In honor of National Nurse Practitioner Week and as a recent top NP award winner with the POCN Top NPs of 2022, family nurse practitioner Tavell L. Kindall, PhD, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, AACRN, AAHIVS, FAANP, recently shared some thoughts about his career as a nurse practitioner.
Dr. Kindall is the director of HIV Prevention and Treatment at St. Thomas Community Health Center in New Orleans and is the current president of the Louisiana State Board of Nursing and a fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (FAANP). POCN is a peer education and support network for nurse practitioners and physician associates.
Please tell me about your NP career path and how you arrived at where you are now.
Much of my previous clinical experience as a registered nurse (RN) was in critical care and emergency medicine. I worked for about two years after becoming an NP in emergency/fast track until a unique opportunity to work as an NP in HIV care was presented to me. I had no experience and had to burn a lot of midnight oil to get up to speed quickly. The rest is history. I’ve been working in HIV care for the past 8 years and have obtained both AACRN and AAHIVS designations. It’s been amazing!!
What makes your nursing specialty such a good fit for your interests and skills?
People living with HIV deserve excellent care. In my experiences with patients over the years, they’ve shared with me how they were judged and mistreated by others providing their care. My goal is to provide a nurturing and affirming environment where they are allowed to reach their full health potential. My approach to ensure that people living with HIV become undetectable is intentional. This is one of the most important ways to end the HIV epidemic in the US. I am also very intentional about HIV prevention. Doing this work allows me to use my interpersonal and clinical skills to their fullest extent.
Please tell me a little about the America’s Top NP award and how it feels to be recognized by your peers for nursing excellence.
It feels amazing to have this recognition. Often, the work I do goes unnoticed because of bias and stigma, but it’s a privilege to care for people living with HIV and an honor to be thought of so highly in the discipline.
What do you wish more people knew about a career as an NP?
There are so many opportunities. People are just sitting around finding more and more things for us to do which is very exciting. You have tremendous employment potential and entrepreneurial opportunities as well. I believe we (NPs) make it look sexy to many people, and in my experience, many RNs go into the role blindly only to realize after the fact that it’s not what they really wanted. It’s an incredible responsibility with the potential to impact so many lives. RNs should make sure they shadow an NP before committing to the educational journey so they can see the good, the bad, and the ugly. This is the most rewarding time in my career, and I cannot see myself doing anything else. Becoming an NP has been one of my best life choices.
What advances are you most excited to see in the nursing industry?
I’m excited to see more states granting full practice authority (FPA) to NPs. Ultimately, I look forward to seeing FPA across the nation and a compact agreement that will allow for even more access to care for everyone to benefit from the excellent care NPs provide.