Megan Weigel, DNP, ARNP-c, MSCN
Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner,
…on the importance of taking care of the whole patient
“I began my career as a nurse practitioner in MS in 2001. Despite having been through three diagnostic criteria changes, I still consider myself new to the disease, because I have never known a time without disease-modifying therapy (DMT).
“Since MS can be diagnosed and treated earlier, we are seeing better long-term outcomes. Anecdotally, I notice a difference at five years post-diagnosis in people who began DMT at the time of their first presenting symptom (clinically isolated syndrome, or CIS), versus those who began treatment after experiencing several relapses and visiting many neurologists. This means, for the most part, that I am taking care of healthy people, and I want them to stay that way.
“From valuable NARCOMS data, we know that people living with MS are more likely to have certain chronic medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, weight issues, and high cholesterol) and that preventive healthcare is indispensable. In my practice, I put an emphasis on nutrition, exercise, and receiving age-appropriate health screenings in order to preserve health and wellbeing. The role of the MS Nurse has become increasingly important during this decade, in light of the amount of education people need regarding how to live a healthy and long life with MS!”
Dr. Megan Weigel is an advanced registered nurse practitioner practicing neurologic nursing for 11 years and has been an MS Certified Nurse for eight of those. She received her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree in 2009, with a focus on preventive healthcare in MS patients. Dr. Weigel was chosen as one of Jacksonville’s “40 Under 40” by the Jacksonville Business Journal in 2010, and received an Outstanding Young Alumnus award from the University of Florida in 2010. She is a member of the board of directors for the IOMSN, the editorial board of the International Journal of MS Care, and a steering committee for the NMSS.