At the heart of Frontier Nursing University is a talented and diverse community of students, alumni, faculty, staff, Couriers and preceptors. Spotlight blogs feature members of our FNU community that are focused on the mission of educating nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners to deliver quality healthcare to underserved and rural populations.
Frontier Nursing University (FNU) preceptor Gabrielle Morgan Scharp is being honored as FNU’s Featured Preceptor for the 2020 fall term due to her outstanding dedication to healthcare, service and building up new nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners.
A registered nurse and certified nurse-midwife, Morgan Scharp began her career in 1998 after experiencing her labor and delivery nurses’ compassion throughout her pregnancy and son’s birth.
“I was 18 at the time and didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life,” Morgan Scharp said. “When I watched those wonderful women work, though, it was like a lightbulb went off. I thought I could do that, and so I did.”
After working as an RN for 10 years, Morgan Scharp returned to school to get her nurse-midwifery certification through FNU in 2008, graduating in 2011.
“When I was working as a labor and delivery nurse, I just wanted to do more. I was frustrated working with women for hours only to have the doctor swoop in at the end to catch the baby. I wanted to help the mother through the whole process,” Morgan Scharp said.
Morgan Scharp chose Frontier after hearing about it from a co-worker.
“I went home that night and looked it up. I thought, ‘wow, this sounds amazing, I think this is exactly what I want to do,’ And through Frontier’s unique education model, I was able to meet my goals. Frontier made everything possible for me.”
Following her graduation from Frontier, Morgan Scharp moved from Wyoming to the Navajo reservation in Navajo County, Ariz.
“It was definitely a culture shock at first. Many of these people don’t have heat, running water, or electricity; we don’t have 911 or Wal-Mart. I experienced being a minority for the first time in my life. But, I very quickly loved these people and valued their way of life.”
Although she has moved to various towns within the reservation, Morgan Scharp has been living with and serving the Navajo and Hopi communities since 2011. She enjoys working on the reservation (currently in Tuba City) because of the great sense of community, tradition, and the respect they have for women and elders.
“With COVID, things have been different, but usually, we will have around twelve people at a birth. It is such an exciting time for so many. They also have really inspiring traditions such as putting the umbilical cord in a special place to them so that their child will always feel drawn there and have roots in the community,” Morgan Scharp said.
Although she was hesitant to become a preceptor at first, she has fully embraced the role in recent years and has found it one of her favorite parts of her job.
“I was afraid I wouldn’t be a good teacher, but once I started, it felt natural. I like to step back and give the students I work with room to learn and grow. I know that they have the knowledge from their didactic studies to succeed. I enjoy allowing them to do so.” Morgan Scharp said.
The students who work with Morgan Scharp appreciate her teaching method, but more than anything, they see her heart for the native women of the reservations, and through that- what it means to truly care for your patients and your community.
Student Christy Neese recently worked alongside Morgan Scharp and had this to say about her experience:
“Gabrielle provides so much strength to the team of midwives in Tuba City. She is full of energy and passion for empowering women through her work as a midwife. Gabrielle sets a beautiful example of how to engage women in their world, their desires, and their culture–and to appreciate all of it. Navajo and Hopi culture values and respects childbirth and motherhood, and Gabrielle can support these values, beliefs, and practices with the midwifery care she provides. Gabrielle has committed so much of her life to these women–she lives 1.5 hours from the nearest ‘big city.’ She is far away from a lot of her family, but she is willing to make these sacrifices to serve the women in this rural community. She taught me so much of what it looks like to serve women, to learn from women, and to appreciate each woman as she allows us to participate in her journey into motherhood.”
When asked what the most fulfilling part of her job is, Morgan Scharp said, “helping to create a family and watching people grow. I watch pregnancies grow, babies grow, as well as the midwifery students that I precept. It is a beautiful career.”
Thank you, Gabrielle, for your continued work in advancing nursing and midwifery education and assisting FNU in reaching underserved populations through a Culture of Caring!
To read about previously recognized preceptors or to nominate a preceptor, click here.
Are you interested in becoming a Frontier preceptor? Learn more here.