Kim Kerrigan, MN, NP, RN is our February Nurse of the month! Kim and I met 30 years ago while attending grad school at UCLA. I don’t know why she was drawn to me, but I know what drew me to her. Kim is THAT girl. An abundant giver with a kind, gentle spirit and equally massive grit and determination to do whatever it is she needs to get done. She is a devoted family woman and equally devoted professional. She does it all with that radiant, contagious, effervescent smile.
Kim fights a daily battle with an autoimmune disease that would break someone like me. So one day I asked Kim how she does it? How does she stay so positive, so happy when life has given her such struggles? She replied with her old soul wisdom and also said she builds a vision board once a year. She taught me how to do it and I have practiced it ever since. Call it magical thinking or meta physics-I don’t care- just call it working in our lives. Kim’s ability to share her story, teach and touch the lives of others all the while taking care of others by being a shining example of caring for herself is a true inspiration. Pope Francis calls Nurses “Experts in Humanity”. He must have been thinking about Kim.
I want to highlight a few things from Kim’s bio that will shine a light on how this Nurse Angel is lit from within! As a young girl, Kim volunteered as a “Candy Striper” at the local hospital wearing the pink and white pinafore that inspired the name. She delivered ice and flowers to the hospitalized patients and says that "carrying out these ordinary tasks seemed to brighten their day in the hospital and made me happy.” She watched the Nurses work and didn’t think she had the mental and spiritual strength to work with people in pain and suffering like they could. While in college, she became ill and was treated at the student health center. A Nurse Practitioner, the first she had ever met, treated her with such compassionate care that Kim had her “aha moment!” and decided to become a Registered Nurse. She realized there were many types of Nurses who helped people in many different ways. She realized there was a place for her to make a positive impact on the lives of others. As an RN, she worked in the cancer unit where the patients inspired her with their courage and made her unequivocally hate cancer! As A Nurse Practitioner, Kim set up two campus Health Centers at two Community Colleges serving over 20,000 students. She knew from her own college experience with a NP just how important good health and healthcare was to students to be able to achieve their academic goals. Since those early days, she has now focused on primary care where she feels honored to care for the thousands of patients who in the exam room let down their defenses and share their stories, their fears, frustrations, joys and sorrows. Kim feels honored to care for them and says her patients have been her greatest teachers and continue to motivate her each and every day. She asks patients who are aging well time after time “What’s your secret?” and Kim says she hears over and over “A healthy diet”. So these days, you’ll find Kim not only in the clinic, but in the kitchen cooking healthy, tasty meals to prevent and reverse disease. She loves teaching others what she has learned over her long Nursing career how to live a long, healthy, happy vibrant life. Kim says in her humble way “It’s my small way of making a positive difference in the lives of others!”
Kim, you have no doubt have made an impact on the lives you touch, not only as a professional Registered Nurse and Nurse Practitioner but as a wife, mother and friend. You have been a light in MY life and a I’m certain in the lives of all you have met. I admire you and I love you Kim. You are a true hero to me and I am honored to honor you! Thank you for being you!