Andrea Thurler DNP, FNP-BC
Ambulatory GI Nurse Leader of
Advanced Practice Providers and Nursing

Practice Specialty:
Gastroenterology

Practice Location:
Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, MA 
   
                                                           

Describe why you chose to become an NP.

I was inspired to be a NP due to my desire to help people, which was instilled in my mind by my parents at an early age. I worked as an intern at MGH in the office of quality and safety my senior year of college and through my mentors. I was able to see first hand the major positive impact that nurse practitioners had on providing excellent continuity of care for patients.

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

I work with many patients who are coming for third or fourth opinions. I had a patient who suffered with a chronic GI problem, which severely decreased their quality of life and was on the verge of needing to quit school. I was able to work with the patient and the entire healthcare team (PCP, psych, GI) to create a prophylactic and acute care plan, which kept the patient out of the hospital and allowed the patient to improve to 95% of their baseline. The patient was so grateful to me for listening and for the time I spent to create an effective plan of care. This patient is now a successful professional.

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

The best part of being a nurse practitioner is being a part of the solution to offer the optimal patient care experience through access to high quality care. I also work in administrative and educational roles and enjoy seeing my colleagues and students succeed and meet career and education goals

Describe your greatest practice challenge in the current healthcare environment.

Many patients do not understand the nurse practitioner role. Allowing nurse practitioners to have full practice authority would allow for patients and colleagues to have better access to healthcare. Nurse practitioners use their clinical judgment every day and will continue to work collaboratively with their attending physicians and all members of the healthcare team. Allowing all providers to practice to the full extent of their license and training should occur across the board of all professions. One of the other the greatest practice challenges is allowing my patients access to medications, which often have a high co-pay (if they are even covered).

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

Graduation is only the beginning of your nurse practitioner career. Take advantage of every opportunity and keep strong connections with your mentors. Believe in yourself, maintain motivation, ambition, flexibility and a true desire to learn and you will succeed. Recognize that there will be challenges throughout your career however you can use them to further your growth as a nurse practitioner.