FNP Program Alumna Provides Care to Homeless Patients

JANUARY 23, 2015 – As a registered nurse, Jennifer Hill (G’14), MS, RN, FNP-C, has witnessed how frequently serious health conditions resulted from her patients’ lack of access to primary care.

Such disparities motivated her to pursue a master’s degree as a family nurse practitioner at the School of Nursing & Health Studies.

Today, the alumna works as part of the homeless team at ChesPenn Health Services, a federally qualified health center that supports a community-based network of services in Pennsylvania.

Working With the Homeless

Hill’s team consists of herself and another experienced registered nurse. Together, they manage the health conditions in eight different homeless shelters, perform medical assessments, and help their patients apply for medical assistance.

By visiting the shelters, we are making it easier for people to access medical care, regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay,” says Hill.

One of the things that Hill enjoys the most about her job is the ability to spend more time with her patients than she typically would in a clinical setting.

“I appreciate having the opportunity to hear somebody’s story, to learn more about where they’ve been and where they want to go, and to assist them medically if I can,” she says.

Work-Life Balance

Hill says that with her busy schedule, Georgetown’s online master of science degree program in nursing was the perfect fit for her.

“It offered a unique learning platform via 2GU where I could have all the benefits of an intimate, real-time classroom setting without the need to commute to campus,” she said.

For Hill, who is also a mother of two, balancing work and graduate school for Hill was both challenging and rewarding.

“I joke that I should have simultaneously earned a master’s degree in childcare coordination along with my master’s degree,” she says.

Evidence-Based Health Care

Hill believes that having a strong understanding of what constitutes good evidence-based practice is the foundation of being a safe and effective health care provider.

In the future, Hill hopes to become more involved in researching ways to improve health outcomes in the homeless population.

“I am still getting my feet wet as an [advanced practice nurse],” she says. “Nonetheless, in the future, I hope to become more involved in researching how to improve health outcomes in the homeless population.”

By Masha Mikey (S'15)