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A Member You Should Know

A Member You Should Know

Maximilian Button DNP, APRN, FNP-BC

Ortho Illinois

Max is a family nurse practitioner at Ortho Illinois in Rockford. He works at Injury Express walk-in clinic where he provides outpatient orthopedics and occupational medicine services. Max is a frequent guest speaker at Saint Anthony College of Nursing where he presents Musculoskeletal Assessment lecture and lab. Recently Max has started serving as a Region 1 Chair for ISAPN Board of Directors, and is really enjoying this role. He has been a member of ISAPN since he was an NP student in 2014. Max shared the following about himself.

I am committed to be a well-rounded, confident, competent and compassionate provider
whose goal is to treat all patients as my own family members despite the differences in ethnic background, religious and political positions, or cultural beliefs. I intend to further develop my skills and knowledge through research, evidence-based practice and mentorship. I plan to always encourage my colleagues to practice by the same principles and inspire other providers and clinical staff to be kind, understanding and attentive to our patients’ needs.
Outside of professional practice I enjoy DIY projects around the house, gardening, cycling, hiking, anything outdoors and working on my cars.

Before becoming an APRN, I had been a part of Ortho Illinois’ staff for over 7 years, where I have served in various roles from an orthopedic technician, to a clinic lead RN, and lastly as a PACU RN. I really loved working with the orthopedic patient population and looked up to our top-notch physicians, who have been instrumental and supportive in my career development. Ortho Illinois is a physician-run practice and has always employed only physicians and physician assistants (PAs) in the past. I saw a challenge and an opportunity. Patients often are intimidated to ask too many questions, forget what they wanted to ask, or are afraid to take too much of the surgeon’s time during their visit. As a nurse I have learned to anticipate the patients’ needs and always would ask those questions for the patient, which was very much appreciated by both providers and recipients of care. I have found a niche where as a nurse practitioner I could provide patients with the best of both worlds: the nursing core values and expertise of advanced practice, which would make me a valuable member of the healthcare team. In 2016 I made a decision to continue my education and obtain the highest degree in nursing – Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). My intent to obtain this degree was driven by desire to continue to challenge myself and further develop both academically and professionally.

When asked what Max finds most rewarding in his career, he stated, “What I find most rewarding is the fact that I continue learning every day. My collaborating physician has been my mentor for over a decade, and I am very grateful to have him constantly stimulating my learning. Having 12 years of experience in orthopedics (the last five of which as an APRN) and obtaining a doctorate degree in nursing I thought I had learned it all and was done with any more learning. I became very comfortable evaluating and treating just about any musculoskeletal condition. Not a novice anymore, I am an expert (well, at least in my specialty). Wrong. As it turns out, it is just a tip of the iceberg of clinical knowledge and wisdom. Advanced practice is a state of constant learning, and not a day goes by where I don’t learn something new about clinical guidelines, cutting edge therapy or technology, patient outcomes, reimbursement, EMR, healthcare policy or another challenge in the healthcare world."

Healthcare is ever-changing. Max had this to say about how changes in healthcare affected her career path, “Patient access to healthcare has been a challenge for many years and has been getting worse. Working at a busy surgical practice I have found that new patients frequently had to wait 4-6 or more weeks to see a specialist for a consultation, a need for a walk-in clinic arose and since all the PAs are tied up in surgery with their docs, someone had to wear a superman costume. A nurse practitioner providing walk-in care is able to assess the patient and order all the necessary tests to determine if they can be treated conservatively by an NP or referred to surgeon on an urgent basis. This allows to offload the surgeon’s clinic schedules so they can see mostly surgical cases whereas the patients needing conservative treatment can get care right away (same day) without need to wait weeks and months to see an orthopedist.”

When asked what advice he would share with new APRNs, Max said, “Your first job as an APRN may not be your dream job (mine actually was and still is), but you have to stay persistent and open minded. Absorb all the knowledge you can like a sponge! Most of the real-world practice cannot be taught in books, it has to be lived through and experienced in full. You may use this first job as a learning opportunity, maybe practice your interviewing skills, get experience and then find a new job. Or you may change the existing practice to your and patient’s advantage, or even open your own practice if you choose to do so. Anything is possible in today’s everchanging healthcare system. When one door seems to be closing in front of you, look further and another one is surely to open at the same time. Enjoy your career! You have made the right choice.”



Raechel Ferry-Rooney


Illinois Society for Advanced Practice Nursing
P.O. Box 636
Manteno, IL 60950