How did I get into nursing?

From the time I was probably 4 or 5 years old, I knew I wanted to be a nurse (well, in addition to owning a Taco Bell because I thought, how cool would that be, mom?!).

I have always loved the feeling of taking care of someone and luckily for me, science and anatomy classes were my jam. After graduating with my Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Belmont University, I began working in the hospital setting, thriving in an Intensive Care Unit setting in both the Surgical ICU and Pediatric ICU. My love for nursing and my desire to further my education led me back to Belmont to earn my Master of Science as a Family Nurse Practitioner. I graduated from Belmont in December 2017, passed my board examination, and have been at Skin Pharm ever since.

How did I end up at Skin Pharm?

Maegan had just opened Skin Pharm in January 2017, and while I was in graduate school, I reached out to see if I could do some of my clinical hours at Skin Pharm. THANK GOODNESS she said “yes!” My grandfather owned his own practice in medical dermatology until he retired, and I knew going into a field specializing in aesthetic dermatology was an absolute dream. It’s the perfect career with a combination of nerdy research paired with a beautiful aesthetic. After completing my clinical hours — and with the birth of Maegan’s precious son Eli coming soon — I was asked to stay on as a nurse practitioner for the Skin Pharm team. Talk about dreams coming true! I am so blessed to be a part of the Skin Pharm family.

What do I like to do when I’m not at Skin Pharm?

When I’m not at work you can find me with my husband Cody and our amazing dog Weller (he’s part Australian Shepherd/part poodle …  seriously, this brand is awesome), and our soon to be SON who is due June 1st, although I guess we’ll see when he is actually going to make his arrival! We love to travel everywhere. Cody is a bit of a national parks junkie, so our trips are normally spent somewhere between snowshoeing 10 miles one day and me hitting the spa the next.

What do I wish I’d done when I was younger to take better care of my skin?

I wish I wouldn’t have believed people when they said Cetaphil and Retin-A were going to cure my acne, because there are seriously so many other products that are amazing at creating a clear complexion that won’t make your face feel like it’s falling off (if you know, you know). Also, the tanning bed. What was I thinking?! My prom dress would have looked just fine if I was three shades lighter.

What would I like to continue to learn?

Cosmetic dermatology is an ever-evolving career path. I love the research involved in my job. Ever notice how the aesthetic scene seems to take social media by storm? There are updated research articles, new injecting methods, and unlimited amount of data that we study daily to provide you the best services possible. At Skin Pharm, our continuing education is limitless so we can provide you with the safest and most up to date practices.

What do I hope for my patients?

I hope that when you come to see me, you feel heard and understood. Whether your concerns are skin care, procedures, and/or naturally focused injectables, I’m your girl. I’ll listen to your needs, tailor treatments specifically to you, and watch your self-confidence rise. I hope you leave me feeling that all of your questions were answered, needs were met, and that you’re just as excited as I am for your next visit.

 

How did I get into nursing?

I wish I had a cool story to tell about how I got into nursing. But the truth is, I was 18 years old and had just graduated from high school. My mom told me she did not want me to go into college “undecided” on a degree. So I asked her, “Well, what should I do?” She told me that I was always better at science and math courses, so I should try nursing. And if it didn’t work out, I could use the prerequisite courses to do something else in healthcare.

Fortunately, I loved nursing once I got into the program and now, here we are!

How did I end up at Skin Pharm?

I first came to Skin Pharm as a patient. I had seen Skin Pharm founder and owner Maegan Griffin for treatment of acne and rosacea (and, of course, Botox injections!). During my nurse practitioner program, I did a specialty rotation in dermatology. I fell in love with all things skin and found that I was extremely drawn to cosmetic dermatology. As I began to think of pursuing a career in cosmetic dermatology, I knew Skin Pharm was the place I wanted to be. I started keeping in touch with Maegan about potential opportunities at Skin Pharm. As Skin Pharm quickly expanded, Maegan told me she was looking to hire another provider. I don’t know how I got so lucky, but she chose ME!

What do I like to do when I’m not at Skin Pharm?

When I’m not working, most of my time is spent with my husband, Mitchell. We are lake and beach people, so when the weather is nice, that’s where you will find us. I love living an active lifestyle — I can’t sit still — so I enjoy all types of exercise.

My husband and I just had a baby boy, “Dunn” Samuel Stoffer, and I can’t wait to start this new chapter in my life as a mother (while also keeping up with my career!).

Say hello to “Dunn” Samuel Stoffer!

What do I wish I’d done when I was younger to take better care of my skin?

I hate to admit it, but I used to go to the tanning bed in high school. I wish I hadn’t done this, and I wish I’d listened to my mom when she told me to wear sunscreen EVERY DAY!

What would I like to continue to learn?

I love that I chose a career that is always changing (because how boring would it be if it didn’t?). I strive to continually learn the most up-to-date, evidence-based treatments for my patients. I always say that learning is so much fun when you love what you do.

What do I hope for my patients?

I hope each patient that I encounter feels that their needs, wants and goals are recognized. I also want them to know that I will do everything I possibly can to make these achievable for them. I personally use the products and have the treatments performed that I recommend because I believe in them. Ultimately, I hope my patients become the most confident version of themselves. When you look good, you feel good; when you feel good, you do good.  

