AgriSafe Nurse Scholar Spotlight: Whitney Sonnen

Meet Whitney Sonnen, RN (a graduate of the 2020 AgriSafe Nurse Scholar program). Whitney is a registered nurse at a Critical Access Hospital with a Level 4 Trauma Designation. The populations she cares for include men, women, and children living in rural areas associated with the agricultural, logging, ranching, and construction industry. Currently, Whitney is earning her degree to become an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). She was inspired to pursue this career from her experience in working with critical access underserved populations.

I saw that there was a noticeable lack in rural medical doctors so I sought to further my career with the end goal to return to providing care to communities primarily funded by agriculture-based careers.”

Whitney Sonnen, RN


When asked which Nurse Scholar program topics she found most valuable, Whitney stated that since completing the program she has been able to apply the knowledge first-hand from these program topics: hearing conservation, chemical/pesticide exposures, women’s health, personal protective equipment, and behavioral/mental health. She found the self-paced design of the Nurse Scholar program to be beneficial because it allowed her to continue her daily routines while also advancing her knowledge in order to provide up-to-date and evidence-based care to the communities that she serves. Whitney enjoyed that after each training she was able to easily access and disseminate the provided educational handouts and resources to her surrounding communities.

Whitney stated that the knowledge gained during the Nurse Scholar program helped her identify appropriate personal protective equipment relative to exposures, provide information on an improved ability to identify and prevent symptoms of agricultural-related illnesses, and access clinical and educational resources. 
AgriSafe would like to thank Whitney for her dedication to serving the rural community!

The AgriSafe Nurse Scholar Program has had over 100 graduates to date. If you would like to join this group of dedicated nurses, find out more information about the program.

Thanks to Anahita Dara for assisting with this interview!

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