Navy veteran, lifelong learner, dedicated Duchenne Nurse Educator: Meet John Crane

As a member of our Duchenne Nurse Educators team, John Crane, RN, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, supports healthcare providers, patients and caregivers with education on Duchenne muscular dystrophy, the treatment process and Sarepta support programs. His journey to Sarepta included a 24-year run as a Navy nurse and multiple tours of duty across the globe. Throughout his nursing career, John has focused on educating other healthcare providers and maintaining his patients-first mindset. Here, we share John’s story in his own words.

John in Iraq
     John on a tour of duty in Iraq 
     photo courtesy of John Crane

“I’m originally from Arkansas and now I live in Texas. I’ve been a registered nurse for more than 30 years. In addition to being an RN, I have a master’s in nursing as a Clinical Nurse Specialist and a post-graduate certificate as a Family Nurse Practitioner.

I didn’t have any family members who worked in healthcare and so didn’t have a lot of familiarity with healthcare careers. But I had an aunt, my favorite aunt, who was diagnosed with colon cancer. I remember visiting her in the hospital, seeing all the nurses at work and realizing this was what I wanted to do. 

My dad was in the Navy. First, my oldest brother joined the Army. Then my other brother joined the Navy and I swore I would never do it. I was in college working toward my RN degree and struggling with how to pay for it. After sophomore year, I went to the Navy recruiter and learned they had a wonderful program that would allow me to finish my nursing degree. Once I graduated, I was commissioned as an ensign with a commitment for four years active and four years Navy reserves. I ended up serving 24 years and retired as a Commander (O5) in 2015.

John Crane in dress blues
     John retired from the Navy as a Commander (05)
     photo courtesy of John Crane

While in the Navy, I worked as a critical care nurse and eventually an associate director of nursing and ancillary services. I served in several states along the east coast, and at Naval hospitals in Japan, Guam and Iraq. I spent a lot of time training and being an instructor – education has always been a big part of my career.

I’ve worked in the pharmaceutical industry for the last nine years. I joined Sarepta in 2023. I was drawn to Sarepta because it’s so obviously patient centric. Everyone wants to do what’s right for the patient.

The biggest part of my job today is teaching nurses about Duchenne. Because it is a rare disease, it isn’t something you learn much about in nursing school. I also teach them how to administer treatments and ensure they are knowledgeable about therapies. And I work with the Sarepta case managers to assist families to understand the treatments available. Case managers often ask me to reach out to families when they have specific questions about our medications or nursing-related issues.

I am sometimes on site when a treatment is administered. It’s wonderful to get to know the boys and parents better and see how grateful the parents are. Once diagnosed, families quickly learn how devastating this disease can be. So to see the hope they feel and to see it in their faces is a great feeling. 

John and colleagues
     John with Sarepta colleagues

My message to families living with Duchenne is you’re not alone. This entire company is focused on finding better treatments for this devastating disease. Sometimes it’s just to say, ‘call me, I’m available to talk and answer your questions.’ I believe it helps these families to know they have a team of people they can count on to help them deal with Duchenne.

Throughout my nursing career, I’ve been focused on two things: my impact and my professional growth. I want to grow my knowledge base and I always want to keep learning how I can best support healthcare providers and families. And I want to know I’m having an impact. I know Sarepta is making a difference in people’s lives and I am a part of that difference.”