Lori Gibbs

In the short time since graduating from Mennonite College of Nursing, Lori (Stoller) Gibbs ’02 has worked at some impressive medical facilities, including Mayo Clinic and Stanford University Medical Center.

Prior to her senior year at Mennonite, Fairbury native Gibbs was an intern at Mayo Clinic’s Saint Marys Hospital in the neuroscience intensive care unit (ICU). She said her experience was so positive that she decided to work there after graduation, spending two years in the same ICU.

“I took care of patients with brain tumors, seizure disorders, strokes, head injuries and spinal cord injuries,” Gibbs said. “I was on a committee that reviewed procedural guidelines for the ICUs at Mayo and was a member of the Mock Code Team, for which I helped prepare fellow nurses for real code situations. I also served as a preceptor for summer interns and new RNs (registered nurses), teaching them basic to advanced nursing skills and medication and treatment protocols.”

At Stanford, Gibbs worked in the medical/surgical/trauma/neuro/transplant ICU for three years. She served on the ICU Nursing Retention Committee and the Stanford Nursing Recruitment and Retention Committee. Gibbs was co-chair of a committee that developed a shadowing program for high school and college students as well as adults interested in a second career.

Gibbs and her husband, Chris, then moved to Bloomington, where she worked as a float pool nurse at BroMenn in the intensive care unit, cardiovascular care unit and step-down area.

Gibbs’ latest responsibilities include staying home in Loves Park, Ill., with the couple’s first child, 4 1/2 month old Paige, “the joy of our lives,” while Chris works as a gastroenterologist at Rockford Gastroenterology Associates. The couple enjoys traveling and spending time outdoors.

“Nursing is a great profession with a lot of options,” Gibbs said. “I would advise getting involved in a shadowing program if one is available, or volunteering at a hospital or nursing home to see if you like the environment.”

Gibbs said she knew she wanted to be a nurse from an early age. “Nursing for me has been what I thought it would be,” she said. “It can be challenging at times, especially when staffing is tight and the workload is more than what would be considered optimal. On those days, you do the best you can, remembering that the patients always come first.” She said that growing up, she was aware of Mennonite’s great reputation for years and also heard kudos from her aunt, Mennonite alumna Joan (Stoller) Gaston ‘58.

Gibbs was the proud recipient of Mennonite College of Nursing’s Young Alumni Award. “I wouldn’t change anything about my education at Mennonite,” she said. “I was extremely well prepared for performing as a nurse at the entry level, and I was able to take what I had learned in the classroom and clinicals and apply it to what my preceptors taught me.”