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Profile of a Member: Susan Halli Demeter

Susan Halli DemeterSusan Halli Demeter DNP, FNP-BC, CLS

"A man too busy to take care of his health is like a mechanic too busy to take care of his tools."
Spanish Proverb

I found myself fascinated by the human body after taking an anatomy and physiology class in high school. My mother was a nurse so I decided to follow in her footsteps. I found a special interest in Cardiology after completing a summer nurse internship on a medical/surgical floor and participating in a code blue where the patient did not survive. The experience taught me that the heart is more than a symbol for love; it is vital for life. It is the only organ that can break, mend, survive an attack, fibrillate, go too fast or too slow, and at times fail.

Following college graduation I worked as a nurse in telemetry/intermediate care and was a unit educator while I pursued my DNP as a family/community nurse practitioner (NP) at Rush University in Chicago, Illinois. Following graduation I worked in an outpatient cardiology clinic in Illinois and gathered some general cardiology experience. I realized I had a special interest in preventive cardiology and accepted a position at Mayo Clinic Arizona to help develop a preventive cardiology program.

A typical workday mostly consists of seeing patients in the Heart Health and Performance Program, Weight and Wellness Solutions Clinic, or Lipid Clinic, with some intermingling of general cardiology patients. Part of my job involves staff education, presenting at conferences, and improving clinical practice. I enjoy being a preceptor for NP students and employees. I feel it is my duty to contribute to the education of future NPs and work a few hours a week as a faculty associate at Arizona State University. Participation in national organizations is also important and I serve on the board for the Southwest Lipid Association and Accreditation Council of Clinical Lipidology.

I have been a PCNA member for approximately 15 years and feel it has been rewarding on a variety of levels. PCNA membership includes the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, discount rate at the annual symposium, online CE courses and webinars, patient education materials, and involvement in local chapter meetings. My favorite aspect about PCNA is that it is an organization that is geared toward cardiovascular nurses and works collaboratively with other organizations such as the AHA, ACC, and NLA. The PCNA Annual Symposium is a wonderful opportunity to learn the most current cardiovascular research, guidelines, and recommendations and an opportunity to network with others who have similar interests. I have enjoyed becoming more involved in PCNA over the years through serving on the Membership Committee and being a co-chair in the development of the Phoenix chapter in Arizona. I have also displayed research posters at PCNA Annual Meetings and have been a speaker at the regional fall learning series and at our local chapter meeting.

My advice to those entering the nursing field is to find a specialty you are passionate about because it will make your career both enjoyable and fulfilling. I also believe in “practice what you preach” to patients, because I would find it difficult to properly educate patients on cardiovascular risk prevention if I was not following the same recommendations myself. My hobbies include running, yoga, hiking trails throughout Arizona and spending time with my family and friends.