Dr. Kara Bragg '12/'15, DNP, APRN can’t imagine a world where she isn’t treating patients in the emergency room and sharing her nursing knowledge with the next generation.
As a nurse practitioner in the Mayo Clinic Jacksonville ER and assistant professor at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science, she gets to do just that, along with leading a team of advanced practice providers in the ER.
“I love the pace, the adrenaline, and the fact that I am learning every single day on the job,” Bragg said.
As a dedicated bedside healthcare provider, Bragg has been able to innovate using her experiences with patients each day. Bragg said a frightening event with a patient who accessed their own IV to administer their own drugs led her to create a device to keep patients from using IV lines. It’s a common issue in hospitals, especially with patients who struggle with drug addiction.
The IV Safe Lock allows medical staff to keep patients from using their IVs without having to constantly monitor them. She and her partner, Dr. Mike Albus, won the national Mayo Clinic innovation competition with the IV Safe Lock, which Bragg said has opened numerous doors for her, including an opportunity to obtain a patent and work on a proof of concept for the product.
“This has been an amazing journey and partnership with Mayo to help everyday providers to bring their ideas to practice,” she said.
Bragg completed both the Emergency Nurse Practitioner program and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs at JU. The program left such a lasting impression on her and her career that she decided to teach in the program.
“I cannot emphasize enough how significant the faculty were in helping me, encouraging me and supporting me through my endeavors,” she said. “I never miss an opportunity to precept a JU student in the ER.”
In addition to practicing and teaching, Bragg said ultimately, her goals go beyond that.
“I want to advocate for proper training for nurse practitioners in their clinical fields, promote independent practice in the primary care setting, and my biggest passion is advancing and promoting the role of the emergency nurse practitioner,” she said. “I hope to promote my profession through educating the next generation, clinical leadership, and demonstrating the clinical competence of the job.