Ashley Dasher, AGACNP-BC
Nurse Practitioner – Board Certified by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
story by Kelly Harley photos by Tonya Perry
Ashley Dasher is an Effingham County native. She was born and raised in the small community and her roots are planted deeply. She has also planted roots at Effingham Health System (EHS) and her career with the hospital has flourished since she started in 2014 as a medical surgery nurse. Dasher says she didn’t grow up wanting to be a nurse and in college was pursuing a degree in biology. An advisor suggested she try nursing. Dasher says that it was the best decision she’s made because it gives her the opportunity to challenge herself every day.
While working at EHS as a nurse, Dasher decided to challenge herself even more by obtaining a master’s degree in hospital medicine. “The hospital was very supportive of me pursuing my education and I was able to work here while attending school,” says Dasher.
She calls what happened next a blessing. When she started at EHS there were no nurse practitioners working for hospitalist services. As the hospital continued to grow, that changed. Dasher was approached by Dr. Claude Sanks about becoming his nurse practitioner upon graduation. Two months after graduating, she began her new role as an adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner.
Dasher credits much of her success at EHS to Dr. Sanks. “First and foremost, he had faith in me and asked me to work with him as a new nurse practitioner,” says Dasher. “I could not be more grateful to him for that.” In the seven months they have worked together, Dasher says she has learned so much. Dr. Sanks has helped mold her practice style, manage her time, and improve her documentation. “He empowers me by promoting my independence while also letting me know he is always available for any questions I have,” says Dasher.
Dasher currently works alongside Dr. Sanks in hospitalist services for the medical surgical floor. She admits patients from the emergency department to the hospital, manages patients as inpatients and in observation, arranges transfers when necessary and plans discharges. She also consults with physicians and other advanced practitioners from multiple specialties and takes call for the hospital patients at night. “I feel that my nursing experience at EHS helps me be a liaison between the physicians and nurses, and makes me approachable to the staff as many of us have already built friendships in the past,” says Dasher.
Along with the priceless experience she is getting at EHS, Dasher believes her ties with the community serves her patients well. “I feel that sometimes patients feel a little more comfortable just having a familiar face present when they are sick. I love when I can provide that for them,” says Dasher.
Dasher’s roots will keep her at EHS. Her grandmother was a patient at EHS’s Care Center, an on-site nursing home, and her aunt was a nurse at EHS for many years. Dasher says she loves Effingham County and wants to see it grow. “EHS feels like home to me. As a mother of young children, l cannot put a price on the benefit of working close to home, only 10 minutes from my children’s preschool,” says Dasher. “As the hospital continues to grow and prosper, I want to be a part of it. I have learned so much in my short time working as a nurse practitioner, and I look forward to what the future holds for me here.”