Alumni Spotlight: Dana Martinson (Gingerich), Practical Nursing ’95
In 1995, Dana Martinson (Gingerich) suffered a house fire. She was a single mother of four small children ranging from 5-10 years old with little money, no home, no nearby family and without an education. She visited Butler Tech, seeking classes that may help her follow her passion for writing. Instead, a chance encounter with a Butler Tech staff member whose name she never knew, changed her life forever. The nameless employee gave Martinson a test and when she finished she was told, “We have one spot left and it’s yours.”
“That one act changed my life forever,” explained a grateful Martinson. “I was led to a classroom where I signed paperwork and took a seat. I listened as the woman in the front of the room explained that we were all in an LPN class,” Martinson shared. “I leaned over to the woman next to me and asked what an LPN was.”
“A nurse, you idiot,” the woman responded.
Martinson went on to achieve the high honors in the Licensed Practical Nurse program and has experienced a successful career in healthcare serving as a floor nurse, Nurse Manager, MDS Coordinator and an Assistant Director of Nursing.
“I have never said thank you for such a great blessing to myself and my children. I have no idea where we would be if that class had never happened. Now, my children are all grown, and I have 9 wonderful grandchildren. My kids had a wonderful life because my nursing license lifted us from poverty to a new standard of living. A chain of poverty and dysfunction ended with the completion and accomplishment of my nursing license. In that split second decision by someone, I had never met before changed my family for generations. My children and I are very successful because Butler Tech gave me the opportunity of a lifetime.”
Martinson currently lives in Utah with her family and celebrated 23 years of being a nurse on July 1, 2019. She currently works at a skilled nursing facility that was identified by U.S. News & World Report (U.S. News) in the Best Nursing Homes for 2018-2019.
Butler Tech’s mantra, “pursue your passion, find your purpose, make an impact,” comes in various shapes and forms and in Dana’s case, sometimes leads you down an unexpected path to success.
Photos provided by Dana Martinson: Left – 2019/Right – 1995