Woman smiling.

DNP-FNP Student Spotlight: Chelsa Greene

Doctor of Nursing Practice Family Nurse Practitioner Program ‘21

Nurses truly care for their patients and want them to thrive, and this pandemic has only highlighted that.

Now a nurse practitioner resident at a federally qualified health center, Chelsa Greene plans to devote her career to providing primary care in underserved communities.


Please tell us a little bit about yourself–where are you originally from, and what do you like to do in your spare time?

I am originally from Berkeley, California. In my spare time I enjoy hiking, gardening, cooking, and reading food magazines


Why did you decide to pursue nursing and why did you choose Columbia?

I decided I wanted to be a nurse, and ultimately nurse practitioner, after working as a medical assistant at Planned Parenthood for a number of years. I loved my role in the clinic, but wanted an opportunity to work with patients in a more comprehensive way. Nursing was a natural choice as it is a career that allows you to develop rapport and partnerships with patients to help them live a life that is fulfilling and healthy. I chose Columbia School of Nursing because I felt that the urban setting of the university would offer me invaluable experiences in learning to care for all types of people.


How has the pandemic shaped your feelings about becoming a nurse?

Kicking off a career as a family nurse practitioner in the midst of a global pandemic has surely come with its challenges. As we navigate through this new way of life, a career in nursing has given me immense gratitude for not only the role we play in our patient’s lives, but also the one that they play in ours. We get to know our patients well, their risk factors and strengths, and think of them beyond when the clock hits 5 p.m. As eligibility tiers for the COVID-19 vaccines roll out, we continually run lists of patients in our head to see who is eligible next to be kept safe. To me, this embodies nursing. Nurses truly care for their patients and want them to thrive, and this pandemic has only highlighted that.


What are you passionate about, and how has being a student at Columbia Nursing allowed you to follow that passion?

I am very passionate about women’s health. Columbia Nursing has an amazing Women’s Health subspecialty program that allowed me expand my knowledge and integrate that into a primary care setting. The subspecialty gave me not only knowledge and skills, but an opportunity to connect with other Columbia Nursing students who share a similar passion.


What is your next step after you graduate?

I am currently a nurse practitioner resident at a federally qualified health center in Washington state. I am a primary care provider and will carry my own panel of patients on completion of the program. Once I graduate from residency, I hope to stay in a similar setting. I want to continue to work with underserved communities providing full scope primary care.


Do you have a favorite memory of your time at Columbia Nursing?

I can’t pin down one specific memory, though I would like to comment on the incredible friends I made while studying at Columbia. I left with a network of friends and colleagues whom I trust and admire.


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