Karen Gray was born in Roseburg, Oregon, but grew up in the small town of Myrtle Creek. Karen tested out many career paths in her 20’s including structural firefighter, photographer, dental assistant, soldier in the U.S. Army and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Karen was injured while serving in the Army and medically discharged. When the VA offered to pay for Karen’s education up to a BSN, she gladly accepted.

Inspired by her son, Karen applied to UCC in Roseburg for the RN program stating from the very beginning that she wanted to be a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. Karen worked on an ambulance to support her family while completing her associates degree at UCC (2012) and then her Bachelor of Science with a major in nursing at OHSU (2013).

Karen currently lives in Eugene, Oregon with her husband who stays home to take care of their 17-month-old son Kellen, 3-year-old son Liam and 8-year-old son Deagan. Karen continues to work on the ambulance on the weekends and works full-time as a surgical nurse at the Spine Surgery Center of Eugene. Karen hopes to work at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital as an Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner after she graduates with her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). Whenever Karen can find some free time, she spends it with her boys and husband.