As part of our celebration of National Doctors’ Day coming up next week, Bon Secours is proud to recognize the talented, dedicated physicians who care for us. Our ministry also wants to express appreciation for advanced practice clinicians, who partner with physicians in a team-based approach to providing the best possible care to the people in our communities.
Not everyone can say they’ve been poised to serve within the ministry since birth, but Symone Hopkins, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, can.
“I was actually delivered at Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital, and I basically worked my way up from there,” Symone says. “I went straight into the hospital childcare system here. When I became of age, I became a volunteer at the daycare, then a teacher’s assistant.”
When Symone went to college, she continued her move up within our ministry. In nursing school, she worked as tech on the floor and completed her nurse externship at Bon Secours St. Francis Medical Center. When she graduated, she went back to St. Mary’s Hospital as a registered nurse for three years.
So, when Symone became a nurse practitioner three years ago, she says it just made sense to continue working where she had grown up all her life.
“Bon Secours is running through my blood at this point,” she jokes.
Not only has Symone found a life-long community, but it’s also a family business. Several of her family members also work within the ministry, including her mom (Sharon Hopkins, BSN, RN, director of paranesthesia services at St. Mary’s Hospital), dad (Isiah Hopkins, materials management at St. Mary’s Hospital), sister (Kara Hopkins, obstetrics technician at St. Mary’s Hospital) and cousin (Vhondrena Nunnally, RN, BSN, director of endoscopy at St. Francis Medical Center). She credits her family and her community at St. Mary’s Hospital for helping her to grow in her career.
“Everybody’s played a part – whether it was my nurse manager, my teachers in daycare or the environmental and food service workers,” Symone says. “A lot of the people have been here for so many years. So, seeing the recognition from them as you elevate has definitely helped to inspire me and keeps me going. My mom, in particular, has been a big inspiration to me continuing to move forward.”
In her current role as a nurse practitioner, Symone continues to provide that same sense of community with her patients.
“I saw firsthand the work everyone does, the epitome of it being community-driven service, which really spoke to me,” Symone shares. “So, it just made sense to continue on that work – and becoming a nurse practitioner definitely provided me the autonomy and the purpose of being able to take that next step.”
Symone says that the continuity of care with her patients is one of the main ways she sees that sense of community come to life.
“It’s great when you go on that journey with your patients from start to finish, to see successes or treatments take effect,” she says. “Sometimes the doctor’s office is the patient escape from whatever else is going on in the world and they just need someone to listen. When I get to build that relationship over time with my patients, I’m able to tangibly see that I’m making a difference.”
Help us celebrate National Doctors’ Day by sharing a heartfelt message of appreciation for your Bon Secours provider! Please visit bonsecours.com/doctorsday before March 30 to submit your message of thanks.