Jodi J. Nelson, RN, MSN, WHNP-BCBC
Meet our Women's Health Nurse Practitioner
"I believe keeping women healthy keeps families healthy. And empowering women in their health empowers them in every aspect of their lives." ~Jodi J. Nelson
Jodi was born in Portland and grew up in the Northwest. Her family moved around frequently, as her father was a pastor. They eventually settled in Arizona, where she attended high school and college in pursuit of a nursing degree. Jodi joined us at Paulina Peak Family Healthcare in the Fall of 2018 and has been a wonderful addition to our team! We caught up with her between patients for an informal interview about her life, passions, and pursuits.
Where did you go to school?
I got my bachelor’s degree in Nursing from the University of AZ in Tuscon and my master’s from Vanderbilt University in Nashville.
After I graduated, I was in the Air Force for 4 years as a medical surgical nurse and deployed to Afghanistan for 6 months. When I came back, I moved into Labor and Delivery for two years at Travis Air Force base in Northern California. Oddly enough, that was where Leah was stationed as well, we missed each other by about a year!
My passion has always been in women’s health. When I got out of the Air Force, I moved back to Oregon, where I was a Labor and Delivery nurse for St. Charles for 4 years. I then went through an accelerated Nurse Practitioner program through Vanderbilt, where I did 650 hours of clinical practice with the St. Charles Women’s Group in Redmond.
What brought you to Central Oregon?
I grew up in the Northwest and always loved it up here. We came to Bend a lot as a kid, it was “the big city” when we lived out in Burns! And that was in the 80’s so it wasn’t a big city at all!
What do you love best about the area?
I love the access to the outdoors, and how in every season there’s lots to do outside. I love that it’s a community of people who all want to get out and do things.
What do you love best about La Pine?
I’ve always grown up in small towns. I like that you go to the grocery store and see people that you know; the small-town community of living with the people that you do life with.
When did you know you wanted to get into health care?
My high school had a program where you could get your Certified Nursing Assistant license, so I did that in my junior and senior year. When I went to college, my uncle was an obstetrician, so I started working in his clinic as a nursing assistant. I just fell in love with women’s health at that point. I worked with a nurse practitioner in his office and ever since I worked with her, I just wanted to be her.
What do you love most about women’s health?
I believe keeping women healthy keeps families healthy. And empowering women in their health empowers them in every aspect of their lives. I love prenatal care, especially through labor and delivery; prenatal care is such a pivotal time in women’s lives, and in building families. I think women should feel very supported and empowered through that. I like building relationships with patients that continues.
Specific things I’m especially passionate about treating and seeing are contraception, IUDs, family planning, well-women exams, and problem gyn visits.
What do you love most about being an NP?
Nursing is a very holistic approach to healthcare. Whereas in medicine, doctors are trained more about diseases and fixing disease, nursing is more about looking at the whole person. I’ve always liked that approach.
Hobbies and Fun Facts
What are your hobbies?
I love to be outside, I love reading, baking, and hanging out with my family.
Jodi has a two-and-a-half year old daughter; when asked what she especially enjoys doing:
She loves to go to the park and she loves to help me in the kitchen. We bake together. We make a big mess and then I clean it up. I tell myself she’s building memories!
Favorite Central Oregon activities:
I love hiking and snowshoeing. In the summertime I like floating the river and picnics. I go to the park a lot, go on day hikes, camping, backpacking—though we haven’t done much backpacking since having a kiddo!