Mrs. Antigua Jackson-Advanced Practice Nurse and medical educator specializing in women’s health

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By Staff

Welcome to Heart & Soul Magazine Mrs. Antigua Jackson, we first became aware of you when we saw you in the latest music video “Always” by your husband Bradd Marquis. Upon hearing that you are also a nurse practitioner and medical educator specializing in women’s health that is right up our alley being a magazine with a focus on health & wellness for women of color.

Thank you so much for thinking of me! I love being in the medical field and definitely feel I have a calling for education.  My passion is in Women’s Healthcare, including educating ALL women, specifically women of color…giving them the information and autonomy to make educated data-driven decisions for their health.

“Always” by Bradd Marquis SOULMAN/ Purpose/ NIA Distribution

I’ve been a nurse since 2006 and went EVERY route imaginable to get where I am today. I received my Associate Degree in Nursing in 2006 (don’t ever let anyone tell you community college isn’t worth it! I went to one of the best, most challenging nursing programs…and it was at a community college). I started as a Labor and Delivery Nurse after graduating and worked as one until 2018. I received my Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in 2011, and my MSN as a Women’s Health NP in 2015. I currently work as a Medical Science Liaison for a pharmaceutical company, still in the Women’s Healthcare field.  In this role I establish and maintain relationships with Healthcare Providers (HCPs) and researchers in women’s healthcare.  I serve as a scientific resource and expert, ensuring products and medical devices are used safely and effectively. I’m involved in research, clinical trials, and provide input about scientific and clinical data. In this role I also provide education on the safety, use, and insertion of Women’s Healthcare medical devices.  Some may say, “Well she’s not helping people anymore”, but that’s ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE! I’m actually behind the scenes assuring products (ones I actually believe in and use…not because I work for the company) are studied, safe, and are available to be utilized by ALL women who want and need them.

We have noticed more and more people recently especially women have been making Nurse Practitioners their health partner of choice. Why are more people making this choice?

To start off, I just want to say that I do use the term Nurse Practitioner (NP) and Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) interchangeably.

A lot of people are making the choice to utilize APNs for their care due to:

Access – The number of APNs in the US have jumped from 120,000 in 2007 to 270,000 in 2019, and are becoming the providers of choice, specifically in the Primary Care (General Medicine) setting; an area where we are seeing a significant shortage of Physicians. These shortages have really had a huge effect in more rural areas (where we see a large population are people of color and underserved). This is significant because these are the providers who specialize in preventative care.  We go to them annually for our physicals, to help prevent disease, and/or catch them at early stages to prevent further progression. With the increase in NPs, they are able to help fill these voids and provide care in those areas of shortage.

Another reason some gravitate to NPs vs. a physician is because of their bedside manner.  I have heard this time and time again, and I have to say… this may be slightly biased… but the bedside manner of a nurse is different from that of a physician.  Now I will say, I have worked with many EXCELLENT physicians who I praise and, to this day, refer people to because I love the way they treat their patients. No shade to Physicians at all!! Nurse Practitioners start off as nurses, and many begin their careers in a hospital setting We typically spend more intimate, one-on-one time with patients than physicians. We don’t just treat the disease…nurses care for patients holistically! That care carries over to the NP role, where not only do we holistically care for the patient, but now, as a NP, you diagnose and treat diseases, order and interpret diagnostic tests, prescribe medications and other treatments, manage the patient’s overall care, counsel, and educate.  

What are the main differences between a Nurse Practitioner and a Registered Nurse? 

First, the education needed for both are a bit different, yet they build off of one another. A Registered Nurse (RN) can obtain licensure after obtaining an associate or bachelor’s degree An APN has to obtain an advanced degree (MSN or DNP) to practice as an Advanced Practice Nurse.  Typical duties of a RN include direct patient care and monitoring, assisting physicians with examinations and treatments, recording and maintaining patient records, ordering diagnostic tests, consulting and supervising other members of the healthcare team; along with educating, communicating, and collaborating with the patient and their families about their health care plan RNs do not have prescriptive privileges, unlike NPs.  The extensive and advanced training NPs receive affords them the ability to prescribe medication for patients, as well as diagnose, treat, manage, and monitor acute and chronic illnesses.

How has this year-long pandemic impacted your work as a NP?

