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Erin Saunders, BSN, RN: Nurse, Student, Friend

January 2, 2023
Erin Saunders, BSN, RN, fell in love with the environment and the team in the GBMC Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) during nursing school, and knew it was the place she wanted to start her nursing career.

From day one, she knew she made the right call. From cheering her on when she put in her first IV to sending her flowers and constantly checking in on her when her father died at the start of COVID-19, her coworkers were there for her.

“During a difficult time in my life, being able to go to work and see my people was my outlet. They are so much more than coworkers to me; they are truly family,” Erin said. “We really work together as a team. When we get a new admission, we all go in and get them settled. We help each other, we have each other’s backs, and it is not like that everywhere you go. Emotionally and physically, it’s a hard job, but when you know you have supportive people behind you, it makes you feel like you can do anything.”

Erin has met some of her best friends at GBMC. Wayne Silver and Kristin Feliu—her “soul sister”—clicked with her immediately. And Erin said those friendships are everything.

“She makes my heart warm,” Erin said of Kristin. “She was my first really close friend that I would see outside of work that I would confide in on a personal level. She is a great nurse and a great friend, and she makes my life so much better.”

Amid the high-fives and supportive chats, there is intentional and compassionate care being given to patients. Seeing patients return to the SICU again and again reconfirmed for Erin her path as a nurse. In the SICU, she helps patients at Point D, but she is pursuing a Doctorate in Nursing at the University of Maryland to become a family nurse practitioner and support patients at Point A.

“Our healthcare system is very broken in the United States. There’s such a need for preventive care; people genuinely don’t know how to take care of themselves or manage their diseases,” Erin said. “There are so many preventable admissions. I feel like if people knew more about their bodies and how to take care of themselves, we could prevent these acute hospitalizations. I felt this passion. I want to be able to teach people wellness and how to take care of themselves and manage their comorbidities and diseases or prevent them from happening in the first place.”

One year into the doctorate program, Erin senses a difference between this experience and her first go-around in nursing school. She feels more knowledgeable and prepared and has been able to bring that to her practice.

“During rounds, I’m silently diagnosing the patient in my head. I have a better understanding of assessments and what is happening with my patients clinically,” Erin said.

She is committed to leaving school without loans, which she said is only possible because of the pre-paid tuition assistance and nursing scholarship program GBMC offers.

“With opportunities like this, it makes me feel rewarded, seen, and like my work matters.”

If you have a passion for providing quality care with a great group of people, please consider applying. Use GBMC's new "Quick Apply" form to complete an application in approximately one minute.
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