Anna Galle ’14 treasures the personal relationships nursing brings her
In observance of National Nurse’s Day on May 6, we honor Anna Galle ’14, a registered nurse on the hematology/oncology/bone marrow transplant/palliative care unit at University Hospital/UW-Health in Madison, Wisconsin.
Galle says she wanted a career where she could be of service to others and where she could find a sense of purpose. She discovered both in nursing.
At Ripon, Galle majored in chemistry-biology and minored in anthropology. “During my first job outside of college, I was fortunate to be able to observe a variety of role in the healthcare setting,” she says. “I found that I was most drawn to the nurses and the relationships they formed with their patients, and I was struck by the passion with which nurses approach their day-to-day work. The choice felt obvious and natural at that point and I haven’t looked back.”
Galle received her MSN from Marquette University in 2019.
“The greatest gift that Ripon College and my liberal arts education gave to me was the ability to be a well-rounded individual with a critical mind,” Galle says. “Because of the variety of opportunities to students in a liberal arts education, it is so easy to expand interests and knowledge beyond the one major you have chosen. I can’t imagine another undergraduate experience would have allowed me to study both biology/chemistry and anthropology, while also working in the athletic training department and joining the swim team. In each of those areas, I picked up pieces of knowledge and lessons that I feel have followed me in my education and career post-Ripon.”
Galle started her first nursing job just three weeks before COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, “so my entire career thus far has been clouded in uncertainty and constant changes,” she says. “That alone has been very challenging. In addition, throughout the past year, patients could no longer have visitors during their hospitalization. Nurses had to take on the role of trying to stand in for friends and family members that could not be there during their loved ones’ most terrifying and isolating experiences.”
She loves her job, she says, because it “requires me to critically think and be on my A-game at all times. I also love being able to form relationships and rapport with patients on our unit, whether they are only hospitalized for a short time or have a lengthy in-patient stay. It means a lot to be able to do something small for a patient that can make their day even slightly better. My patients have taught me so much about perspective and what is most important in life.”