Two-time nursing graduate serves critical care patients in Canton

File Under: Outcomes

When it was time for Gwen (Miller) Shumaker ’15 ’20 to consider master’s degree programs in nursing, she saw no reason to give up a good thing once she’d found it.

“I initially chose Malone for my master’s degree because I had a wonderful experience at Malone with the BSN program,” she said. “Once I looked into the Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) track, I didn’t need to research any others. I was ready to be back at Malone. I knew that the class sizes were small and that the instructors would be attentive.”

Originally choosing to enroll at Malone for her undergraduate experience, Shumaker knew Malone’s reputation for equipping excellent nurses.

“I chose Malone for undergrad because of the unbeatable nursing program,” she said. “Malone produces successful nurses and professionals in the region recognize that. Their pass rate for the NCLEX is amazing.”

A nurse at heart since she was young, Shumaker knew that caring for patients would be her calling.

“At Malone, I learned how service and leadership can intersect,” she said. “Sheri Hartman, associate professor of nursing, taught me servant leadership best because she always came to class ready to walk alongside us, teach us, and serve us. Her love for education is transparent and I knew she wanted to see me succeed.”

In a challenging time for nursing professionals, Shumaker, who now serves as a critical care nurse practitioner at Aultman Hospital, is grateful for creativity in the classroom that kept her career moving forward.

“Malone did a great job preparing us for new challenges in the field when the pandemic started,” she said. “Our professors were on top of it, being creative and looking for alternative ways to learn during a stressful time when resources were more limited. We didn’t meet in person as much, but I still felt well cared for and prepared for the road ahead of me.”

Despite the challenges that nurses face today, Shumaker is hopeful for the future.

“As we continue to develop in our skills during a new era for nursing, I hope to see us progress with more autonomy,” she said. “I want to encourage others to pursue a career in nursing despite the current situation that the pandemic has brought to us. Our world needs quality nurses.”