Sara Wolfson

Sara Wolfson

Geriatric Nurse Practitioner


University of Nebraska Medical Center

Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
I worked in a hospital for about 5 years which was a great experience for a new nursing grad.
I went back to work after my kids were born and that was as a staff nurse in a nursing home.
My kids developed serious chronic illnesses. I learned how to juggle many different things at once.
I wanted more responsibility in managing patients' chronic conditions. I had to learn more.
I was an older student. I was a calmer student. I loved learning! The GNP program was the right fit.
I wanted just a bit more knowledge so I went for the doctorate.

Education

High School
Bachelor
Nursing Science
University of Arizona
Graduate
Geriatric Nurse/Nursing
University of Nebraska Medical Center
Doctorate
Nursing Practice
University of Iowa

Career

Geriatric Nurse Practitioner

I help older adults manage their complex medical conditions and counsel their families.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Education
Medicine
Learning / Being Challenged

Day to Day

In the morning I am in clinic with older adults who usually come in with acute health issues: they had a fall with an injury, their heart failure is flaring up, or they just don't feel well but don't know why. I am the detective helping them figure things out. In the afternoon I meet with families of patients newly diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. I am actually breaking the news to the patient and family. Their reactions are diverse and run the emotional gamut. That can be tough to watch.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

Being a team player is hugely important! It makes the workflow smoother for everyone. We all have our special jobs but we work together to benefit our patients. After working in my previous job alone it was wonderful to have other people around to share the load with. Flexibility is just as crucial. On many days things don't follow the game plan and you have to shift gears quickly. I also ask questions of the folks around me with way more medical experience than I have.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for college students

Work somewhere taking care of older adults. Respect and understand who they are. Get an undergraduate degree in nursing. You need the nursing theory and basic sciences. After you get that degree go out and work for a few years before considering graduate nursing. The work experience makes you a better grad student and guides your choice of a specialty.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:

undergrad
Bachelor
Nursing Science
graduate
Graduate
Geriatric Nurse/Nursing
doctorate
Doctorate
Nursing Practice

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Myself:

"The noise came from me. I wasn't sure I could do it. I doubted myself as an older student. I was working, my kids were chronically ill, and the class work and papers took a huge amount of time. I thought about dropping out. I cried a lot too."

Challenges I Overcame

Time