Elizabeth Balleweg, recipient of the Geraldine Labecki Scholarship, is pursuing a Master’s Degree at Frontier Nursing University to become a Family Nurse Practitioner. After receiving a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Montana State University in 2009, Elizabeth completed a Critical Care Residency at University of Colorado Hospital and continued working there in the Surgical ICU for three years. For the past five years, Elizabeth has worked as an acute dialysis nurse in Boise, ID, where she provides plasmapheresis, hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis and continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) for patients in five local hospitals. She is dual certified in Critical Care and Nephrology Nursing.
Throughout her career, Elizabeth has enthusiastically served as a primary preceptor for new nurses in both critical care and nephrology nursing. She trains co-workers in all dialysis modalities and creates educational materials on pathophysiology and policy updates. In 2016, she received advanced training on CRRT in Boston in order to teach classes to ICU nurses on how to operate and troubleshoot the CRRT equipment. She thoroughly enjoys the process of helping fellow nurses learn and grow.
Collectively, these experiences as a nurse have clarified Elizabeth’s goals as a future FNP: to focus on disease prevention and early intervention in a primary care setting. During her career, she has frequently treated critically-ill patients who have minimal hope for improvement, or often, even survival. This experience has led to her desire to work in primary care where she might reach patients earlier in their care so that she can educate, treat, and potentially prevent the suffering she has witnessed. She is passionate about providing care to the underserved, and plans to ultimately work at a local community health center in Boise that provides affordable medical services to low-income clients, refugees and migrant workers. In the future, Elizabeth hopes to pursue a doctorate to further build her clinical skills and serve as a preceptor for nurse practitioner students.