December Spotlight – Julie Erickson & Kyle Nevills
This month’s Spotlight is showcasing an awesome dynamic duo. Julie Erickson CRNA and Kyle Nevills CRNA along with their partner, Suzanne Reid APRN, make up the Pain Management Department at Androscoggin Valley Hospital located in Berlin, New Hampshire. Julie and Kyle also have a satellite office in North Conway with NCH (North Country Healthcare). Julie and Kyle perform interventional procedures at AVH hospital.
Julie Erickson, MSN, APRN, CRNA
Julie has been a CRNA since 2010. She first attended Columbia University in New York City where she received a BS in Neuroscience. She then graduated from Cox College with her BSN and went on to get her Masters of Nurse Anesthesia from UNE. She chose UNE specifically because it had a clinical rotation through Cottage Hospital where there was a budding CRNA pain clinic headed by Jack Neary. Even then, Julie knew she wanted to practice chronic pain management. She spent a good deal of her clinical time studying under the greats at Cottage Hospital.
After graduating, she furthered her education by going to Decorah, IA. There she met up with another group of CRNAs expanding not only their roles in chronic pain management under the tutelage of Keith Barnhill, but who were also on the leading edge of ultrasound guided blocks for regional pain management in the OR. She then went to a solo-shared practice in Washington where she started a pain management clinic from scratch while also doing full time OR work. She continued this until she was called upon again to start another pain management clinic in Colorado, while also continuing her work in anesthesia.
She has now settled down in NH – full-circle from where she started. She is working with an awesome pain management team at AVH. She has 3 school-age children at home and a full-time farm of 5 horses, 20 Jacob sheep, 15 goats, and a flock of chickens.
Kyle Nevills, DNP, CRNA, NSPM-C
Kyle has been a CRNA for 28 years. He graduated from Bethel College in North Newton, Kansas in 1989, He went on to attend the University of Kansas Medical Center graduating in 1992 with his master’s degree in Nurse Anesthesiology. He spent most of his career in Western Kansas working in a 120-bed community hospital and a 25-bed critical access hospital. In 1995 the CRNA group at the community hospital asked the group to consider starting a chronic pain management service. The service started to expand over the next several years. In 2003 Kyle attended his first cadaver course where fluoroscopy was introduced. He immediately saw the benefit of being able to precisely deliver medications to targeted areas. In 2004 Kyle switched to doing all of his pain injections under fluoroscopy guidance. This was quite a change for the Anesthesia Department and necessitated quite a change in the scheduling for the pain clinic and having the pain service being given a block schedule just like other providers.
In 2012 Kyle completed his Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from Rush University. His capstone project looked at Radiation Safety for Pain Management providers. His work on that project led to changes in the way that CRNAs were viewed by several Kansas hospitals, and CRNAs were issued Dosimeter badges and provided protective radiation shielding lead aprons and thyroid shields. In 2017 Kyle started the University of South Florida’s Pain Management fellowship. He then took and passed the NSPM exam in 2018. He realized very early that CRNA’s needed to be able to show that they had advanced training in radiation safety, pharmacology, pain physiology, and advanced procedural techniques.
In 2019 Kyle and his wife Melanie made the move to New Hampshire. Kyle wanted to be able to practice to the full extent of his training and New Hampshire seemed to be the ideal place. Kyle and Melanie have two boys – 1 in Kansas and 1 in Texas.
What Their Colleagues Say About Them…
Julie and Kyle have made it their careers’ work to improve the lives of patients living with chronic pain. Not only do they get to know their patients clinically, but they are invested in their lives. While streaming through an average operating room day of 10-15 patients, both Kyle and Julie can tell you all about that patient’s clinical history as well as how many children they have, or where they live, or what the patient last said to them before leaving the office visit. At a glance, you quickly realize the bustling pace that is their pain practice; but what you begin to realize is their investment in every single patient’s care and outcomes. When a patient misses an appointment, they notice! The team reaches out to the patient to find out what is going on.
Kyle and Julie are so passionate about pain management that they are often a well sought-after clinical rotation for CRNAs looking to learn from masters in the field. The time and effort to teach in such a robust practice such as theirs can be itself challenging. They both make it seem effortless, all while tangibly making a difference in both their student’s and patient’s lives. When they walk into the room patients light up, and you can see that it’s more than a provider/patient relationship. They have invested years of education, continued learning on cutting edge techniques, and countless hours of connecting with their patients to make the pain practice at Androscoggin Valley Hospital one of the best and most innovative in the state. These two are truly making a difference as they forge their own trail in the North Country.
One piece of advice you’d like to impart to future CRNA’s?
Julie: “If, in your clinicals, you find an area you love – do not be afraid to pursue it with your whole heart.”
Kyle: “I have been president of the Kansas Association on Nurse Anesthetists twice. As a past president, I would urge all CRNAs to become politically involved in on our profession. That can include visiting your elected officials, writing letters when asked or making phone calls. Also donate to our state and National PACs to help fight battles for our profession.”