In August, the Counseling and Wellness Center (CWC) welcomed new nurse practitioner Erin Comerford.
Comerford became a registered nurse in 1990 and later returned to school for her Master’s degree, becoming a nurse practitioner in 2000. “I mostly work with elderly people,” Comerford said, adding that she was intrigued by the prospect of working with a younger crowd.
Comerford was raised in Scranton Pennsylvania, attended college at Virgina Commonwealth University, and has been in Sarasota for the past 10 years. Comerford has been resolute about her career since she was young. “I always knew I was going to be a nurse, I don’t know why,” Comerford said. “And then I just felt like I needed to keep going in my education and career so I became a nurse practitioner. If you ever get that feeling, you have to follow it.”
Although Comerford and Nurse Practitioner Michele Lipman are limited in what medications they can prescribe, as well as the physical exams they can perform, Comerford is confident that between Lipman and her they can diagnose and remedy the problem. Comerford said that most of the patients she has seen so far have come to the CWC for colds, minor accidents or ant bites.
“They don’t have them in cooler climates,” Comerford said. “But these ants, if you are just standing in the lawn, they will crawl up you while you don’t even realize they’re on you, and then all the sudden they decide to bite you all at once! They should offer some kind of introduction to Florida course.”
Lipman knew Comerford previous to their new positions. Lipman contacted Comerford about coming to New College. “She was really excited about it and so was I,” she said. “I love the people here, we have a good time. The students are really great, and I’m learning from them.”
When Comerford is not frequenting the beach or bike riding, she is working at other facilities. “I love old people, and I’m in a good place for it,” she laughed. Comerford fills in for friends at various nursing homes. “I’m a substitute nurse practitioner,” she said. “That’s what I tell people.”
Comerford currently plans on staying in Sarasota. “I love the community, there’s always stuff going on,” she said. “I haven’t even done half of it yet, and I’ve been here for 10 years!”
Comerford said that she has yet to see much of campus, and has not been to the College Hall or the bay front. “I was kind of worried they’d be like ‘who’s this strange women, let’s call the police.’”
Comerford said she is looking forward to learning from a new and diverse group of people and getting to know campus. “I guess I have to step out of the clinic first,” she said. “But I just take it day by day, and learn something new each day.”