Our Nurse Practitioners

At Methodist Brain and Spine Institute, our team of nurse practitioners assist in managing acute and chronic brain and spine conditions through comprehensive history taking, physical exams, and the ordering of diagnostic tests and treatments. Our nurse practitioners are qualified to diagnose medical problems, assist in surgical procedures, order therapies, prescribe medications, and make referrals. Along with the rest of our Neurosurgical team, the core philosophy of our nurse practitioner role is individualized care that focuses on both the patient’s medical issues, as well as the effects of illness and injury on the life of the patient and his or her family.

A nurse practitioner’s areas of expertise include the following:

  • Assisting our Neurosurgeons in surgery
  • Collaborating with the Neurosurgeons and other health providers about patient care
  • Counseling and educating patients on health behaviors, self-care skills and treatment options
  • Diagnosing and treating acute illnesses, infections and injuries
  • Diagnosing, treating, and monitoring chronic conditions
  • Obtaining medical histories and conducting physical examinations
  • Ordering, performing and interpreting diagnostic studies (e.g., lab tests, x-rays, MRIs, CT scans)
  • Prescribing medications
  • Prescribing physical therapy and other rehabilitation treatments

Please see a complete list of our Nurse Practitioners below:

  • Vanessa Bludau, FNP-C
  • Stacey Castellanos, FNP-C
  • Natalie Clarke, FNP-C
  • Breanne Felty Smith, NP-C
  • Zaineb Shams, FNP-C
  • Heather Tribble, FNP-C