Christine Grant’s career path has taken her to some unexpected places, but she views this as a testament to the versatility of a Penn Nursing education. “Absolutely anything is possible with a nursing degree from Penn,” she says. “I have learned throughout my nursing career that nothing is beyond one’s reach.”
In the 1980s and 1990s, Grant taught Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing at the Penn School of Nursing and Widener University. Nursing also took her to Australia, where she was Associate Professor of Nursing at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. While there, Grant played a key role in the development of distance learning modules in psychiatric nursing for students in rural areas, as well as a psychiatric nursing curriculum for the Southern Baptist University in Hong Kong, where she served as a visiting professor. In addition to these activities, Grant was the Director of the Australian Centre for Psychiatric Nursing Excellence, which was established to help psychiatric nurses apply for government research funding and publish their work.
Upon returning the United States, Grant began helping her husband at his immigration law firm, expecting to assist him for just a few days during a particularly busy period. Seventeen years later, Grant is still an administrator at the firm, where she oversees a wide variety of operations including billing, payroll, and human resources. The aspect that she finds most rewarding is completing psychiatric evaluations and affidavits for clients, especially foreign nationals who have been victims of spousal violence. She has completed hundreds of these evaluations, and to date not one client has had a petition denied, in part thanks to her affidavits. Grant’s nursing knowledge has proven indispensable to this process, and thanks to a Penn Nursing education, she is able to adapt to her clients’ various issues and needs, from a Mexican woman suffering from cysticercosis to a Guatemalan baby born with interventricular hemorrhage. Her interventions – honed during her classes at Penn – involve allowing clients an opportunity in which they can reveal their hardships, so that Grant can write their stories. “My life has been enriched by Penn,” says Grant, “and because of Penn I truly believe I am able to help others.”
“Absolutely anything is possible with a nursing degree from Penn.”