Nurse Practitioner Profile – Francis E. Neuzil Jr., Ph.D., ARNP-BC, PhD
Associate in business administration from Miami Dade Community College, 1970
Associate in emergency medical service from Broward Community College, 1985
Associate in fire science from Broward Community College, 1987
Associate in nursing from Broward Community College, 1995
Bachelor’s in nursing from Florida International University, 1997
Master’s in nursing/ARNP from Florida International University, 1999
Doctorate in healthcare administration from Kenney Western University, 2003
Whenever he wanted to learn something, Francis "Ed" Neuzil took a class and learned it. That explains his impressive education, which boasts no fewer than seven degrees. Over the years, Neuzil has dappled in real estate, construction, fire fighting, building pools, even TV and movie work as an extra (he’s in 11 episodes of "Miami Vice"). But it was nursing that grabbed onto him and never let go. Today, he owns an allergy, sinus, and asthma practice in Central Florida, where he’s developed a saline nasal spray that is now in national distribution.
Question: Given your varied career, what about healthcare made you stick with it?
Neuzil: "Nothing is better than to make somebody that’s sick say, ‘Oh my god, I haven’t felt this good in years.’ That’s the real payoff of this. What I see in each of these patients is almost like a chess game. You have to go ahead and make various maneuvers to be successful, and to succeed is your patient doing well. What happens more frequently than I would really like to see is I find cancers in patients. They come back to me and say, ‘You saved my life.’ That’s the satisfaction. Being in medicine, you get the chance to do that every single day."
Question: As owner of your own practice, how often do you treat patients? What is your day like?
Neuzil: "My day starts at 5 o’clock in the morning. I edit and print the charts from the previous day. I generally come into work around 7:30 and see patients around 9. I see somewhere between 22 to 25 a day. Some days can be quite a bit more. The whole day is set up for seeing patients. After I see patients, I’m looking at blogs. We have blogs that we send out on various allergies, promotional stuff that we do. Around 7 or 8 at night is when I get out of the office. They become very full days."
Question: How frequently do you go to conferences?
Neuzil: "I love learning. I spent 30 years in college. I would still be in college but my wife said enough’s enough. I love seminars. If they’re cheap or free, around Orlando, Tampa, or Daytona, I’m there. I would say on average throughout the year, one to two times a month I’m at some type of group meeting, sometimes more frequently. In the medical business, you also have pharmaceutical presentations. Sometimes I’ve done as many as three in a week. I just love going. I love the interaction, meeting with different people ? finding out what you’re doing, how you’re doing it, and maybe if I can do it better. You’re learning about new things as they come out. It’s just amazing the new products that are coming out for all types of disease processes."
Question: What’s the next big thing for you?
Neuzil: "I’m moving more into trying to help other nurse practitioners. That’s why I’m a treasurer for the American Association of Nurse Practitioners in Business. I want to motivate others to do the same kind of thing that I did, those people that say, ‘I wish I had my own practice.’ There are more and more articles that look at the fact that there’s going to be a physician shortage. We as nurse practitioners are looked at as the answer to that shortage. We have a quality healthcare that we give to people, and we’re able to give a better scope of accessibility to individuals that may not be able to get in to see physicians. We’re not trying to take physicians’ place, but trying to offer this whole new aspect of healthcare. We have an earnest interest in our patients. I think that’s one of the things nurse practitioners have above other healthcare providers. The theory of nursing is a different type of healthcare, and it’s something that patients seem to really like."
Question: Are there enough people in nurse practitioners programs to meet that demand?
Neuzil: "As far as looking at physicians, especially primary care, article after article says there’s going to be a physician shortage. Are there going to be enough nurse practitioners — I don’t know. I don’t know what the demand is going to be. I can tell you that without nurse practitioners we’re not going to be able to meet the demand. Whenever there’s a vacuum something wants to come in and fill it. Somehow we have to bring something in to fill that void, and I think that’s where the nurse practitioners and physicians assistants come in. And the need is only going to grow more and more. As our population grows, the need for people to take care of them is going to be more and more in demand."