Mary Robinson was named the regional nursing programs coordinator for Grand Valley's Traverse City Regional Center.
The Torch Lake resident brings nearly two decades of experience to the position as a nurse and nurse educator. In her new role, Robinson will advise potential and current students in Kirkhof College of Nursing programs, and expand community outreach in northern Michigan, including clinical placements for students.
Her commute to the regional center will be much easier than when Robinson worked as a hospice and home care nurse and saw patients on Beaver Island and Mackinac Island during winter months.
"I was like 'Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman,'" Robinson said. "A small prop plane would pick me up and land at the airstrip on Beaver Island, then the patient's family would meet me there."
Robinson also worked as an occupational nurse for General Motors' plants in Wyoming and Coopersville, a school nurse for the Traverse Bay Intermediate School District, and in the ICU at Munson Medical Center. She has taught nursing courses for Northwestern Michigan College and several community colleges.
She said she was drawn to the profession when she was very young. "When I was 5, my grandmother was very sick at St. Mary's Hospital. In her room I watched how the nurses worked with her and how they would help her feel better," Robinson said.
Robinson earned a bachelor's degree in nursing from Grand Valley, and a master's degree in nursing with an education minor from the University of Phoenix.