When Frontier Nursing University (FNU) Post-Master’s DNP student Gabrielle Sauder heard of a job opening for the Pediatric Care-A-Van, a program at Norwegian American Hospital in Chicago, Ill., she knew she had to check it out. With a focus on health prevention, the Pediatric Care-A-Van is just what it sounds like – healthcare on wheels, provided for children in the community who have a barrier to health care access consider adding financial barriers as well. Soon after she started and based on her beginning success on the Care-A-Van, the hospital asked her to also start a Pediatric Restorative Care Dental Van. She was put in charge of starting a new program from the ground up and soon realized she would benefit from an advanced degree.
Already a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner with a master’s degree, her position quickly required leadership skills that piqued her interest in obtaining her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree.
“I wanted a good return on investment,” said Gabrielle. “FNU stuck out to me as having a program that would give me the skills I’m looking for in management – and it was affordable. I also really liked the fact that there was a Post-Master’s DNP that I could complete in a short time-frame.”
Gabrielle’s hard work ethic is paying off. Her Care-A-Van program recently won an American Hospital Association (AHA) NOVA award. Only five awards are given annually to AHA member hospitals and health care systems that show leadership by providing collaborative health care that improves community health status.
Out of hundreds of applications, a large reason Care-A-Van was awarded was because of its dramatic increase in patient numbers and services over the past year and its work in the community.
“When I first started this position, the hospital had recently changed to a nurse practitioner led model,” said Gabrielle. “With this new structure, we doubled patient volume and quadrupled services, all with the same operating budget. Nurse practitioners are leaders and by combining medical expertise, leadership and a passion for serving others, we have been able to prove this model works.”
Gabrielle is set to graduate with her DNP in December of this year (2017).
“The experience at FNU has been outstanding,” said Gabrielle. “I’ve learned exactly what I was hoping to, and I am really blown away with how well they utilize technology. It really is like being a part of a community even though courses are online.”
Thank you for your hard work and dedication to serving the underserved, Gabrielle. We are proud to have you as an FNU student!
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 who are focused on the mission of educating nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners to deliver quality health care to underserved and rural populations.