Celebrating nurses: Q&A with Davenport nursing alumni

Meet some of our outstanding nursing alums and learn about their experiences in the field.

Lorriane Goward AS Nursing ‘98 ​Psychiatric Nurse Specialist, Saginaw County Mental Health | Saginaw, MI

Why did you pick Davenport for your degree?

I tossed around the idea of going to school for a few years. I then spoke to a girl who graduated from Davenport, and she shared her experience and how much she enjoyed the small class sizes. One of the campuses was close to where I lived, so it was very convenient for me to attend classes. And my instructors were amazing! I didn’t go full-time, so it took me about five years to complete my degree.

What advice would you give to our nursing students?   

The field of nursing is not just a job – it becomes your life. My best piece of advice is to take it seriously and always protect your license. Be someone that people can trust and always be honest.

Katie Arnson AS Applied Science Medical Assisting & BS Science in Healthcare Administration ‘12 & ’14 ICU Clinical Secretary at University of Michigan Health-West

Did you have a favorite professor? 

Sue Garman and Joe LaMontagne, my science & math professors, who I had for more than year, were my favorites. They were also coworkers when I was a student worker. 

Why did you choose your career path?

I am a liver transplant survivor & being in the hospital all my life, I wanted to help people who are like me and give back.

What do you love about your place of employment?

The people, location and the entire hospital. The work ethic that everyone has is to give back to the patients and families who need their care and respect.

Sam Frens BS Nursing ’16 Clinical Nurse Manager, Surgical Services. Trinity Health| Grand Rapids, MI

Why did you choose your career path?             

I started my career in the operating room at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital and learned quickly that my interests and strengths lie with leadership and process improvement. Looking to broaden my talent, I moved from leadership into business operations as a project manager, responsible for purchasing and managing capital equipment used for surgery and radiology. Missing the patient care and leadership responsibilities, I once again followed my passion and returned to the leadership realm of my career. I love that nursing gives you the ability to chart your own path, based on your interests.

What do you love about your place of employment?

Trinity Health Grand Rapids has a small-town feel with extremely cohesive teams. They also take great pride in taking care of those who are underserved (one of their company values), which makes my work that much more meaningful.

How did your Davenport education prepare you for the career you have today?

The courses focused heavily on real-world aspects of healthcare, which allowed me to easily associate what I learned with what I was seeing every day at clinicals. Professor Karen who taught A&P/Pathophysiology was amazing at taking the academic side and illustrating how it applies directly to the real world.


To make a gift to support future frontline workers, please visit davenport.edu/give. Or contact Megan Eppley, Assistant Director of Annual Giving, at meppley@davenport.edu, or call 616-233-3416.


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