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Stockton combines military service with nursing expertise to teach Otterbein nurses

Stockton combines military service with nursing expertise to teach Otterbein nurses

By Kerigan McNamara ’17 

Otterbein’s nursing department prepares students for the evolving healthcare needs in our world. Simultaneously, this department equips these individuals for challenging and unconventional experiences that they will face once they embark on their careers. Some students even find their way back to Otterbein to share their knowledge.

Alumnus Charles (Greg) Stockton, BSN ’96 has returned to Otterbein on the other side of the classroom. He graduated from the nursing program with his mind set on becoming a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). Stockton has been teaching at the Otterbein University/Grant Medical Center Nurse Anesthesia Program for three years.

Stockton became a member of the Ohio Army National Guard in 1981 after receiving a ROTC commission from the University of Dayton. In 1987, he joined the OHARNG as a full time Training Officer. In 1993 the unit to which he was assigned was deactivated and he returned to a traditional Guard Status. His experiences with training and teaching as a part of his military obligations impacted his future.

“I had a lot of experience doing presentations and teaching,” said Stockton. “As a military officer, you are always teaching classes. As a part of the National Guard, you are giving briefings to the general or the colonel.”

While in the National Guard, Stockton looked for Ohio nursing schools to eventually become a CRNA. Stockton was welcomed by Otterbein in 1993 as the college was expanding its nursing school.

“Otterbein gave me the chance to get into nursing,” said Stockton.

He credits Otterbein for giving him the opportunity to join Mount Carmel’s St. Ann’s ICU Step Down unit in 1996 after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Following this, Stockton obtained a position in the Riverside, Ohio Health Critical Care Fellowship program, and he worked at Riverside Methodist Hospital in the ICU to gain more experience. With a good nursing foundation, he was able to apply his skills to enter anesthesia school.

Stockton began graduate school at The University of Akron in 1999. He completed his clinical training at Grant Medical Center from 1999 to 2001 with 3 months at the Akron Children’s Hospital. After earning his master’s degree, Stockton joined the Army Reserves in 1999 to continue his military service. He had one five-month deployment to Afghanistan in 2003. Stockton took care of Afghan nationals at the hospital. He graduated from The University of Akron’s Graduate Program in Nursing for Nurse Anesthesia in 2001.

“It was not a whole lot different than working at Grant,” said Stockton. “Grant is the level one trauma hospital for Columbus so I was used to doing a lot of traumas. It wasn’t a big reach to work at a trauma hospital in Afghanistan.”

After his clinical training, Stockton stayed at Grant Medical Center until 2006. He has been working at The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center as a CRNA since 2004. When he is not working at the hospital, he teaches at Otterbein University/Grant Medical Center Nurse Anesthesia Program.

Since 2010, Stockton has been organizing a cycling team with the anesthesia department at the Wexner Medical Center. He and his colleagues ride in the Pelotonia bike tour to raise money for cancer research.

In 2016, Stockton will finish the Doctor of Nursing Program at The Ohio State University. He hopes to use this degree to continue teaching anesthesia in Florida when he semi-retires. Stockton offered three pieces of advice to current students: work hard, be successful and make enough money to support your family. He said that these recommendations are interconnected and obtainable as a whole if you have achieved two.

Learn more about the Otterbein University/Grant Medical Center Nurse Anesthesia Program.