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Dwayne Bell, MSN, APRN, a North Carolina native, works in the Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine as a nurse practitioner. Dwayne has grown in his role at UNC since 2003 and enjoys educating patients and their families. Outside of work he can be found cycling, sky-gazing, and plane spotting. If Dwayne was stuck eating only one food it would be yams!

What is your role in the Department and what patients do you serve?

I am an acute care trained nurse practitioner who has held medicine/pulmonary critical care roles. I work primarily with the adult population managing acute or chronic illness in numerous capacities.

Where are you from?

I am excited to share that I am the son of a farmer, born and raised in Halifax County North Carolina.

Did you always envision yourself as an APP?

No, it was evolutionary discovery. I wanted my work to be altruistic and to operate in a capacity to fully explore the range of my profession and to have the occupational latitude to command my time and decisions.

What is the most rewarding part of your work?

It is incredibly rewarding to communicate with and educate patients and their families. I enjoy helping them make connections between behaviors and health and treating disease with evidence -based therapies.

How has your role evolved over time since you’ve been here?

I have “Been here” since 2003. I arrived to UNC as a newly hired graduate nurse (critical care), completed the critical care residency and have held several positions in nursing. I am now an acute care NP and have assisted in developing and building-out several initiatives. The institution and I have grown together.

What is one thing that you wish people knew about your job?

The title “Nurse practitioner” is not the best descriptor of the work that we do. The role of the nurse practitioner has evolved since 1965 when the first NP program was developed. As an acute/critical care NP, nursing is a great foundation, but doesn’t wholly account for measurable effectiveness. NPs treat disease, direct care, consult, educate, prescribe and interpret diagnostics and diagnose which differs significantly from my nursing practice prior to becoming an NP.

Personally, or professionally, what are you most proud of?

Being sought as a resource and contributor to any health or educational initiative.  Being recognized and appreciated for your professional contributions are a quality indicator of my occupational impact. I enjoy what I do. I want to be great at what I do, but I have many attributes that expand beyond my occupation, and actually enhance my ability to do my job. .

If you didn’t have a career in medicine, what would you be doing?

Futurist, National or State Park Ranger, Farmer

What hobbies do you enjoy outside of work?

Cycling, sky-gazing, plane spotting and some photography

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?


What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Be patient with people and slow to judge. Everyone is still figuring life out.

What do you hope to accomplish in the next year?

Broadly speaking build on my professional network, become more skilled as a practitioner and continue to work on my longer-term professional initiatives.

What’s the last song you listened to?

Devil in a New Dress, Kanye West, A Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010)