Caring for the Elderly and Homeless

Jacquelyn Boan recognized with the School of Nursing and Health Studies Alumni Achievement Award

A family nurse practitioner for 17 years, Jacquelyn Boan is nationally known for her expertise in Advanced Nursing Practice in Geriatrics and is certified in wound, ostomy and continence nursing.

“I cannot overstate the importance of the nurse practitioner in health care and I see it every day in my career,” said Boan, who works at CareSpot urgent care in Parkville, Mo. — part of the HCA Midwest Health System. “Though I have productivity goals in urgent care, I will not sacrifice listening and presence with my patients because that is the heart and soul of the nurse practitioner.”

In 1995, Boan received her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Nursing and Health Studies. Initially, she chose UMKC for its affordability.

“Little did I know that UMKC prepares the most competent professionals in this area,” Boan said. “When I entered UMKC, I envisioned myself being a nurse practitioner 9 to 5 in a clinic and living happily ever after. Never did I ever entertain a thought that I would sit on a committee that would shape national standards for health care or voice an opinion on practice issues that face all of us. I cannot put into words how gratifying it has been.”

Boan networks with area universities through her guest lectures and by providing a clinical practice setting for mentoring students. A role model who shares her knowledge and expertise with UMKC students, she has demonstrated excellence through her commitment to the profession, high standards and best practices to achieve positive outcomes for her clients.

“I tell the students: ‘Do the little things,’” Boan said. “For example, I saw a foreign lady in my clinic, and I referred her to her gynecologist through her insurance. She came back to see me with the same complaint. It finally dawned on me why she had not followed through. People of Middle Eastern culture view exams as something very private. I called her insurance line and found her someone who was Middle Eastern for her care. Yes, it took a few minutes but she returned to the clinic to thank me for helping her. Those moments define my practice.”

Boan will be honored by the campus and the UMKC Alumni Association with the 2015 School of Nursing and Health Studies Alumni Achievement Award. She is among the 17 UMKC alumni who will be recognized at the annual Alumni Awards luncheon on Thursday, April 23. The UMKC Alumni Awards luncheon is one of the university’s largest events and proceeds support student scholarships. Last year’s luncheon attracted nearly 600 attendees and garnered more than $117,000 in student scholarships.

Boan has a demonstrated passion for health care policy, working with state and federal regulatory agencies to improve the quality of care in the long-term setting in northwest Missouri. She served with the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services and the American Medical Directors Association Interdisciplinary Team, and co-chaired both the Geriatric Advanced Practice Nurses Association Special Interest Long-Term Care Group and the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Society Professional Practice Committee.

“Without a doubt my biggest and best accomplishment is sitting on the Interdisciplinary Team for the American Medical Directors Association,” she said. “When I moved to St. Joseph, I was unaware of a crisis going on. Apparently the physician who cared for a thousand nursing home residents quit. So, Heartland Regional, which was the largest health system in northwest Missouri took on trying to do the right thing. We started from nothing and were able to improve the quality of care in those homes significantly. It was during that time that AMDA decided to form the IDT to better serve the needs of professionals involved in long-term care. I actually penned the job description for the nurse practitioner in long-term care for AMDA.”

One of Boan’s current missions is providing health care for the homeless at City Union Mission.

“I love to tread where advanced practice nurses might not be and see what, if anything, is needed,” Boan said. “Opening a door for this population has been one of the most rewarding endeavors of my career. There are also students (working) there, and it is awesome to see their exposure to something other than middle class America.”

In addition to mentoring students, Boan shares her experience with her patients’ families.

“The mantra that guides my life is tomorrow is not a guarantee,” she said. “Twice I have lost loved ones unexpectedly. I have so much peace knowing that last thing I said to them is ‘I love you.’  When families ask me about going on that long-awaited cruise and ‘Will mom or dad be okay until we return?’ I tell them ‘Tell mom today whatever you need to say and go enjoy your cruise.’ It helps to keep from having regrets on many issues.”

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