Nurse practitioners bring years of experience to children’s clinic

Nurse practitioners bring years of experience to children’s clinic

By NICK ROGERS
Staff Writer | Posted: Wednesday, January 6, 2016 2:00 pm

Nurse practitioners Susan McGilvra and Tanga Robinson, who recently joined the Greenwood Children’s Clinic staff, bring a great deal of experience to their jobs.

Though born and raised in Greenville, McGilvra spent most weekends and holidays at her grandparents’ home in Carroll County, where both sides of her family have lived for more than a century. So when she moved to Carroll County late last September after a few decades in South Carolina, she felt like she was coming home.

McGilvra graduated from the Mississippi University for Women in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Shortly thereafter, she married and moved to her husband’s native South Carolina.

As a recent graduate, McGilvra worked in rehabilitation and oncology centers in the Greenville, South Carolina, area, but soon realized her true passion lay in working with children.

By the end of 1980, she was working as a staff nurse in a neonatal intensive care unit and gradually worked her way up to assistant head nurse and head of the hospital’s transport team.

In 1987, McGilvra decided to get nationally certified as a neonatal nurse practitioner, and in 1999 she received a master’s degree as a pediatric nurse practitioner from the University of South Carolina.

McGilvra considers premature babies her specialty. “They are resilient, and they’re tougher than you think,” she said.

With her move back home, she  became one of only a few certified pediatric nurse practitioners in the state.

“I love coming to work. There’s not a day that passes that I don’t wish I was working,” she said.

In her free time, she likes to hunt, fish and hike.

Robinson was born and raised in Itta Bena and has lived in Brandon for the last 17 years.

A nurse now for 15 years, she has extensive experience not only in pediatric care but in several other areas of medicine including pediatric oncology, critical care and cardiac care. She also has worked in burn units and intensive care units.

Concern for public health prompted Robinson to seek certification as a nurse practitioner.

“I decided to become a nurse practitioner when I saw an increase obesity in the state of Mississippi about three years ago,” she said.

The most effective way she saw of reversing that trend was by focusing on treating and educating children and their parents.

A graduate of Leflore County High School, Robinson earned Restorative Nurse Assistant certification at Hinds Community College before going on to get bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from Walden University through an online program.

After becoming certified as a nurse practitioner, Robinson worked at Sullivan Family Medical Clinic north of Jackson before taking a job at Greenwood Leflore last summer.

“I love pediatrics,” said Robinson. “I love children. I wouldn’t switch up for anything in the world.”

Robinson said that if she were to share one piece of child-care advice to local parents, it would be to ensure that their children exercise, eat right and visit the doctor regularly, even when healthy.

When not at work, Robinson does health care ministry work with her church, a project she has been running for the past three years.

“We go to rural areas that are in need, and we do health fairs,” she said. “We check cholesterol, we check diabetes and we check blood pressure.”

Robinson’s health ministry project also organizes community garden projects to improve access to fresh fruits and vegetables in rural areas.

Contact Nick Rogers at 581-7235 or nrogers@gwcommonwealth.com.