 

How did I get into nursing?

I grew up around nursing and healthcare. I was inspired by my mom, who is a CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist). I knew from a very young age that becoming a nurse was something I wanted to do. I’m currently working on my Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. I made the decision to further my education so I am better prepared to understand and implement research into practice with my patients.

How did I end up at Skin Pharm?

Maegan Griffin and I attended nursing school together, so we’ve known each other for 10 years! We kept in touch over the years, and I followed her journey as she built Skin Pharm. I have always considered Maegan a mentor, and I feel so blessed to be learning from her every day. I love working with so many strong women — and I’m talking about my co-workers and my patients. We empower one another, we recognize each other’s strengths, and we continually build each other up.

What do I like to do when I’m not at Skin Pharm?

I spend time with my husband, Philip, and our poodle (Reagan) and cat (Dale). I also love cooking and baking, working out (I’m really into hot yoga sculpt right now), trying new restaurants around town, reading (psychological thrillers). Also, we love to travel!

What do I wish I’d done when I was younger to take better care of my skin?

WEAR SPF!! I was a lifeguard in high school and did not protect my skin like I should have. Instead of trying to get tan, I wish I would’ve focused more on protecting my skin from the sun.

What would I like to continue to learn?

The world of cosmetic dermatology is constantly changing and evolving. It can be challenging to keep up, but at Skin Pharm we promise to always provide the most up-to-date, evidence-based care. I’m a self-declared nerd, and I love learning about new and improved treatments and products.

What do I hope for my patients?

I hope each and every patient leaves Skin Pharm feeling heard, appreciated and taken care of. Most importantly, I hope patients leave feeling confident!

I’ve learned that I can take better care of others if I take good care of myself.

I’m grateful for the women in my life who have constantly encouraged me and pushed me to be my best. By watching these women, I learned that being our best starts with caring for ourselves, and by loving ourselves. This means physically, mentally and emotionally.  In order to be the best wife, daughter, sister, friend, and nurse practitioner, it is important for me to take time to care for myself.  It’s OK to take this time to care for yourself — you should not feel ashamed for doing so.

How did I even get into nursing?

Thankfully I was good at science. I didn’t love math or history, so I joke that science was the path of least resistance. After taking (and enjoying) a Human Anatomy and Physiology course, I received clarity, and continued on with my pre-nursing requirements to become a RN (registered nurse), and eventually a Family Nurse Practitioner.

So no, I did not dream of being a nurse when I was  6 years old (I was too busy singing Spice Girls), but I did find this path organically. And we’re all about things happening organically at Skin Pharm.

While in undergraduate school I discovered that I had a huge interest in the heart — literally, in the human heart. I took a job on congestive heart failure, and on that unit I was amazed at how an ill heart could present visible symptoms in the skin with weeping, oozing wounds. Perhaps this was where my interest in skin was piqued, but it still took several years for me to find my path to what would eventually become Skin Pharm.

Upon graduating, I knew the ICU would be great opportunity for me to exercise being a critical thinker, and to apply my knowledge of how to treat a sick patient when any or all of the body systems are failing. The experience I received was invaluable, but I knew it wasn’t my forever job.

I took a job with a plastic surgeon who focused on reconstructive surgery, which was partially a continuum of what I was previously doing, but more specialized. He didn’t have much of an interest in cosmetic plastic surgery, but he offered me the opportunity to learn injections and lasers. Once I realized how much I enjoyed medical aesthetics, I read every article, watched every video, went to every course, and asked for every trainer to visit the office.

I was also studying to earn my Masters Degree at this time and found a particular interest in a course called Clinical Decision Making for the Family Nurse Practitioner. This course emphasized the utilization of evidence-based practice and integration of technology into primary care — all coming together now, right?

I was 24 years old and just beginning to pay off student loans, so I found myself amazed by the money people would spend on their faces.

But I also realized that the people sitting in the chair — who were investing a great deal of money in themselves — took their consults very seriously. They took my advice about how to take better care of their skin, and their overall health.

So, when I said, “Buy SPF before you even start Botox,” they would. And they’d use it — I could see the difference in patients I’ve been seeing for several years now, and it’s still my number-one piece of advice for patients. When I said, “Get out of the tanning bed and then come back for lip filler,” they really did it!

I was doing cosmetic procedures, which some may view as superficial treatments, but I was also playing a part in helping people make positive changes that didn’t just impact their appearance, but their overall health. When you can help someone make a healthier choice, there’s nothing superficial about that.

Launching Skin Pharm — and then the Skin Pharm skincare line — was a big leap, but I knew it was the right one.

We quickly outgrew our first office, landing at our current spot on 21st in Nashville, where I work alongside my dream team each day.

But my job is never really finished. There’s always new medical research for me and my team to learn about, or innovative technologies and treatments to consider bringing to Skin Pharm. I do my best to balance my work with everything else in life — like spending time with my husband and two kids, hanging with friends, or traveling — but I wouldn’t change anything. Well, except maybe having more hours in the day!

 

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