Girl em[Power]ment – Nina Copeland

Girl em[Power]ment – A Series of Short Essays.

Over the next few months will be bringing you the Girl em[Power]ment series, which consists of interviews with several working women of all ages in different stages of their career. These are women I not only find inspiring and interesting, but who I think women of all ages should know about and learn from. These women hold careers in several different industries, from creative design to politics. They’ll give us an inside look into what their job is like, how they got there, share their advice for twenty-somethings, and touch on what Girl em[Power]ment means to them.

[be sure to follow along on insta – @girlempowerment]

Our next influencer is Nina Copeland, who I’ve gotten to know over the years at Johnson Dermatology. She not only gives great skin advice and has a must-read blog, but is a working mom who’s also got killer style. Nina always has a positive energy about her, and never fails to make me feel at home when visiting her. Keep reading for her [amazing] answers and advice for twenty-somethings.

Introducing, Nina Copeland, of The Skinny On Skin + Johnson Dermatology
Blog – TheSkinnyOnSkin

Q: What is your current job title, and can you please briefly explain your career path?
A: I’m a dermatology nurse practitioner at Johnson Dermatology. I do surgical, cosmetic and general dermatology. I started as a certified nursing assistant at age 16. I worked in hospitals eventually becoming an RN and then a Nurse Practitioner. I have experience in OB/GYN, outpatient surgery, forensic nursing, ICU and the ER. Finally, I’m at my home in dermatology.

Q: Where did you go to school and what was your major?
A: I went to the U of A in Fayetteville where I recieved my Bachelors in the Science of Nursing. I attended UCA in Conway where I earned my Master in the Science of Nursing. I am certified through the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners as a Family Nurse Practitioner.

Q: How do you deal with negativity towards women in the work place [if at all]?
A: I currently work in an office with over 30 women and one man so I don’t encounter this often. But I approach negativity with positivity. I am proud of myself and where I’ve come in my career. While I was pregnant I was often asked if I was going to stay home when the baby arrived. I always responded, “no way! I love my job! I’m going to teach my girls how to juggle it all by example.”

Q: Have you ever felt unsure of yourself or felt that you weren’t “enough”, and how did you overcome that?
A: Everytime I try something new! It’s life and that unknown, unsure feeling is what makes you work hard, learn new things and become a little stronger, smarter and wiser. I definetely use that insecure feeling as fuel.

Q: Who are your role models or mentors that you look up to?
A: My first female role model is my Mom. She came from nothing, put herself through college and became an electrical engineer. She has worked for Texas Instruments, NASA, mulitple colleges and now is a teacher. She worked while my Dad stayed home raising us, now that’s a boss lady! Second is my collaborating physician Dr. Sandy Johnson, she always has a positive attitude. She is my constant reminder of how to be better all around. She is a business woman, a doctor, a wife, a mom and happy. Lastly, Brittney Spears, because if she can get through 2007 I feel I can do the impossible no matter how bad a hair day I have (only sort of kidding, kind of serious).

Q: What are other things you do [hobbies, projects, interest] that you feel passionate about?
A: I have a 5 month old and a 2 year old so right now my passions include potty training and breastfeeding. My interest include getting a shower and my teeth brushed before going to work. And sleep is a real project. Although, I do remember a time when traveling, volunteer work, road biking, barre, wine with friends and running with my husband were all on my favorite to-do list.

Q: Is there anyone you think that is making a difference in women empowerment that you think we should all know about?
A: I think women empowerment is really blossoming in Fort Smith. Look around at all the local women starting their own businesses. Hazels Haven, Suite One, Indie, Roots Salon, Belle Starr Antiques, Baby Chic and Kens & Co. are just a few of my favorite Fort Smith girls that own their successful businesses. Know who your local women business leaders are and support them, that’s what women empowerment is all about!

Q: What do you do in your free time to relax?
A: I love the lake, the pool and massages. I like to meditate. If I get a break I like to just sit outside and think while sipping a cup of vanilla chai tea latte.

Q: What career and/or life advice would you give to your twenty-year-old self?
A: Your actions will follow you and have consequences. Make decisions based on the consequences. Think about where a job will take you not just what that job is. Your twenties are just the beginning and even though it feels like it takes “forever” to get through college or move up in a position or get married or whatever I promise it is just a very brief moment in your life. Time keeps getting shorter and days will seem like hours before you know it!

Q: What does Girl em[Power]ment mean to you?
A: Owning it. By that I mean be confident and own your brand, what you represent. Be humble. Share what you are good at with other women and encourage them to be amazing too. If we support each other the sky is the limit. Have you heard the saying the woman is the neck that turns the head in a family? The truth is women are the brain! We can turn the head and shake the hips simultaneously, heck we run it all!

Stay tuned for Wednesday’s influencer, and I hope you enjoyed hearing from Nina!
Xo, Flancake

[don’t be left out – follow @girlempowerment for updates + inspo]

Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 5.26.00 PM

[graphic in collaboration with Courtney Ulrich of Alligator Food Design]