Meet Ann Marie Gurnee, RN, BSN, the director of nursing for the Sproutlings Pediatric Day Care and Preschool, part of Masonic Home of Kentucky’s family of services.
Hometown: Bay City, Michigan
Family: My husband Ben and I have three children – Russell, age 4; Vincent, age 2; and Greta, age 1.
Hobbies: Spending time with family, baking, dancing.
Education: Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan
On her nightstand: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (Crown Publishing Group, 2010)
Favorite daytime beverage: Coffee
Medical News: Why did you become a nurse?
Ann Marie Gurnee: I was influenced greatly by my family to go into the nursing field. It was apparent to them I had an innate ability to be empathetic and I knew I wanted to be in a profession where I would be called to provide for others’ needs.
MN: Why did you choose this particular specialty?
AG: I chose the pediatric field after my pediatric clinical in nursing school. I felt this area would suit me. The innocence and resilience of the pediatric population drew me in. I have always felt I could understand the world through a child’s eyes.
MN: Is it different than what you thought? How?
AG: The pediatric world is different then what I anticipated. A pediatric nurse must be familiar with a diverse and wide range of childhood illnesses and diseases. Most hospital units are specialized, however at Sproutlings, we see a wide variety of medically fragile children with unique medical concerns. It is important to research and be familiar with a variety of these conditions in order to provide the best holistic approach.
MN: What is the biggest misconception about your field?
AG: The biggest misconception about nurses is that we do not diagnose. We do educate patients and parents on disease processes, medications, etc. We are able to treat patients within our realm of practice.
MN: What’s one thing your colleagues would be surprised to learn about you?
AG: I think my colleagues would be surprised to know that I used to be a certified Zumba Instructor.
MN: What is your motto?
AG: Smile and the world smiles with you; frown and you frown alone.
MN: If you weren’t a nurse, what would you be?
AG: If I did not become a nurse, I would have been a dance or fitness instructor. I would choose a career that would involve creative movement.