Office of Development and Alumni

Erin Harkins-Medina
Associate Director for Development
School of Nursing
45085 University Dr
Suite 201C
Ashburn, VA 20147
Phone: 571-553-0122
ehmedina@gwu.edu

Serving GW and the DC Community

January 26, 2015

It was a trip to East Africa that made Betsy Linsert, NP ’98, recognize that she was in the wrong profession. Living as a young professional in the Washington, DC, area and as a regular “Girl Friday” on Capitol Hill, Ms. Linsert was so moved by her travels that she made up her mind to change her career path and become a nurse.

“I decided I wanted to do something I could love all the time,” she says. She went on to earn a master’s degree from the Graduate School of Nursing in New York, but it wasn’t until she completed her coursework in the GW Nurse Practitioner (NP) program many years later that she felt she had the skills she needed to best serve the needs of her patients. “What I loved most about going through GW’s program is that it expanded my knowledge of what it means to be a professional nurse.”

Her favorite course of study was pathophysiology. She was fascinated by the conditions required for a diseased state to develop within the body.

According to Ms. Linsert, she chose the GW nursing program when a reference to the opportunity showed up in a newspaper. “GW was in the neighborhood and exactly what I wanted. It kind of fell into my lap and I said to myself ‘I should not ignore this.” Her time spent in the NP program turned out to be one of the best years of her life. Her children were in college, and her only responsibility was to do well in school. “All I had to do was go to class and study. I love to study, and I loved the topic.”

Ms. Linsert’s dedication to GW and serving the community did not end when she got her degree. She currently works part time at the GW Student Health Service. She also volunteers at Bread for the City, an organization that provides food, clothing, medical care, and legal and social services to the more vulnerable residents of the nation’s capital.

“I find myself working with patients at both ends of the spectrum,” says Ms. Linsert. “At Student Health Service, most of the people I work with are young and in reasonably good health. At Bread for the City, they tend to be more mature individuals, suffering from a variety of serious health problems.”
Over the years, Ms. Linsert has generously contributed to SON. “In the GW School of Nursing, they teach you to listen to the patient and that physical ailments are only part of the picture. They instilled in us that if a patient was suffering physically, he or she was suffering emotionally as well.” These are values that Ms. Linsert would like to see more of throughout the nursing community, which is why she is such a strong advocate of the GW School of Nursing.

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