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CVMC welcomes Lisa McKinney, APRN, to Ironwood Primary Care

CVMC welcomes Lisa McKinney, APRN, to Ironwood Primary Care

It was the snow that sent Lisa McKinney, APRN, down the mountain to Carson Valley and to Carson Valley Medical Center.

It is the culture and the investment in higher learning at CVMC that got her to stay.

McKinney began her nursing career by studying nursing at Lower Columbia College in Washington and has never stopped learning since.

After her first quarter of nursing school, she qualified as a certified nursing assistant (CNA).

“I have the utmost respect for CNAs,” she said. “It is the hardest physical job I’ve ever done.”

Following her first full year of school, she took the board certification to become a licensed practical nurse (LPN). Working in private care as an LPN for an injured police officer, McKinney completed her schooling to become a registered nurse (RN).

Spring break of her final year in nursing school brought McKinney and her husband to Lake Tahoe.

“We have family in Truckee, and we really loved the area,” she said. “I knew if I could find a nursing job as an RN, we’d make the move here.”

McKinney landed a job with Barton Health in South Lake Tahoe and settled her family near the lake. She worked in multiple specialties including sedation, med/surg, surgery recovery, radiology and gastroenterology nursing.

After seven years of Tahoe snow, McKinney was ready for a change. She joined the team at Carson Valley Medical Center in sedation and recovery room nursing and moved to Carson Valley, where she said she can’t imagine living anywhere else now.

Taking advantage of CVMC’s generous tuition reimbursement program, McKinney said she began taking classes and earning additional certifications.

“I got certified in chemotherapy and infusion care and did that for five years before going back to school and earning my nurse practitioner degree,” she said. “I spent a year treating patients as a nurse practitioner in wound care and filled in from time to time in other practices.”

A year later, a nurse practitioner position opened up in CVMC’s newly remodeled second floor of its Ironwood Building and McKinney jumped at the opportunity.

“I’ve always liked the patient care interaction and I enjoyed working in wound care, I really learned a lot about taking care of people who have chronic and acute wounds,” she said. “I’ve seen so many of my wound care patients here in primary care and I’m building a practice and I’m always able to learn new things because everybody’s healthcare needs are different.”

McKinney joins Rose Paiva, MD, Kim Chi Nguyen, MD and James Gocke, APRN, and is currently accepting new patients. For appointments or information, call Carson Valley Medical Center at (775) 782-1610 or visit