Meet Student Affairs: five questions with Jalyn North

Nurse practitioner details the care she provides at the Student Health Center and offers advice to students.

From the desk of Bill Stackman, vice chancellor for student affairs. 

Nurse practitioner Jalyn North is a Columbia native and graduate of Rockbridge High School. She received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Missouri St. Louis and then later earned a master’s degree in nursing from Maryville University. 

“I chose the nursing profession because I care about people,” she said. “I witnessed my grandmother, who had polycystic kidney disease, struggle with her health for many years. Along the way, there were some excellent nurses who took care of her, which inspired me and opened my eyes to nursing. I hope that I can ease anxiety and fear in patients as they are dealing with health struggles, whether mental or physical.” 

Let’s get to know Jalyn! 

This is a picture of Jalyn North
Jalyn North serves students as a nurse practitioner at the Student Health Center. Sam O’Keefe/University of Missouri

Bill Stackman: Tell me about yourself. 

Jalyn North: I have a wonderful husband and three children (two girls and a boy) that keep my life interesting and exciting. I love to go for hikes in the woods near our home, which is a great stress reducer! We are animal lovers and have two dogs, three outdoor cats and even keep some chickens from time to time. We are a very close family and spend most free nights attending sporting events of my children or of my nephews. Our family stays very involved in our church, our other “family.”  My Christian walk is very important to me. 

BS: Why did you choose working in the student health setting?  

JN: I love working with college students who are at a point in their lives when they start making their own decisions. Ultimately, they choose who they will become, and it is a privilege to help them through the process and watch them grow.    

BS: What services can a nurse practitioner provide? What type of care can students receive at SHC?   

JN: We provide a number of services at the SHC. I can be the primary care provider for students and see them for acute visits (generally the same day). I see students who may have symptoms of COVID-19 or other illness, those who are away from home and need someone to manage their regular medications, sexual health concerns, mental health, physicals, etc. Our clinic provides vaccinations and allergy shots, which is very convenient for students. We also have behavioral health counselors in the clinic who can see students quickly if they need someone to talk to, which is such a valuable resource.     

BS: What are your top tips for college students to stay healthy? 

JN: Honestly, it comes down to the basics of self-care; getting adequate sleep and practicing good sleep habits, eating nutritious foods, exercising several times per week, stress-reducing activities, and socializing with other people. College is an excellent time to establish healthy habits. I would also recommend taking advantage of the resources here at MU; the recreation center, the counseling center, interest groups on campus. Staying involved and connected is very important. If you are struggling with a class, reach out to your professor and/or other students and start a study group.   

BS: Best advice to be successful in college? 

JN: Stay connected with your classes, other students, faculty, friends and family. Try something new that interests you and make new friends. Establish healthy habits that will set you on a good path for the future. “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be” -Ralph Waldo Emerson.