JAMESTOWN, N.D. -- Crystal Krapp had a drive from early on to work in the health care field.
"I was considering medicine while in high school," she said. "I met my husband in high school and his mother was a nurse. It started my interest in health care."
That interest was so strong that she got a General Education Development (GED) diploma a year before she would have graduated from high school. This allowed her to start her college education in nursing one year earlier.
After beginning work as a CNA in 2002 at Jamestown Regional Medical Center, she spent four years in college to become a registered nurse and three more years of graduate school to become a nurse practitioner working in the orthopedics department at Jamestown Regional Medical Center. She received her nursing degree from the University of Jamestown in 2005 and her doctorate in nursing from the University of Mary at Bismarck.
"I went to graduate school because I liked what I was doing," Krapp said. "I wanted to do more."
Since college, she worked briefly in Arizona but returned to Jamestown and JRMC in 2007 where she has worked since in a variety of departments.
"No favorite department," Krapp said. "I love them all."
Receiving the education necessary to advance in the nursing field took a commitment.
"My home life and family was at a point I could do it," she said. "I went for it."
But through it all, she stayed in the nursing field rather than becoming a physician.
"It never crossed my mind to become a doctor," Krapp said. "I like being a nurse and dealing with the patients. I tend to enjoy the jobs where I see the people through the whole process."
Krapp said to her, medical treatment is all about contact with the patient.
"A doctor doesn't get a chance to spend much time with the patients," she said. "I can prescribe medicine and diagnose health problems, just from a different aspect."
Currently, her job in the orthopedic department at JRMC includes assisting with surgery and pre- and post-operative care.
The department offers same-day or next-day appointments for people with orthopedic problems and hasn't seen much delay in procedures through the coronavirus pandemic.
"We are mindful of COVID," Krapp said. "We screen patients when they come in. We are recovering from it, but there was a slowdown when COVID first surged."
Krapp said she has two children and is enjoying her home life and her job.