This is one in a series of profiles published Sunday as part of our “NURSES: THE HEART OF HEALTH CARE” section. To become a Herald & Review member and see more of our special content, visit herald-review.com/members.
A career in nursing isn’t for the faint of heart.
“Buckle up! The ride to becoming a nurse is a bumpy one. But once you reach your destination, it will be beyond worth it,” said Christa Metzelaars, a family nurse practitioner at SIHF Healthcare in Mattoon.
Metzelaars has spent 10 years as a registered nurse at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield and Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center in Mattoon before making the professional switch after getting her masters degree in nursing in 2015..
Nursing was a job Metzelaars had been preparing for her entire life.
“I cannot imagine being anything else,” said Metzelaars, 32. “I used to cover my baby dolls in Band-Aids. I used our toy kitchen as a doctor’s office and the iron as a defibrillator. My mom used to take me over to my grandparent’s house when my great-grandma was having a rough day. I would tuck her into bed before leaving. I would take her dentures into the bathroom, I would fix her oxygen nasal cannula, I would fix her blankets, turn her light off, and close her door. It all makes sense now!”