Open Accessibility Menu

New APRN Brings Compassionate Care For the Whole Family

New APRN Brings Compassionate Care For the Whole Family

Some patients may already be familiar with a new friendly face at Carson Valley Health Specialty Care Ironwood. Melissa McPherson, APRN, is a new addition to the family practice team but is not new to Carson Valley, having lived and worked in the community for the last decade.

“When I had my last round of clinical rotations at Minden, I absolutely fell in love with Carson Valley Health,” she says. “Between the teamwork and the level of quality of care they provide their patients and the community, I was blown away.” Melissa has been a cardiac nurse in the area for the last seven years and is excited to welcome some of those patients over to her primary care practice.

Having graduated as an APRN (Advanced Practice Registered Nurse) from University of Nevada, Reno in May 2023, Melissa is excited to start taking patients with Carson Valley Health. “I’m looking forward to providing high quality patient care, not just to the patient themselves, but to their entire family,” says Melissa. “I really feel that health is not just one person’s responsibility,” she says. “Health and healthy habits run in families, and healthcare comes from the family unit.” In terms of serving patients, Melissa hopes to see people from young children over two-years-old, right through to senior citizens.

For any patients wondering why they should come and see Melissa, there is a lot of value in seeing an APRN. “APRNs come with years of nursing practice,” says Melissa. “I’ve seen patients at their worst. I’ve seen patients at their best. I truly believe that as RNs before we become APRNs, we are already exposed to a lot of challenges that patients may come across, and we can anticipate those issues for them,” she says. “As nurses, we’re trained to be a ‘jack of all trades’ and that very successfully comes across to an APRN role.” For example, Melissa describes being able to quickly “change hats” and prioritize whatever is best for the patient in the moment.

Melissa’s favorite part of family practice is being able to treat the whole family. “When I was in nursing school originally, I decided very early on that I didn’t want to be in acute care. I like to see my patients be healthy… really preventing further disease and disease progression for them,” Melissa says. “Healthy people are happier, so I really fell in love with preventative medicine and primary care. I love seeing my patients and helping them on that journey to be as healthy as they can be.”

In her spare time, Melissa is an avid knitter. “You’ll always find me with a knitting project in my purse,” she says. “It’s my stress relief and the way I deal with any anxiety. It’s how I relax, and my creative outlet,” she says.

Over the years, Melissa has served in many voluntary roles, including helping the unhoused populations. For example, she volunteered for a year as an RN at FISH Clinic in Carson City and was a regular volunteer at the Foodbank of Northern Nevada.

In her personal life, Melissa has a husband of 19 years who recently retired after 24 years of military service. They have two rescue dogs; “Pippi is a weiner dog and Miss Daisy is a chihuahua pitbull mix,” says Melissa.

Melissa’s favorite part of the Carson Valley is the community. “I just love the small town feel that we have,” she says. “Everybody kind of knows everybody and everyone is intertwined somehow.

Hand-in-hand with the small town feel of Carson Valley, she has developed many special relationships with patients over the years and has a strong sense of when things might be “off” and when her patients are doing well. “I know them on a deeper level other than just who they are and what their medical conditions are,” she says. “That’s one thing I really try to incorporate into my care - knowing who that patient is as a person.” For example, one patient whose husband had passed away told Melissa that he’d left behind explosives for gun reloading which were in an unsafe state, and she didn’t know what to do with them. Melissa called upon her own husband and his colleagues to come out and help make the situation safe for the patient.

Melissa has a strong drive to serve populations in the Carson Valley who have typically been underserved. For example, the LGBTQ+ community, the Native American communities, and women’s health. “It’s not their job to teach us as providers how to care for them, that’s my job as a provider to learn how to take care of them,” says Melissa. She describes herself as an ally who is ready and willing to listen, learn and provide care.

Carson Valley Health is delighted to welcome Melissa onboard. She’s already seeing patients at our Ironwood location and would love to see you and your family.