A career in accounting was not cutting it for the girl who always dreamed of being a doctor. So after couple years as a CPA, Suzanne Irvan decided to trade in the initials behind her name.
Now an APRN for Baptist Health Medical Group in Princeton, Irvan still crunches numbers. But those figures no longer represent a person's bottom line, they offer measures of health like weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
"I grew up wanting to be a doctor, and at the last minute decided to be a CPA. But that never felt like it was rewarding," said the advance practice registered nurse. "So I went back to school for medicine, and it was the best choice I've ever made."
Irvan, just a couple of weeks shy of her 39th birthday, joined longtime Princeton family physician Dr. Ed Settle last summer at the clinic on Jefferson Street. However, she has been with Baptist Health as a primary care provider since September 2017, just a few months after graduating from Eastern Kentucky University with her master's degree in nursing.
Irvan managed her career reversal and education while raising a family. She and her husband Darian have three daughters ranging in age from 8 to 15.
A resident of Marshall County, Irvan said the move to Princeton from practicing in Paducah has been a good fit, with her schedule more conducive to family life. And she has been able to draw insight and wisdom from a seasoned doctor whose career in medicine began before she was born.
"It has been such a great opportunity for me, working with Dr. Settle," she said. "We work closely together. He is a wealth of knowledge I'm getting the benefit of."
Before becoming an APRN, Irvan was a registered nurse with a focus on newborns and their mothers. At Princeton, though, that role has expanded to include just about anyone with a health need.
But those needs for many Americans, she said, are preventable, with weight being an underlying factor for a number of health issues. Like her veteran counterpart in Princeton, she hopes to help patients learn the benefit of better diet and a little exercise.
With her help, Irvan's patients may call on her less and less. And that's fine by her.
"I like having a career where you feel like you're making a difference," she said.
Irvan is now accepting patients of all ages for general health needs. Same-day appointments are available at the clinic.