Gretchen Warner of Warrentown, Virginia sums up her professional career by this Eric Kandel quote: “Life is sort of a circle. You come back to a lot of interests you had early in life.”
An emergency medicine registered nurse, Warner is no stranger to the world of healthcare. She says it has been a lifelong calling and passion.
“My first experience in a hospital setting began when I was in eighth grade, as a volunteer candy striper. What originally started as required volunteer hours quickly became a source of enjoyment,” she said.
“My passion for emergency medicine began when I started volunteering with Fairfax County Fire and Rescue. I became a certified emergency medical technician and rode the ambulance alongside the career staff. The lieutenant who rode with me during this time constantly encouraged me to find a career that I loved.”
From there, she began working as an emergency room technician, then joined an accelerated program to earn her associate’s degree in nursing.
“As soon as I became a registered nurse, I went straight back to the place I loved: the emergency room,” she said.
Warner is the recipient of the CSU Hero Behind the Hero scholarship, which awards the spouse or child of one military or public service personnel up to 60 credit hours in one online degree program. Warner’s husband is lieutenant firefighter and medic for Fairfax County Fire and Rescue.
With this scholarship, Warner plans to complete her MBA in healthcare management.
“I have remained in the ER and urgent care setting throughout my career. I have seen management change on a routine basis,” she said. “As a staff and charge nurse, I hope that by continuing my education, I can eventually become a leader. My goal is to minimize the impact of constant changes in management and improve the relationship among staff and administration.”