Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Morgan Stewart: ‘This has been my lifelong dream of helping people at this level’
Morgan Stewart is embracing a dream come true – helping women with their health care needs.
“I still have to pinch myself,” says Stewart, a recent Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner graduate who joined Western Sierra in October 2023. “I’ve been chasing this dream forever.”
And Stewart, a Grass Valley native and lifelong resident, knows firsthand the importance of a well-trained women’s health provider.
“There’s such a great need in our community,” says Stewart, who earned her master’s degree as a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner from the University of Cincinnati in spring 2023. “I can help my patients because I know what they’re going through.”
The connection between a patient and their provider is critical, especially for women’s health. Stewart’s patients are teen girls going for their first women’s health visit, soon-to-be mothers and women dealing with menopause.
“I want to provide a place of support and trust, and help women navigate the health care system,” says Stewart, who appreciates when patients ask questions about their health. “Education is huge. I would love for there to be more education for teens, young women … all women to take better care of themselves.”
Fortunately, Western Sierra – a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) – makes it much easier with many services in one location. Pediatricians, behavioral health professionals, dentists and many other providers are just a few steps away from Stewart in Women’s Health.
“It’s very helpful to have so many experts under one roof,” says Stewart, who works in the main Western Sierra clinic in Grass Valley. Part of her clinical experience for the Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner program was at Western Sierra. “It was so comfortable and exciting to come back.”
Now as a nurse practitioner, “I can write the orders, write the prescription,” she says. “It’s a big transition from RN to NP (nurse practitioner).”
But one that she has been preparing for almost the past two decades.
After graduating from Nevada Union High School, she attended and earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from California State University, Chico.
“I wanted to know why people the way they are,” Stewart says. “But halfway through my degree, I knew I wanted to do nursing.”
So, she became a medical assistant with an emphasis on women’s health – and a focus on her long-term goal of becoming a registered nurse.
She completed the nursing prerequisites a few classes every semester, and then enrolled and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Samuel Merritt University in Sacramento in December 2017.
“It was a fast-paced, grueling experience,” she says of attending the nursing classes and the drive from Grass Valley to Sacramento every weekday. Her husband was her biggest fan and supporter. “After a long day, even Hamburger Helper is great if someone else is making it.”
She worked as a Registered Nurse on the medical/surgical floor at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital for more than three years.
“It was a fantastic experience,” Stewart says of her time at the Dignity Health-owned hospital.
But her focus – and passion – has always been women’s health. So, she returned to school through a distance learning program from the University of Cincinnati.
“I took the long route to get where I am,” she says.
But every mile before will help with the road ahead for Stewart – and her patients.
“It was so exciting, such a feeling of celebration and accomplishment,” she says of treating her first patient at Western Sierra. “This has been my lifelong dream of helping people at this level.”
Away from work, Stewart enjoys spending time with her husband and their American bulldog, Penny. The couple enjoys visiting with family and friends, taking road trips – Fort Bragg is high on the list – and watching movies at home.
“I’m very approachable. I’m just me, weird and goofy,” says Stewart, who brings her lunch to work in a lunchbox featuring a world-famous wizard. “How intimidating can I be with a Harry Potter lunchbox? If I can make a patient more comfortable, then I’m doing something right.”