Staff Spotlight: Nikki Kraker, ARNP

Jun 19, 2023 | News, Staff Spotlight, Staff Spotlight

Nikki Kraker, ARNP recently joined Hospice of the Northwest as a nurse practitioner. She brings eight years of nursing and five years of ARNP experience to the team. As a nurse practitioner, Nikki provides support to our care team by assisting with symptom management, providing medical orders to nurses, and performing the face-to-face visits required by Medicare.

An Interesting Life

Nikki was born in Michigan, but her family was living in Monrovia, Liberia, so she moved to Africa when she was only two or three weeks old. Imagine being a new mom and having to travel on a 20-plus-hour flight with a newborn!

When she was five years old, her family moved to Sierra Leone where they remained until she was 14. Because of the diamond wars, her family was forced to suddenly flee the country. They were only able to bring one suitcase containing all the possessions for their four-person family. As a tow-headed girl, Nikki stood out significantly among the other locals who were trying to escape, so she had to lie down in the bed of the truck. They covered her with a blanket and put their feet on her as a way to hide that she was underneath. She could hear the rebels’ bullets as they sped away.

They arrived at the border with Guinea, and it took about 12 hours for them to finally cross. She and her family remained in Guinea for about a year in hopes that things would cool off and they could return to Sierra Leone. Unfortunately, that did not happen, and they returned to the U.S.

Joining Our Team

Nikki has many family members who are also nurses—including her mom and aunt who work for Hospice of the Northwest. She knew she wanted to be involved with health care when she grew up, and eventually became a nurse. Nikki has had several opportunities during her career to work in hospice, and those were her happiest times.

Nikki enjoys meeting people in their own environment rather than in a sterile office. She gets to learn who her patients are, who they used to be, and enjoys being able to see their photos, pets, and loved ones.

She and her husband recently moved to Skagit Valley from Tennessee to be closer to family, especially now that she has a two-year-old of her own. After hearing from her mother about how much she enjoys the teamwork and compassionate care provided by her coworkers at Hospice of the Northwest, Nikki made the decision to join our team.

In her free time, she enjoys gardening and spending time with her family.

We welcome Nikki to the Hospice of the Northwest team and are so happy to have her!

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