Francie Wolgin, '69 Alumni Spotlight

Alumna Francie (Sullivan) Wolgin graduated with a bachelor’s in nursing in 1969 and a master's in psychology/business administration in 1983. For decades, she has enjoyed a successful career in various roles. For the past four years, she has served as the executive director of Growing Well, a nonprofit that connects students and their families to school-based health services. In addition, Francie has remained close to the College of Nursing. She serves as vice president of the Alumni Association and co-chair for the committee planning this year’s reunion.

Recently, BSN student Jack Stigler interviewed Francie as part of the college’s Alumni Discovery Project.

What are some of your favorite academic memories?

I enjoyed working with my fellow students and working in study groups, taking turns tutoring each other in subject we struggled with. The faculty held us to a very high standard and it wasn’t as fun, but it’s funny looking back now.

What are some of your favorite social memories?

I was very active with organizations outside the nursing college. I was head of the student union program committee, for which I organized a number of campus events, such as concerts and speakers.

Francie Wolgin, ca. 1969

What did you do after you graduated?

I was a staff nurse in the psych unit for two years, and then the head nurse in the high-risk OB unit. After that, I began working in staff and management development. Later, I worked in infection control and played a role in advocating for blood banks to test donor blood for AIDS in the ‘80s when the disease became a global issue. I authored five books about staff competency and becoming a nurse assistant.

Most of my career, I held nursing director and adjunct or clinical faculty positions at the University of Cincinnati, Duke University and the University of Michigan. For the past 20 years, I have worked for Interact for Health as a senior program officer planning and funding regional safety net programs and school-based health centers.

Besides work and family, how do you spend your free time?

I like to dance, go to the gym and visit my family. I have three grandchildren. I also help companies and organizations fund their community health projects.

What advice do you have for nursing students?

Don’t worry about what you’re going to do after you graduate, because after you get more experience, you can do whatever you want. Focus on getting the basic skills down to progress your career. If you don’t get the job you want, get involved and put some effort into it. You will have an easier time getting the job you want that way.

Finally, work hard, because it will pay off. Stretching to do more than you planned to do will help you in a future career.

Francie Wolgin


Francie Wolgin and University of Cincinnati College of Nursing

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