Family Nurse Practitioner Jessica Lusignan: ‘I am developing relationships with all of my patients and get to collaborate in their health care decisions – that brings me great joy”
Close friends and the study of alternative medicine attracted Family Nurse Practitioner Jessica Lusignan to Nevada County.
But her connection with the tight-knit community, her family, and developing relationships with patients are what keeps her here.
“I fell in love with it,” says Lusignan, who moved from the East Coast to Nevada County about a decade ago.
It’s been a great fit for her personally – and professionally.
“It feels pretty awesome to help people in our community,” says Lusignan, a primary-care provider who joined Western Sierra Medical Clinic in June 2022.
Lusignan, who recently completed her Family Nurse Practitioner degree, will help address the critical shortage of providers in the region.
“Just the sheer number of people needing access to health care is astounding to me,” says Lusignan, who has been working as an ICU Registered Nurse in the region. “For me, being in the role of the provider is a lot more rewarding than bedside nursing I get to learn people’s stories throughout their lives – whereas in the hospital, I see a patient one shift and then they are gone the next.
“It’s a very different role as a PCP. I love that I am developing ongoing relationships with my patients,” says Lusignan, who has been an ICU nurse for nearly a decade at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital.
As a primary-care provider, her role is greatly expanded. She handles checkups and chronic conditions to minor injuries and illnesses. I like the challenge of working with patients and co-creating plans to improve their wellbeing.
“I want people to feel comfortable in whatever health issues they want to address”
For some patients, that includes an interest in holistic medicine as a form of treatment.
Lusignan has been learning about holistic medicine for years and studies Ayurveda, an alternative medicine system with historical roots in India. Ayurveda therapies include herbal medicines, diet, therapeutic bio-purification and rejuvenation sciences
“There are some patients where it comes up,” says Lusignan, who will gladly discuss the benefits of holistic medicine with interested patients when it’s a viable option.
Lusignan works closely with other primary-care providers and specialists at Western Sierra to determine the best care for her patients.
“I feel so lucky” to work with such experienced and talented providers, she says.
Lusignan’s mother and grandmother were nurses, and Lusignan says she was “just drawn to that kind of work.”
She earned a Bachelor of Science in Individual Concentration with a self-created major of Women’s Health and Psychology at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the university six years later.
Away from work, Lusignan and her partner, who has three children, embrace the lifestyle in Nevada County. She enjoys the outdoors and reading, especially about Ayurveda and health care overall.
“I always want to help people any way that I can,” she says.