photo of Lisa K. Hardee

Who are you, and where do you practice?
My name is Lisa Hardee, RN, MSN-Ed, MHS, CGRN. I am a Hepatology RN Nursing Care Coordinator at the University of North Carolina [UNC] Liver Center, at the UNC School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

What made you decide to become a nurse?
Family expectation — My father was the administrator of Grafton City Hospital in Grafton, West Virginia in the 1960s and 70s. It wasn’t "what do you want to be when you grow up?", but "where are you going to go to nursing school?" I have a sister who’s an RN, another who’s an LPN and another who’s a social worker.

What do you find most rewarding about being a nurse?
Actually being able to see a positive result of my actions.

What is the one thing you wish more people knew / understood about being a nurse?
It isn’t just physical labor. It takes knowledge, training and critical thinking to get through a day.

How has the role of the nurse changed (if it has) in your career?
When I first got out of nursing school, I can remember the head nurse, Hilda Rousch (God bless her) damn near had a stroke because I did not get out of a chair in the nurses’ station and offer it to a physician. That was in 1974.

I remember pushing a cart full of charts, making rounds with the physicians. Now I show the doctors how to get to the charts in the computers. I never did offer a chair to a physician!

What or who inspired you to focus your practice on patients with liver disease?
Mort Malkin, MD was a gastroenterologist in an office-based GI procedures unit at Chapel Hill Internal Medicine (part of UNC). He supported me in making the move to hepatology.

What are some of the challenges facing nurses today? How do you think these issues can be addressed?
Genetics. I have no concept of how the genetics of diseases dictate treatment. And I am close enough to the end of my career to not want to find out.

When you’re not caring for patients, what do you like to do?
I like the escapism of space operas. I also enjoy making rosaries and chaplets.