It’s gotta’ be the shoes …

Nurse

That’s partly what motivated GRETCHEN GOSH ’12 to go into to nursing. Visiting a hospitalized relative as a little girl, Gosh noticed that one of the caregivers was wearing “cool” running shoes. “You could wear those every day if you were a nurse,” pointed out her mother.

She was sold:  Gosh indeed grew up to be a nurse, and wears running shoes to work every day. Bright, multi-colored ones that dazzle her colleagues in the Rochester Public Schools and the three to five-year-olds that she cares for every day.

Gosh’s path has been as unconventional as her footwear. The Waukesha, Wisconsin, native chose to pursue her degree at Winona State’s Rochester campus, where she thought she could take advantage of a wider variety of clinical experiences.

shoeAfter graduating, Gosh knew that “hospital nursing was not for me because of the constant changes in shift times. I run every day, and runners thrive on regularity and routine.”

She admits that she stumbled on her position with the Rochester Public Schools when a friend told her about the opening. It turned out to be her dream job.

Gosh provides one-on-one care for severely ill or disabled preschoolers enrolled in the early childhood special education program at three Rochester elementary schools. Her responsibilities include standard nursing care, such as administering medications and maintaining IV tubes, and transporting students, many in wheelchairs, to and from school.

She’s also essential in integrating her students into routine classroom activities. “I’m not sitting in a school health office,” says Gosh. “When they have art, I’m in art class. When they’re on a field trip, I’m on a field trip.”

Although her position is unique in the Rochester Public Schools, Gosh is convinced she’s found her niche. “I guess I never thought I’d be passing out Valentine’s cards or wishing for snow days as a nurse, but I’m also part of helping these kids have the same experiences as their classmates. It’s so gratifying.”

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About Winona State University

Founded in 1858, Winona State University is a comprehensive public university with more than 8,500 students. The oldest member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System, Winona State offers 80 undergraduate, pre-professional, licensure, graduate, and doctorate programs on its three campuses: the original Main Campus in Winona, the West Campus in Winona, and Winona State University-Rochester.

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