Sara McCumber, DNP, APRN, CNP, CNS
- Associate Professor
- Adult Gero Primary Care NP Director
- The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, MN
- Nurse Practitioner
- Essentia Health Neurology, Duluth, MN
Where did you earn your degree(s).
DNP and MS in Public Health Nursing, University of Minnesota; Post Graduate Certificates as Adult NP and Family NP, The College of St. Scholastica; and BS in Community Health Education University of Minnesota; and Diploma in Nursing, St. Luke’s School of Nursing
Describe a day in your life
It usually is a combination of teaching, clinical practice, and participation in professional nursing organizations. Often the day starts with Zoom meetings with students or academic colleagues. I am currently faculty curriculum lead for telehealth for a large HRSA ANEW grant so I am often involved in coordinating, mentoring faculty, and developing telehealth simulations, then checking my clinical practice email and electronic inbox to follow-up on patients.
I participate weekly in professional meetings such as lobbying, professional networking, and governance activities. I also connect with students or develop learning content. I try to make sure I get in some time for swimming and daily mindfulness practice.
What inspired you to work in geriatrics?
During my final year of nursing education, I spent my clinical hours on a nursing unit with long-term patients with stroke and neurological conditions. I valued longer-term relationships with patients and families.
What do you value most about your GAPNA membership?
The true commitment to exemplary geriatric care and the true camaraderie of the leaders and members and ability to make a difference in care of older adults.
Describe where you hope to be in 5 years in your career?
Fully implementing the UCLA Dementia Specialist care management program in the clinical setting and mentoring DNP students in geriatric care management.
How and why did you get involved with GAPNA?
Since I was a nursing student, the importance of membership in professional nursing organizations was emphasized. I joined GAPNA (formerly NCGNP) immediately after becoming an NP, started attending national conferences, and subsequently submitted abstracts to present at conferences.
I attended the Education Committee meeting at a conference and started participating in monthly conference calls. I value GAPNA as a community of like-minded APRNs concerned with improving geriatric care. GAPNA leadership and members are so welcoming and supportive; it is easy to participate in this organization.
GAPNA is large enough to make a difference in the lives of older adults and yet small enough to develop relationships and have the ability to make a real difference.
What is your favorite part of your job?
In my educator role, I love when students see how they can make significant differences in the care of older adults and their families. In my clinical practice, it is rewarding when I help families recognize that patients with dementia are not purposefully “choosing” dementia behaviors, educating them to lower expectations of the patient, and connecting families to community supports.
Share a fun fact about yourself.
I have a pretty good singing voice and love to sing to some of my geriatric patients.