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This Nursing Life: Susan Greb & Rand Kaller

Story Photo

Alumni connections do matter. Susan Greb (right), a nursing educator who lives in Washington state, helped Rand Kaller secure a job at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, Oregon. Photography by Isaac Lane Koval

Susan Greb 90N may live across the country in Washington state, but that hasn’t kept her from staying connected to the School of Nursing. The former teacher turned travel agent, labor and delivery nurse, and then nursing faculty member has a knack for mentoring students. As the clinical liaison for an accelerated online BSN program at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Greb guides students through five clinical rotations in a variety of specialties. 

She has taught at other schools, including Yale College of Nursing, Quinnipiac College of Nursing, the University of Portland, and Oregon Health & Science University. She’s lived in Vancouver, Washington—across the Columbia River from Portland—for 15 years and has a network of colleagues throughout the Pacific Northwest. So when Emory’s School of Nursing asked if she could help Rand Kaller 13OX 15N with her job search in her native Portland, Greb agreed. 

They met over coffee and talked for more than three hours. Greb knew the manager of the unit at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center, where Kaller had applied for a position. At Greb’s suggestion, the manager interviewed Kaller and hired her to work the night shift in the neurosurgery and stroke unit. 

“Portland nursing can be kind of insular,” says Kaller. “My city has a lot of great nursing schools in the area with names people know and faculty who are familiar with local employers. Being a new graduate from a school out of town was a special kind of challenge. Connecting with Susan helped on multiple levels.”

The two Emory nurses continue to text one another and meet for lunch. “We’re always interested in what the other one is doing,” says Greb. “I am very supportive of Rand’s goals and enjoy encouraging her on her new path. We clicked because I have worked with students for the past 20 years and am familiar with her nursing education and current employer and understand her future goals.”

The younger nurse welcomes Greb’s guidance. “When I was seeking a job, Susan helped me a great deal,” Kaller says. “Now she reminds me to take care of myself, which is so important in this profession, and encourages me to take that next step. We’ve discussed med-surg certification, critical care, and graduate school. She’s helping me shape my goals into concrete plans that I’ll hold myself accountable for.”—Pam Auchmutey

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