Unfortunately, I haven’t been actively practicing as a NP during the pandemic, as my career has shifted me down another path (the advantages of being a nurse…there are so many different avenues you can go to find the role that’s for you). I have kept in touch with many colleagues and friends who work in the healthcare field, and this pandemic has been more than challenging for everyone. I honor and salute all healthcare workers, frontline workers, and those who have had to step in and care for loved ones during these challenging times.  

Jumping around. We want to Congratulate you on being a newlywed and Thank You for sharing your joy with us in that uplifting video “Always”.  That video was so much fun and full of exuberance.  The perfect outdoor date which many of us needed to see at that time. Had you ever been in a music video before?

Thank you so much for the well wishes! I’m enjoying married life and the story Bradd and I are writing together! I am amazed every time I look at the “Always” video because I got to witness all of the work it took to put together and can’t believe it came out as incredible as it did. One of my favorite things to do with Bradd is laugh and enjoy one another! I cherish the joyful moments with him so much, so it’s a blessing to have those genuine moments caught on camera to relive forever

No, I have never been in a music video before, so I’m officially a video vixen now…lol! I have to say, I had NO IDEA what went into filming a music video. That day had to be THE COLDEST DAY OF 2021, so it took everything in me to keep those smiles looking genuine.  I’m surprised you weren’t able to see the shivering I was doing while outdoors. Bottom line though, I wanted to make sure my first video feature was a great one and that the camera captured our love for one another. 

How long have you been married?  Was it challenging planning a wedding during a pandemic? If it was How?  

Bradd and I were married on September 13th, 2020, just about 7 months ago. I DO NOT recommend planning a wedding during a pandemic.  It is not an experience I wish upon any couple. It did take away some of the joy and excitement out of wedding planning. From having to go back and forth with the venue as indoor and outdoor guest restrictions constantly changed, to vetting last minute venues 3 months prior to our date (thankfully our initial venue worked out).  We wanted to be as cautious as possible in the climate we were in, so we decreased our list by half. Having to choose who to keep on the list and take off was exhausting and emotional.  

Aside from all of that, the day of our wedding ended up being the most beautiful day.  The ceremony was unforgettable because in that moment, it was Bradd, myself, and God…I don’t think we “saw” any of our guests during that moment. I love that we honored our new family unit by including my bonus son, Parker, in the candle lighting ceremony, as well as remembering  our family members who couldn’t make it that day because they were watching from Heaven. We sat each relative’s photo and a rose on the front row next to our immediate family. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place after that I also surprised Bradd with cufflinks that held photos of each of his grandparents in them. I know how much he would have loved Mom and Pop to be there, so I made sure they were still by his side on his wedding day.

 There are vaccines available now and we appear to be turning a corner. What advice would you like to share with our readers in regard to self-care, mentally and physically during this time? 

The first thing we could all use is a social media and digital BREAK!  We all need to take some time, LOG OFF, be present and in the moment, and enjoy what’s in front of us. We miss so many precious moments, conversations, and opportunities because we’re so busy looking down at our screens.  Also, one thing this pandemic has definitely shown me is that “you don’t know what you have until it’s gone”, so if you have the opportunity to finally be out and around loved ones, take the time to enjoy them (SAFELY). 

Get physical! I literally missed the gym during the height of the pandemic, but I still stayed active with home workouts Working out for me, is more for my mental health than it is for my physical health, and it’s one of the things that I stress to people of color. You want to combat diabetes…exercise. You want to help lower your blood pressure…exercise. Decrease your cholesterol numbers…exercise. As we all know, Black and Brown people have higher rates of Hypertension, Heart Disease, Asthma, and Diabetes, and we are losing our family members to covid at a higher rate because of these underlying conditions. If 20 minutes is all you have, that’s enough time to get moving.  If walking around your neighborhood is all you’re comfortable doing, that’s better than nothing Exercise looks different for everyone, but the results still lead to a healthier you! 

What are your concerns during this period?

I just want people to be properly informed! We live in a world where we receive our news from all over the place, and a lot of it comes from non-credible sources…and that includes healthcare information.  My job, and the job of all healthcare providers is to educate with the most up to date, evidenced based information, and assist people with making their own healthcare choices.  I employ people to do their homework, do their research, and educate themselves with credible resources before making or not making healthcare decisions.  Getting info and insight from your family and friends is great but find a provider that you know and trust and ask questions. If you feel uneasy about something, ask for clarification. Be informed, be educated.  

Thank you so much Antigua, we look forward to hearing more from you.