This New Orleans Nurse Practitioner is Writing Her Own Story
Scharmaine Lawson-Baker, DNP, FNP-BC, RN, FAANP, is a family nurse practitioner in New Orleans, La., and although she has a very busy schedule, her nursing background led her to pursue an unconventional hobby - creating a children’s book series celebrating nursing.
After discovering a lack of children’s books about the nursing profession, she decided to write her own highlighting the diversity within the nursing profession with the stories of “Nola The Nurse.”
For Dr. Baker, the goal for writing these inspiring children’s books is to “not only increase children’s awareness about the nursing profession (especially advanced practice nursing) but also to encourage children from various ethnicities to consider the nursing profession as an achievable career path.” Nola is an African-American child who wants to be a nurse practitioner (NP) like her mom. She has a lot of friends who come from different backgrounds, and she visits them to help heal their sick baby dolls and learns about the diverse world of nursing.
Dr. Baker’s books reflect her own experiences as an NP as well as focus on different advanced practice nursing specialties. Dr. Baker began her career as a nursing assistant and then pursued a nursing career as a travel nurse on the East Coast. Currently, Dr. Baker works in a private practice in New Orleans, La., with home visits to assisted living facilities as well as traditional primary care in a small clinic. She also visits schools and other community events with her Nola the Nurse character, spreading the word about the roles that nurses play and encouraging children to pursue advanced practice nursing as a profession.
“Children love to learn, but we must not be afraid to teach them,” said Dr. Baker. “When children are taught about advanced practice nursing, their eyes light up because they see the possibilities.”
Writing children’s books about nursing has inadvertently thrust Dr. Baker into the world of nurse entrepreneurs.
“I believe that there is an increase in nurses getting involved in non-traditional roles,” she said. “Nurses realize that with the advancement of technology, many things are at their disposal to assist with the creative process.”
“The modern nurse is any nurse who dares to do something outside of the traditional nursing role,” she continued. “The sky is really the limit in the modern nursing career.”
To learn more about Dr. Baker’s book series, visit NolaTheNurse.com. You can also view the video below featuring Dr. Baker as part of our “A Day in the Life” YouTube series to get a behind-the-scenes look at how she creates her characters.