Tina M. Rose, MSN, WHNP-B

Practice Specialty:
Women’s Health; Functional Medicine

Practice Location:
Just Us Women Health Center
Attleboro, MA 


Describe why you chose to become an NP.

I studied Biology in college hoping to go to medical school. I had no nursing role models (other than television) until I worked as a nurse’s aide in a community hospital one summer. I worked the 11-7 shift on an oncology floor (circa 1983) and saw nurses “caring” for patients, making decisions about patient needs and calling doctors for the orders. Then in the morning I saw the doctors come in, sign off the orders, wave to the patients and leave. That summer was my “ah-ha” moment and I knew that I was born a “nurse”; I just needed to now be educated as one. Since I was already completing a degree in Biology, I decided to pursue a master’s degree in nursing in a direct entry program. I became a Clinical Nurse Specialist and a Nurse Practitioner in 1988 and have not looked back since. In whatever role I am in, I always want “nurse” to be in my title. In January, 2011, I opened a women’s health center and became a “nurse” entrepreneur!

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

I began working in a private Ob/Gyn practice in 1991 as an NP. This was the first practice where I truly experienced continuity of care and developed long lasting relationships with my patients. I got to know my patients personally as I cared for them in pregnancy. One such patient I cared for through three pregnancies. Her mother passed away of ovarian cancer at the age of 39 and this patient was always worried about that, and I understood her fears and was proactive in her care. In 2005, when she was 38, I found a lump in her breast that did not show up in routine screening mammogram. After additional diagnostics, the pathology result was invasive ductal carcinoma. My office called me at home on my day off to report this result, and because I knew my patient’s anxiety level and the fact that she was home alone, I put my then 3 yr old son in the car and made the first “house call” of my career. I was able to give her the results in person, hug her, cry with her and then set the wheels in motion for her oncology care. I will never ever forget this amazing woman and mom, who passed away of metastatic triple negative breast cancer in 2008 at the age of 41. I attended her funeral, cried with her family and I now care for her two adult daughters, one of whom has the BRCA 1 mutation her mother had.

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

The best part of being a Nurse Practitioner is the ability to “care” for patients from a “nursing” perspective as well as a “medical” perspective. I value the ability to spend time understanding not just the health (or illness) concerns my patients may have, but also how these concerns impact their overall lives. I constantly strive to be a partner in their wellness and listen to their needs when creating a treatment plan.

Describe your greatest practice challenge in the current healthcare environment.

As a practice owner in Massachusetts, my greatest practice challenge sadly is the inability to practice to the full extent of my training and scope. When my job in small hospital based practice was eliminated due to a corporate take-over, I knew the only way I would be able to continue to care for my patients of the past 21 years, was to open my own practice. The current healthcare environment does not reward clinicians for a job well done. It is sad that as a healthcare professional, the better I do my job, the less I am paid. It is also the only profession where we cannot set our rates; we are at the mercy of insurers to determine our worth! We are incentivized to see more patients per hour in order to pay exorbitant overhead costs and still earn a living; but by seeing more patients per hour, we are compromising their care. As a practice owner, I am constantly frustrated by the rising costs of staying in business as insurance reimbursements continue to decline.

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

I find myself in the position of giving advice to students on a regular basis, as I precept graduate nursing students every semester. My advice is: be true to yourself and your dreams. If you love what you do, you’ll never have to “work” a day. Follow your heart, surround yourself with like-minded professionals and never stop “caring”.