medicine
Boston, MA


Describe why you chose to become an NP.

I chose to become a NP as I had been a RN for 5 years at the time and wanted to give more to my patients. I was working in an ICU and was upset that elderly patients were coming into the ICU without any Code Status. Family’s were not educated about end of life and I wanted to provide this to my patients.

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

One of my patients who was on hemodialysis was approaching the end of his life and was refusing to go back to the rehab as I was caring for him at the hospital. He wanted to wait for his brother as he wanted a meatball sub for dinner. I found out what particular sub he wanted and from where. We couldn’t reach his brother as he was flying home from a business trip. I ordered him large meatball sub and coke. I took an UBER to go get it and back to hospital. I delivered him the sub and he then agreed to return to the rehab. This man unfortunately died 1 month later. Happy to put a smile on his face with one of his favorite subs.

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

That I am a RN first and that I am able to provide my patients with a chance to tell their story to me. I am able to take the time to listen to the patient and family. Mostly patients are wanting to be heard.

Describe your greatest practice challenge in the current healthcare environment.

Having the insurance company approve medications and services to patients that I feel will be beneficial. In the hospital I can start many medications or do procedures but outpatient the insurance companies can dictate if they agree to pay for these even if they have proven to work for the patient.

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

The best advice I could give would be to work as a RN first before you complete your NP. This will make you a better NP. Experience as a RN will take you far. Never ask a nurse to do something that you wouldn’t or haven’t done yourself.