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Dr. Pam Miller has been a member of the USI nursing faculty for two years. She is a USI graduate, having earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree in 2011 and a Post MSN APRN Certificate in the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) specialty in 2004. She received a MSN degree (Pediatric Nurse Practitioner) in 1999 from Arizona State University and her BSN in 1989 from the University of Arizona.

The focus of her nursing research has primarily been in the area of rural health. "I am from a rural community and always liked the idea of a 'country doctor' relationship with my patients," she says. "Rural areas are always in need of healthcare professionals, and I wanted to help fulfill that need." She has started a free medical clinic on Wednesday mornings for Safe Haven, a women's shelter in Wabash County, Illinois, serving women and children from various areas in southern Illinois or Indiana who often do not have a primary care practitioner or medical insurance.

She recently presented a podium presentation, Rural Family Planning Clinic Outcomes, at USI's Research Conference. At this same conference in 2023, she presented a poster, Family Planning Re-implementation at the Wabash County Health Department.

Q&A with Pam

Why did you choose nursing as a profession? My father had a chronic illness and was in and out of the hospital many times when I was a child. My mom always talked about the nurses and how much they helped and supported her. I decided that I would like to become a nurse.

Where have you worked as a nurse? For 10 years, I worked in the pediatric ICU at the Tucson Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona. Then I returned to college at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, to get my master’s degree: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. Afterwards, I moved back to Illinois and worked briefly at a pediatric clinic associated with St Mary’s (at the time) until it closed. I then worked at a small community clinic in Albion, Illinois, for about 12 years, as well as the Wabash County Medical Center in Mt. Carmel, Illinois. I still work part-time at the Mt. Carmel clinic.

What or who inspired you to teach? When I completed my formal education and started practice, I promised myself that one day in the future I would teach. I wanted to teach nursing students and give back to the career that had done so much for me.

Why is it important to set aside a week to honor the nursing profession? Nurses are amazing and such an integral part of the healthcare team. We are with patients at their best and their worst. We are a well-educated and caring group of professionals who have dedicated our lives to helping others.

What advice do you have for the next generation of nurses–for students who may be considering this profession? Enter nursing because you love people and want to help them. It can be a challenging career but is also extremely rewarding. Be prepared to change and grow with the profession.

Anything else you would like to add? I am a bit of a daredevil. I love to zip-line and rappel. I also just recently obtained my motorcycle license!