The 2023-2024 Nurse Practitioner Residents at their first Didactic Day at PSU where guest speakers include Dr. Jay Allen and Rebecca French, DNP, APRN, Diabetes NP, and Eric Thomason, VP of BH. Nurse practitioner residents are afforded multiple educational opportunities in their first year of practice such as the presenters above. Left to right: Dr. Hite, Teresa Self, Aaron Bigando, Samantha Sheppard, Teresa Hagedorn, Jessie Ismert, Dr. Madl, and Christy Gilreath.

Meet our Nurse Practitioner Residents 

Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas welcomes its 2023-2024 Rural Nurse Practitioner Residency cohort.

The residents include Aaron Bigando of Columbus, Teresa Hagedorn of Joplin, Jacinta “Jessie” Ismert of Mumbai, India and Lenexa, Teresa Self of Kansas City, MO, and Samantha Sheppard of Uniontown.

The yearlong residency program provides additional intense and focused education to nurse practitioners who have completed their advanced practice education and have obtained board certification. The residency program is a partnership between the Pittsburg State University School of Nursing and CHC/SEK, providing a guided transition into a practitioner role. This cohort will finish their residency in May 2024.

Aaron says he joined the residency because it will provide valuable clinical experience with direct oversight. He was inspired to enter healthcare because he had family connections.

Aaron spends time with his wife and daughter. They enjoy walks around the neighborhood with their family dog as well. He’s currently watching “Master Chef” and “Guy’s Grocery Games,” he likes Elevation Worship, and he likes to unplug by watching sports.

For Teresa Hagedorn, she had a personal experience with a family member that motivated her to go into the health field.

“I witnessed how nurses could change lives for patients and their families in a time of crisis,” she says.

She’s taking the next step in her career by joining a nurse practitioner residency.

“I felt I had a great educational experience and gained a wealth of knowledge, but lacked the confidence needed to deliver care providing the best health outcomes for my patients,” Teresa Hagedorn says.

When she’s not at work, Teresa Hagedorn enjoys strength training, pickle ball, and family time. She’s watching reruns of “Modern Family” and is reading “When We Believed in Mermaids” by Barbara O’Neal.

Jessie decided to complete the Nurse Practitioner Residency at CHC/SEK because it is in the same state as her hometown and is relatively close to her house. Additionally, she likes that it is set in a rural community.

“It provides exposure to various primary care conditions and has a good mix of population in various age brackets,” Jessie says. “Also, the receptive teaching vibe from the staff and management and decision makers makes it appealing.”

During her school and college years, Jessie did a lot of community service.

“I just felt that the medical field is an extension of community service,” she says.

Jessie currently works at Veterans Affairs working with the veteran population. Parenthood keeps her busy outside of work, but when she’s not busy, she watches the TV Netflix drama “Painkiller: The Causes and Consequences of America’s Opioid Epidemic.” She’s reading the book “Leadership and Self Deception” by the Arbinger Institute. Jessie listens to Alan Walker and Taylor Swift.

The support the residency program provides during the first year of practice encouraged Teresa Self to join the nurse practitioner residency. A career in nursing made sense to her because “it’s such a wide field that you can do basically anything with one degree.”

Teresa Self likes to read and is a movie buff. She volunteers with animal shelters and is a huge animal rescue advocate. She is watching “Succession” and reading “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed. Samantha wanted to take care of people, so she chose a career in nursing.

Before returning to school, she was a registered nurse for 12 years. She has experience in medical/surgery, labor and delivery, and the emergency room.

Samantha joined the nurse practitioner residency to prepare her for her practice. “I wanted to enhance my knowledge and grow as a nurse practitioner to provide competent care to my community,” she says.

Samantha says her husband and children are a great support system. They have two sons, 18-year-old Kane and 10-year-old Kinnis, and two daughters, 16-year-old Madison and 8-year-old Scotti. Samantha likes to read crime/thrillers, biographies, and romance books.

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