Gehring joins staff as FNP
Peg Gehring, FNP, made two changes in her life recently. She completed her coursework and clinical rotations to graduate with a Masters Degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner and she also switched places of employment. She attended Gonzaga University for her degree and now works for St. Mary’s Hospital in their Cottonwood and Kamiah Medical Clinics.
“I tell everyone that I wanted to keep my husband of 25 years and my house and children so my only option for change was my career,” laughed Gehring who has been a nurse since receiving her Associates Degree in 1982 and her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing Science in 1984 from Lewis Clark State College. From 1982 to 1984 she worked at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Lewiston. She then worked at Syringa General Hospital for the past 23 years in different capacities including ER, Surgery, OB and outpatient treatments.
“I decided to become a nurse at age five when I was given a Nurse Nancy book and, at the same time, my aunt entered nursing school. The die was cast and I never thought about being anything but a nurse,” said Gehring. “Now, as an FNP I’ll see patients in the clinic rather than in a hospital setting. I believe my skills will readily transfer, but I feel the most valuable asset is my knowledge of the people in this area. I’ve seen so many area residents in a variety of medical settings. Knowing about their healthcare issues and family dynamics will help me be a better provider.”
It took three years to complete her course of study through Gonzaga University which involved online classes, in person exams, and clinical rotations through St. Mary’s, Syringa and at Clearwater Valley Hospital in Orofino. She worked at SMHC as a CNA before and during nursing school.
“I am really looking forward to working with the doctors and other Family Nurse Practitioners at St. Mary’s. They have a reputation for putting the patient first and always focusing on their needs. They believe that what is good for the patient is what is best for everyone. That is also my philosophy,” said Gehring who began her new position earlier this month.
When not working Gehring enjoys downhill skiing and teaching ceramics through 4H. Her husband, Jerry Johnston, and she have raised three children, Maria, age 23; Dan, age 21 and Eric, age 18. Johnston farms and owns the H& R Block in Grangeville.
“The most humbling and rewarding experience since returning to school has been the outpouring of support from the people in the area. Every time I went to the store, to church or even walking down the street people wished me luck and provided me with encouragement and caring,” said Gehring. “I am really looking forward to continuing to look after their medical needs in a clinic setting. Their health continues to be of the utmost importance to me.”