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Who We Are

Kansas City Nursing News, Dec 6, 2010

“CPR Lady Puts Fun Twist on Certification”

Sherry Payne, RN, BSN, said she dreamed of becoming a business owner as a child.

In 2004, Payne’s dream came true when she opened The CPR Lady. Those who take cardiopulmonary resuscitation classes from Payne’s center know her as the CPR Lady. Payne and her son Gregory Wyatt teach CPR classes at their center, 5519 Foxridge Drive, Overland Park, KS, and on location. Wyatt serves as the company’s chief operating officer. Six other instructors also teach classes.

The CPR Lady offers classes six days a week. “We do them here and we also go out to the clients’ sites,” Payne said.

While the majority of The CPR Lady classes are for health care providers, Payne said she also teaches classes for lay clients. Payne’s nursing background is in labor and delivery. She teaches labor and delivery courses to nursing students and is pursuing a master’s degree in nursing education. Payne’s company combines her entrepreneurial spirit with her passion for education and healthcare knowledge.

Payne had tried to start a business two times before she opened The CPR Lady. She said the third time seemed to be the charm. “I had been bit by the entrepreneur bug as a teenager,” Payne said. “I always wanted to own my own business.”

Payne started out with a small instruction space and two manikins. She recently moved into a bigger space. Her company teaches about 80 students a month in house and 40 to 60 students a month on location.

“I’m really pleasantly surprised that one of my ideas took,” Payne said. Wyatt said plans are under way to open a second The CPR Lady in San Antonio. He said they are also considering a third location in St. Louis. “Long term we have some really good ideas,” Wyatt said. Payne attributes her success to her unique teaching style.

“We make it fun by teaching it The CPR Lady way,” Payne said. “We employ more active and interactive ways of learning.” Payne said she uses an interactive approach and leads discussions, instead of simply lecturing. “It’s not the CPR class that they expect it to be,” she said. “Oftentimes I think our classes are so much fun that the time passes quicker.”

Payne said she always keeps her audience in mind when teaching a class and she said she tells all of her instructors to do the same. She said classes for health care providers are taught by health professionals.

Health care providers have to be recertified in CPR every two years. Payne said she sees many repeat clients. "We have really loyal customers," she said. "We meet a real need in the community."

Meet Our Trainers

Melissa Jackson

Melissa has Bachelor’s degrees in Secondary Education and Nursing and is a licensed RN in both Kansas and Missouri. She brings a variety of real ­life experience, including 6 years as an RN in an emergency room, into her CPR and First Aid courses and has the medical knowledge to answer most questions that arise in training courses. She has four daughters, two grown and two still at home, and lives in Kansas City, MO, with her husband, Doug.

“It is my firm belief that every person over the age of 10 should be taught CPR, choking rescue and basic First Aid. I try to bring real ­life examples into my training courses, reinforcing concepts and increasing retention of basic skills. Humor is also very important when teaching anything...if a course is not any fun, nobody will want to recommend it to their friends and coworkers. Laughter helps learning take place!”

Hakima Payne, MSN

Sherry L. Payne holds a BSN in nursing and a MSN in nursing education. She graduated from Research College of Nursing in Kansas City, MO. She is a Certified Nurse Educator and an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant. She is pursuing midwifery education and currently serves as Executive Director at Uzazi Village, a nonprofit organization devoted to decreasing perinatal health disparities in the urban core.

Her career plans include opening an urban prenatal clinic and birth center. She serves as an editor for Clinical Lactation Journal and sits on the board of the Coalition to Improve Maternity Services. She also serves on her local Fetal Infant Mortality Review Board, and is a member of the Kansas Breastfeeding Committee and the Missouri Breastfeeding Committee. She presents nationally on maternity care and breastfeeding issues. Her current projects include increasing the number of Lactation Consultants of color and improving lactation rates in the African-American community. She resides in Overland Park, KS with her husband and six out of nine children.