Picture of Nurse Practitioner Jessica Null, standing next to a female patient that is sitting down on an examine chair. They are both smiling.
Childhood birthday party sparks dream of nursing career for family nurse practitioner
Clutching her favorite Barbie doll, the little girl peered up and placed her tiny hands into the outstretched palms of those whose gentle touch and kind words had guided her for nearly nine weeks.
The moments of fear and uncertainty were no longer in the forefront of her mind. After months of beeping monitors and IV poles, this was her magical moment. A construction paper tiara adorned with the number 6 graced her head while her pink nightgown swayed ever so slightly with each tiny movement. The newly crowned six-year-old glanced at her parents affectionately looking on before turning her attention back to her best friend and the team of nurses who took it upon themselves to give a young pediatric patient a birthday party to remember.
For family nurse practitioner Jessica Null, the memory of her sixth birthday party is one that she carries with her to this day and one she credits with sparking a passion for nursing.
"They had to put in a lot of effort, which they didn't have to do," Jessica says. "Ever since then, that's stuck with me. I remember what they did, and I hope to do that for my patients. They won't remember my name or what I look like, but hopefully they'll remember that I helped them."
Jessica earned her undergraduate degree in nursing from Tennessee Technological University in 2013 before obtaining a master's of science in nursing from East Tennessee State University in 2019. In December 2019, Jessica joined the team at Mount Jefferson Family Medicine where she continually provides high-quality care to residents across Ashe County.
"I always wanted to work somewhere rural, so this is kind of a dream come true," Jessica says. "We have a special practice here. I really enjoy it, and hopefully in 10 to 15 years, I'll still be here continuing to care for the people in this community because I love the people and our staff. We work collectively as a team, and I couldn't do my job without all of them."
At Mount Jefferson Family Medicine, Jessica provides primary care services to patients of all ages, ranging from infant care to adult family medicine. She also treats a variety of common and complex conditions, including ear infections, cold and flu, gastrointestinal problems, respiratory conditions and physical exams, among other services.
In addition to seeing primary care patients, Jessica also is certified to complete Commercial Driver's License exams. Exams are currently available on Tuesday afternoons and are open to all truck drivers regardless of whether or not they are current Mount Jefferson Family Medicine patients.
"I really enjoy primary care," Jessica says. "There are so many different things and no patient is the same, so you are always learning something new. I think when you see someone and they have a problem and you're somehow able to hone in on that and either fix it or make it manageable and improve their quality of life, that's really satisfying."
When she's not busy caring for the community, Jessica enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband, Rahn, and 14-month-old son, Micah.
"He's my world," Jessica says.