Sabrina Sumner, RN, MDiv, BSN, CMSRN, was in pastoral ministry before she decided to pursue a career in nursing. She is the RN Clinical Manager for Primary Care at JPS Health Network’s South Campus Health Center, Medical Home Northeast Tarrant, Iona Reed Health Canter, Northwest Health Center for Women & Children, Diamond Hill Health Center, Gertrude Tarpley-Watauga Health Center, and the Employee Health Clinic. Sumner works with the staff, practice managers, and team leaders to ensure they meet the quality metrics for accreditation updates.
"I have been at JPS for 27 years - my entire nursing career - but nursing was not my first job. I was in pastoral ministry for 11 years and worked as a youth minister for the Methodist Church," Sumner said. "That was the path I thought I was called to do, but later, I heard a different calling that led me to become a nurse."
Sumner was in seminary at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital when she realized she loved what she did but needed something else.
"Part of my training was to go into the community and ensure that chaplains were not just there for patients - they're there for employees as well. I think that may have been where the seed was planted," Sumner said. "I loved being in pastoral ministry. I loved working with the kids but knew I couldn't do that forever. And I didn't feel called to preach. I said, 'Well, now what do I do? I've had four years of college, three years of seminary, and seven years of higher education.' My husband was the one that said, 'What about nursing?' I was like, 'Why would I go to nursing? I have to go back to school. I'm not qualified to do anything.' I went back to school, and it was the best decision."
Sumner recalls a moment when she knew nursing was her passion. She was in the Dean's office at Tarrant County College and saw a photo of “The Wizard of Oz” characters. Written above the characters was "Nursing." Under the scarecrow, it said "brains," under the tin man, it said "heart," under the lion, it said "courage," and under Dorothy, it said "home."
"Nursing is home," Sumner said. “It encompasses everything. You must have a heart and brain, and it takes a lot of courage. While some people saw nursing as a means to an end, it was a calling of service to me. So, naturally, when I graduated and wanted to get employed somewhere, I wanted to go somewhere where I could make a difference. There's no better place to work than JPS if you want to make a difference in your community and people's lives. I can make a difference, give back, share gifts, and be there for people that need it. I want to retire from JPS. It is my home. I learned here, and this is where I grew up. This is where I want to be."
Along with caring for the JPS patient population, Sumner enjoys the knowledge and support she receives from her colleagues, which keeps providing care for patients innovative.
"The camaraderie, you've got a lot of like-minded people with the same mission, and when you are all moving in the same direction, it's golden,” Sumner said. “We talk about our true north. We talk about patients first. It's got to be about patients and our community. Our community is diverse, and we serve everyone. It's wonderful because everyone is passionate about providing the best healthcare to our communities."
Sumner enjoys her position at JPS and loves seeing the new minds that come into nursing because of the advancing education. She is happy that there are fewer barriers for women in leadership.
"Women are highly represented in the nursing field, so it's helpful to have those role models that are in leadership,” Sumner said. “We had to break many barriers to get to where we are now. They are not gone, but the good news is there are fewer of them. And now we see many people coming behind us, who are even smarter. It's wonderful to see."