In the “Meet the Providers” series, get to know our dedicated clinicians better, learn what brought them to Hope, and find out why they are passionate about serving the community.
Dr. Darla Gowan, MN; DNP, RN-BC, FNP-BC, has served on faculty for Indiana Wesleyan University for 15 years. She’s currently the Assistant Dean for Nurse Practitioner programs. She grew up on the mission field of Haiti and has spent the majority of her life in the Midwest working in critical care settings and teaching.
Why did you decide to become involved with Hope?
“I’ve grown up doing mission-related work. My parents were missionaries in Haiti, and I was born there. I’ve always wanted to work in ministry, and nursing is how I chose to do that. For more than 17 years I worked at Riley Children’s Hospital with pediatric cancer patients, and now I teach other nurse practitioners how to serve the community with their gift of nursing. When John, the executive director of Hope, reached out to ask if I knew of any students who might want to volunteer, I told him I wanted to do it myself! I’m also looking forward to bringing students with me and giving them a clinical experience.”
What’s special about working with Hope and its patients?
“I’m personally excited for the faith-based side of Hope. If a patient feels comfortable with it, I can share my own faith or pray with them. That’s so unique. At Indiana Wesleyan, where I teach, we say we’re trying to make nurses into world changes. Faith is a powerful tool to incorporate into the healthcare we deliver. Prayer makes a difference, and research supports that — even for other religions. Of course, it’s not something we force on anyone, but it can help provide comfort, clarity, and knowledge to deal with the unknown for those who are spiritual. This is deeply personal to me; my mother died of cancer, and I believe God used my work with cancer patients at Riley to heal my anger about that.
Our mind is an active part of our healing, and having mental health and behavioral health counseling available at Hope is so amazing. I come from the nursing model which cares for the whole patient — mind, body, and spirit — even in secular settings. It’s a natural progression as a nurse practitioner to hit on all of those points and not just focus on the medical diagnosis alone. For the nursing students who will help provide care with me, it’s an important way to show them the art of medicine.”
What would you say to patients who need care and might be considering coming to Hope?
“I believe we’re more than our circumstances, and everyone has equal value. We’re all one unfortunate event away from being in a position to need help. Everyone deserves access to great medical care, regardless of their income or insurance. Hope provides the same great care that anyone else would get — but at a cost that works for them. I don’t judge any of the patients I’ve seen. I’m here to do what God has called me to do: to love and care for people. On a personal note, I truly enjoy meeting new people! I love talking to patients and getting to know them.”
How has working in nursing changed you?
“Every patient I’ve ever cared for has touched my heart or stuck with me in some way. It might have been a word they’ve said, their strength, their resolve to get through what they’re going through, or a mother’s response to a child. If you’re willing to open yourself up, you can’t not be changed by your patients. Of course, I care about their physical health, but I care about them as people too — we want to help other parts of their lives too.”
Do you need medical, dental, or mental health care and don’t have insurance of any kind? Give us a call today to book your appointment. 317-272-0708