When it comes to getting involved, Wendy Edgar has a predicament: “I can’t say no!” she says. But what may present a time-management challenge for Edgar has proven to be an asset for the University and the College of Nursing, which have benefited greatly from her leadership talents.
Edgar became involved with the Penn State Alumni Association in 2006, when her local Washington–County (Pa.) Chapter began a revitalization process. “I went to a meeting and ended up on the board,” she says. Two years later, she was elected president. In recognition of her exemplary record of service with the organization, the PSAA presented her with the Kay and Ernie Salvino Volunteer of the Year Award in 2015.
Edgar’s involvement with the College of Health and Human Development Mentoring Program led to her being recruited for the board of what was then the Penn State Nursing Alumni Affiliate Program Group (APG). When the College of Nursing started its own alumni society in 2014, Edgar was again on the front lines. She served as co-leader of the Probationary Nursing Alumni Society during the historic transition, and became president of the fully sanctioned College of Nursing Alumni Society in 2016.
Some would say Edgar’s perceived tendency to overcommit reflects her broad range of interests, and that’s true of her career path as well. After completing her master’s degree in Widener University’s family nurse practitioner program, Edgar married and moved to the Pittsburgh area, where she did not immediately find an NP position. So she accepted a part-time appointment teaching clinical courses at Waynesburg University, where she continues to teach 19 years later.
Along the way, she accepted her first NP job at Weirton Medical Center in West Virginia. Currently, she holds an NP position in the emergency department at Jefferson Hospital in Pittsburgh, where she has worked for 14 years. She also works evenings and weekends at Children’s Express Care (part of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh) and substitutes as a school nurse in her local school district, which has provided a “great opportunity to get involved in my children’s school,” she said. (Her children, Samuel and Leah, are ages 16 and 11, respectively.)
Edgar’s newest role is that of part-time instructor in the Family Nurse Practitioner program at Penn State Fayette, teaching clinical courses as well as Physical Assessment Across the Life Span. “It’s nice getting my foot back in the door at Penn State,” she says.
Whatever opportunities the future brings, Edgar is sure not to turn them down. “There are so many things you can do in nursing,” she says. “I tell my students that the day you get bored in nursing is the day you need to get out.”