Ashley M. Bryant, FNP-C, has joined the clinical provider team of Northern Family Medicine, the rapidly growing division of Northern Regional Hospital where specialty physicians and nurse practitioners diagnose and treat all patients – from newborns and teens to millennials and seniors. As a licensed Family Nurse Practitioner, Bryant will apply her advanced nursing knowledge and superior clinical skills to provide patients with the most effective treatment plans possible for their clinical condition.
“I’ve always known I wanted to be a hands-on healthcare professional – and becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner permits me to offer patients a seamless continuum of care throughout their entire lifespan,” said Bryant, whose past clinical experience includes 16 years of critical-care nursing — with the majority of those years at Northern Regional Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Bryant’s approach to patients is grounded in treating them as if they were a relative or close friend. In addition, “compassion, effective listening, and communication are of utmost importance in my care of patients,” she emphasizes.
“We welcome the addition of Ashley Bryant to our top-notch clinical team,” said Richard Herber, MD, in announcing her appointment to the Family Medicine practice site. “Ashley’s demonstrated patient-care expertise, her advanced nursing know-how, and her comfortable familiarity with the Northern Regional Hospital family make her a remarkably effective and committed member of our provider team.”
Born and raised in Mount Airy, NC, 37-year-old Bryant launched her nursing career by graduating in 2006 with an Associate Degree in Nursing from Surry Community College. She subsequently followed-up on that academic achievement by earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in 2011 from Winston- Salem State University. Bryant’s decision to pursue a nursing profession was inspired, in part, by the healthcare-career choices of both her maternal grandmother and mother – who chose to work as a nurse and medical technologist, respectively. “I was raised in the Northern family, as my mom has worked there for over 40 years.” Bryant’s mother, Kim Cheek, currently services as Director of Laboratory Services at Northern Regional Hospital.
Bryant’s extensive work experience as a critical-care nurse began when she was assigned to the Intensive Care Unit at Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem. Two years later, she joined Northern’s ICU – where, for the past 14 years, she effectively managed the nursing care of very ill patients while helping to educate and comfort patients’ families. “There were many tears and hugs shared, for sure,” she recalls. “A lot of times, family members just wanted to be heard; and I was committed to reassuring them that we were doing our best and would treat their loved one like a member of our own family.”
“An intensive-care environment is very challenging,” she adds, “and when you see someone recover – someone who was once very ill — it just holds a special place in your heart.”
Bryant’s desire to transition from inpatient critical-care nursing to the outpatient nature of family medicine was fueled by her observation of the progression of her father’s own chronic illness. “My dad was a diabetic who, very sadly, passed away from complications of the disease,” she says. “It was during that time I realized I wanted to make a difference in patients’ lives before they required hospitalization.” To that end, Bryant enrolled in Western Carolina University and graduated in 2022, with honors, from that institution’s demanding Master of Science in Nursing – Family Medicine Practitioner program.
In her new role at Northern Family Medicine, Bryant is eager to build trusting and respectful relationships with patients and their families. “I am passionate about providing my patients with the best possible care; and I’m eager to share with them up-to-date therapies and recommendations about how to prevent health problems or manage chronic conditions they may have already acquired,” she said. With a focus on preventative care, she will also provide patients with a variety of treatment options, as well as advise them on how to access free or affordable educational resources related to their physical or mental health problems.
Bryant is a member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners; and a proud member of Sigma Theta Tau, the well-regarded honor society of nurses. She also holds certifications in Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support, Advanced Stroke Life Support; and Management of Aggressive Behavior Training.
Bryant is grateful for the support provided by Northern Regional Hospital during her specialty transition. “I’ve been at Northern for 15 years, and the Hospital’s leadership team and my own colleagues have always been encouraging as far as advancing my education and even changing career paths,” she said. “The Hospital offers many professional development programs and wants to see their employees succeed. I know I can go to my manager or any of the senior executives and they would open their door and let me spill my heart out.”
Bryant’s career path has also been supported by her family – which includes mother and stepfather, Kim and Greg Cheek, as well as her in-laws, Gina and Don Bryant. Bryant states her educational advancement would not have been possible without the support of husband, Jake, an engineer with Duke Energy; and the couple’s three active children – nine-year-old son Syler; six-year-old son Kyson; and four-year-old daughter Merritt. This coming May, the happy couple will celebrate their 16th wedding anniversary. Together, the family enjoys being involved in their church, summer vacations at a favorite beach or the mountains, as well as outdoor activities like hiking, taking day-trips to small towns, and visiting theme-related museums. For some occasional “me time,” Bryant enjoys cycling and reading suspense novels.
To schedule an appointment with Ashley Bryant, FNP-C, call Northern Family Medicine at 336-786-4133 or visit Northern Family Medicine online at choosenorthern.org/FamilyMedicine