Nurse of the Year Finalist: Amanda McCorkle

Nurse of the Year Finalist: Amanda McCorkle
Amanda McCorkle of Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System

For Amanda McCorkle, the joy she finds in her role as a nurse practitioner in the radiology department at Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System stems from a love of helping people heal and live their best lives.

“Minimally invasive procedures are on the rise and most of what we do in radiology, specifically interventional radiology, is minimally invasive and outpatient,” she says. “Nursing, especially advanced practice nursing, is on the rise and still fairly new in this area. I love being a pioneer in my field.”

McCorkle spends her days meeting with patients prior to their procedures and updating their history and physical exams. She is also involved in two research studies and conducts follow-up work and other administrative projects. As a part time clinical instructor for Harding University, she is in charge of two clinical groups of senior-level nursing students.

“The most challenging aspect of what I do is learning how to balance it all,” McCorkle said. “In the past year I have gotten married, gotten pregnant, worked full time at the VA, worked part time at Harding University, and spent hundreds of volunteer hours with various organizations including the Junior League of Little Rock, the Association for Radiology and Imaging Nurses, the Arkansas Food Bank and my church. I am continually learning how to juggle it all, say ‘no’ to some things and do my best at what I am involved in.”

McCorkle is also committed to being a lifelong learner in her field. In the past 24 months, she has attended multiple personal and professional conferences for personal growth, where she’s learned valuable information that she’s since incorporated into her practice. She has also set goals for herself to become published in her field, join the board of directors for an international nursing organization and take the lead on advancing knowledge on radiology mid-level providers.

One of McCorkle’s most memorable stories from her work in radiology involved a patient that she first met five years ago. He came into her department unhappy and disgruntled about his overall care at the VA. McCorkle listened as he expressed his frustrations and the two have grown to become friends over the years.

“He is like a different person — very kind and understanding,” she said. “He actually takes up for our department to other patients when there is a bit of a wait or he hears other complaints. He always stops by and says ‘hi’ when he is in the building. He knows he can trust me to help him get the care he needs.”

In addition to the main facility in Little Rock, the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System offers services in eight community-based outpatient clinics in Conway, El Dorado, Hot Springs, Mena, Mountain Home, Pine Bluff, Russellville and Searcy.