For Liz Gurnsey, nurse practitioner in Albion is dream job in hometown

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 24 March 2022 at 6:29 pm

Photo by Ginny Kropf: Elizabeth “Liz” Gurnsey sits at her desk at the Albion Healthcare Center, where she is a nurse practitioner. Gurnsey grew up just down the road and returned to her home town to serve the community.

ALBION – Becoming a nurse practitioner is a dream job for Elizabeth “Liz” Gurnsey, but being able to practice in her home town is icing on the cake.

Gurnsey has been added to the staff of Orleans Community Health’s Albion Healthcare Center, the clinic located just a short distance from where she grew up on Butts Road.

She was born in Rochester, and when she was 10 her parents moved to Albion to be in a rural setting. After graduating from Albion High School in 2006, she enrolled in Oswego State College, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in biology.

“I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it, so I worked at Tim Hortons and CRFS for a while,” Gurnsey said. “When a friend told me about an accelerated nursing program at the University of Rochester, I applied.”

She finished the one-year program with another bachelor’s degree in 2013 and landed a job at Strong Memorial Hospital. She spent eight years there as a registered nurse, when she decided she wanted to do more.

“I really wanted a primary care position serving a small community,” Gurnsey said. “I saw a position posted online but it was filled. I had reached out to the hospital and introduced myself as a nurse practitioner looking to work back into the area. A month later I saw this job posted and set up an interview with Nicole.”

Nichole Helson is administrator of the Albion Healthcare Center and couldn’t be happier to have Gurnsey on staff.

Gurnsey said she is thrilled to be serving her home town community.

“These are my people,” she said.

Gurnsey is married to Brandon Gurnsey, a friend from high school who she started dating after they graduated. They were married and moved to Barre in 2015.

Gurnsey is passionate about her profession and encourages people not to hesitate to come to a nurse practitioner if they are looking for a primary care doctor.  She said her goal is to promote health maintenance and encourage patients to get early detection.

“I’m open minded and a good listener,” she said. “I allow my patients to be part of their health care. If a patient doesn’t want to do what I recommend, I respect that.”

She explained a nurse practitioner can treat and manage chronic disease.

“If someone comes in with something more complicated, we have a provider on site, Dr. Syed Raza,” Gurnsey said. “We work together and collaborate.”

“If anyone is looking for a primary care provider in general, they are not going to lose anything by seeing a nurse practitioner,” said Scott Robinson, director of marketing, communication and outreach at Orleans Community Health’s Community Partners.

Gurnsey added she is very down to earth and doesn’t use a lot of medical jargon.

“These are my family, my friends and my neighbors, and I’m so happy I landed here,” she said.

The Albion Healthcare Center is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Gurnsey is on site Monday through Thursday. The facility originally started as a walk-in clinic, then expanded to primary care, including walk-ins, Robinson said.

The site offers lab work, X-ray, physical therapy and primary care, as a walk-in or by appointment. The number for appointments is (585) 589-2273.