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Laura Kolmos, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, APN



I had a lovely opportunity to interview Laura Kolmos, a phenomenal Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, mother, wife, friend, and overall human being. Laura cares so deeply for others- this is something that you'll come to understand by reading her beautiful journey from enduring a stormy upbringing to thriving, both personally and professionally.

 

Laura Kolmos was born and raised in New Jersey and is the oldest of four siblings. She recalls having a dysfunctional upbringing with emotionally unavailable parents, which painted childhood memories that revolved around surviving. She even remembers that at the young age of 10, she inquired about how much it would cost for her to rent her own apartment.


When Laura graduated from high school, she jumped right into working a full-time job, on top of taking a few classes at a local community college. She worked at a Plastic Surgeon’s office that had a tight-knit nursing staff and recalls wishing she could be a part of such a close group of women. She says that their connection and camaraderie is what inspired her to pursue nursing, on top of the fact that it afforded her the ability to work full-time while attending school.


Laura has always worked very hard in school and excelled in academics. This was a tool that she knew would help her to move past surviving and ultimately begin thriving. It also provided her a sense of worth as she linked her worth to her achievements; she carried this association with her until her late 30’s when she realized that she was much more than her ability to achieve. This realization helped Laura to let go of the belief that she had to be the “super working mom” who juggled it all for her two kids, without being shaken.


When Laura was 3 months pregnant with her son, who is now 18, she graduated with her associate degree in nursing. Five months after his birth, she accepted a full-time nursing position. She initially planned to work the overnight shift from 3 pm to 11 pm, so that she could be home with her son all day- not grasping that she’d have to sleep at some point…this totally depicts Laura’s super mom tendencies. Eventually, she realized that she couldn’t do everything alone and needed to reach out for help. She remembers sitting in her car one day, ready to head into work, and calling her husband in a frozen, sleep deprived state. She eventually went in to talk with her unit manager, who directed her to meet with the mentor for new nurses. In a concerned tone, this kind mentor said, “I don’t care if you stay here or quit, I just want to know if you’re okay.” Laura says that she was the first person who made her feel like her wellbeing was really cared for; she felt that she could finally take a breath. This nurse was actually a Family Nurse Practitioner who was beginning to delve into the world of psychology/psychiatry and was starting to practice out of her home. She ended up taking Laura on as a new client, validating all that Laura had gone through and helping her to heal for 3 years.





The dysfunction in Laura’s family resulted in her experiencing a great deal of internal conflict and guilt from having to decide whether or not to keep in contact with them. During this time, she gave birth to her daughter and worked in a homecare agency. Then, a few years later, she went back to school and earned her bachelor’s degree. At the homecare agency, she met a kind woman who introduced her to a spiritual group of like-minded women. At that point, Laura considered herself a dabbler in spirituality. She has always believed in a higher power, even since being a little girl, and holds the belief that things will be ok, no matter how tumultuous. Looking back, she is very grateful and blessed to have had a lot of strong women and mother figures in her life, whether that be through her work or the spiritual group that she became a part of. She says that these connections really kept her searching for joy and happiness, as well as an escape from being in survival mode.


In working at the homecare agency for 10 years, she worked her way up from a field nurse to a supervisor, then to a management position, and finally to becoming the director. Despite her success, in 2014, she realized that this was not what she wanted to do with her life and intuitively knew that it wouldn’t be good for her well-being. Laura recognizes how great of an opportunity it was to work as the director, but felt that it didn’t feed her soul.


Following this realization, in 2016, Laura decided to go back to school to further her education. In 2021, she earned a Doctoral Degree in Nursing Practice and obtained licensure as a Psychiatric Advanced Practice Nurse (APN). She became immersed in learning about mental health and simultaneously witnessed her daughter endure, and then heal from, a deeply traumatic event. Due to these experiences, she recalls having a pretty sudden realization: if she didn’t shift something about the way that she lived her life, as well as her overall perspective, she would not be able to help her daughter. This led her to really take the leap and make the commitment to growing and looking at things in a more positive and spiritual light. In doing so, she signed up for the Divine Family Program, which taught her about healing her inner child wounds. This program helped Laura to shift her emotions towards her parents from resentment, to gratitude for the lessons that they taught her. This demonstrates the power of this type of healing work, something that was so transformative to Laura that she became a Divine Family Coach and now teaches it to her clients.



Currently, Laura has a daily practice of pulling oracle cards, using her pendulum, using crystals, and practicing some form of meditation, whether silent, guided, or walking. She also uses journaling as a way to process and reflect on her life and spiritual journey. She feels that this keeps her more grounded, and also expands her clairsentience (perception of emotional energy) ability. She says that the more she opens up, the greater the ability she has to use her intuitive gifts with her clients, with whom she loves building relationships with.


After listening to much of her story and career path, I asked Laura what she would say to someone searching for a direction in life. She responded with, “there is a reason for everything and sometimes it’s in our darkest moments that we find our purpose. We just have to trust and lean into it. Everyone has a purpose and a reason for being here and you don’t have to have all the answers right now. This idea is comforting to people”, herself included. She would also say that “you just have to take a step, not even a leap, to find out what you're passionate about and see where that takes and leads you”. These are invaluable words and concepts that she continues to revisit when in need of guidance.


Thanks for reading!


Stay Curious,


❤️ Oliviah



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