Small Town News


New Area Health Care Provider, Breanna Paulson Joins Essentia

The Northern Star of Clinton, Minnesota

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Grew Up In Area…..

Graceville and Chokio's new Family Nurse Practitioner is glad to be home. In fact, she's very excited about being a member of a small community once again.

Until seventh grade, Breanna Paulson lived in Donnelly, Minnesota. She knows what small town life is all about — and, in fact, embraces all that it encompasses.

"I like the comfort of walking into the grocery store and seeing the same people every day. It's that sense of belonging," she said.

Breanna will begin duties at the Essentia clinics in Chokio and Graceville on November 9.

Breanna's parents — Larry and Peggy Ascheman — both grew up in Donnelly. Peggy and daughter Breanna returned to Donnelly this past summer where they took part in the "Royalty Reunion" in the annual Threshing Bee parade.

"I was Little Miss Donnelly in 1993," said Breanna with a smile. "My mom was a princess in the 1970s, my Aunt Jeannie Ennen was a princess, along with another aunt and a bunch of cousins! It was so much fun and my kids got to see their mom in a parade."

The Ascheman family moved to Breckenridge when Larry was hired as a teacher at the North Dakota State School of Science in Wahpeton. He had worked 19 years at John Deere in Morris, and his wife Peggy was a nurse at SCMC and at St. Francis in Breckenridge.

Breanna graduated from Breckenridge High School in 2003 and attended Concordia College, graduating with a Bachelors in Nursing. She worked in a small rural hospital for three years before returning to school to receive her graduate degree. She earned her Master of Science in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner degree from the University Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota, in 2013.

She met her husband, Jonathan Paulson of Cartwright, North Dakota, while he was attending the science school in Wahpeton. The couple married and moved back to his home turf where he has worked in the oil fields for the past ten years "Williston was chaos," she said. "There was no stability — no sense of community. I wanted to come home, to allow my kids to grow up with their cousins in the rural area. I love it here — this is home."

The Paulsons aren't quite home yet. They are in the process of purchasing a farm site near Graceville. In the meantime, they are living in Breckenridge with the Aschemans.

"I drive the kids to Graceville every day for school. They love it here and they especially enjoy riding the bus from Graceville to Clinton!" Bristol, age 6, is in kindergarten at CGB and Tucker is 4 and in preschool. Breanna returns to Breckenridge and then heads off to work at an Essentia walk-in clinic in Fargo where she is working until her Minnesota license is issued. And then at the end of the day she returns to Graceville to pick up the kids.

As a Family Nurse Practitioner, Breanna said she is certified to see patients "across the lifespan." She is also certified to conduct DOT physicals. She has a background in trauma care, as she was a trauma coordinator at her previous hospital.

When she made her site visit to Graceville, she said she was so excited about the possibility of working in this area. "I remember thinking that this is exactly what I want for me and my family. Memories from growing up in Donnelly, being close to my cousins and family — well, I wanted that for my kids. I didn't want them to grow up on an oil patch."

You'll see Breanna out in the communities, as she participates in the school activities and her favorite pastime — hunting and trap shooting.

"When I graduated from the University of Mary, my husband gave me a pheasant/trap shooting gun," she said with a grin. "That's what I really wanted!"

She can't wait to go hunting, and meet folks from the community. She is already embracing the rural life.

"I missed Minnesota Nice," she said. "I missed the honesty and integrity, the rural attitude about life — where we take care of each other because we're all we got. This is where I'm supposed to be!"

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Original Publication Date: November 5, 2015

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