Hub: What got you interested in the health field, and specifically in nursing?

Gretebeck: It was during high school through a family member who was a nurse. Also, I started working as a nursing assistant at Skaalen Home and enjoyed this work.

I am a caregiver by nature. I enjoy caring for people of all ages and trying to make a difference.

Also, during my time as a nursing assistant, I met several nurses that served as role models and inspired me to continue on the path to becoming a nurse.

Hub: What was your college/career path to Stoughton, and what led you to come to work here?

Gretebeck: I graduated from Stoughton High School and made a full circle back to working at SASD as the school district nurse. I took science classes in high school and attended the diploma program at Madison General Hospital School of Nursing after attending Madison Area Technical College for pre nursing courses.

I started my nursing career at Madison General Hospital (now Meriter) in the medical/telemetry unit and then worked in the Intensive Care Unit for 10 years. I loved the fast paced, intense practice setting but changed positions in order to have better working hours for my family. While I was working in the ICU, I also worked in the cardiac catheterization lab at the hospital.

After the ICU, I was a home care nurse for five years. While I was working in the ICU, I went back to Edgewood College to earn a BSN.

While attending Edgewood, I had a clinical rotation with a school nurse and I fell in love with school nursing.

Hub: How has the role of school nurse changed during your time in the district?

Gretebeck: It has changed to a more administrative/supervisory role with less direct care, even though I still really enjoy directly interacting with students and families.

I supervise a small group of health assistants. They are amazing and make my job more manageable. They are valuable assets to the students, families and staff.

Hub: How important is it to teach the next generations of health and nursing professionals?

Gretebeck: As a school nurse, I strive to be a role model for the students that I interact with each day. I want them to think of nurses and nursing in a positive way.

I am also a part-time nursing assistant instructor with Madison College and mainly teach high school students. I am also a preceptor for UW-Madison nursing students each semester. As an instructor and preceptor, I am able to combine both of my passions — nursing and education.

I am grateful to be able to help future nurses and health professionals in the same way that other nurses have helped me during my nursing education. It is so gratifying to observe students become increasingly more confident and skilled as they progress in the course.

Email Unified Newspaper Group reporter Scott De Laruelle at