Guthrie has served as a dedicated advocate for health care initiatives, specifically looking out for the needs of children. She has worked to promote school nursing programs in Iowa and expand the availability of mental health screening programs for youth. As the executive director of the Iowa School Nurse Organization (ISNO), Guthrie has served on several task forces for the National Association of School Nurses (NASN), and served as a committee member on the Iowa Nurses Association (INA) public policy committee. She was appointed a member of the Midwest Dairy Health and Wellness Nutrition Advisory Board, and is the former commissioner for former Lt. Governor Patti Judge's Commission on Wellness and Healthy Living.
She began teaching at Mount Mercy in 1999 and became a full-time faculty member in 2007. At Mount Mercy she teaches content related to population-based care, community assessment, policy development and assurance, and health promotion and disease prevention. Prior to her full-time appointment at Mount Mercy, Guthrie developed a Health Promotion Center at Xavier High School in Cedar Rapids and served as nurse practitioner at Mercy Medical Center. She also worked at The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics as a staff nurse in pediatric intensive care, and pediatric cancer and bone marrow transplant for five years from 1994 – 1999.
Guthrie has published chapters in school health textbooks and a pediatric nurse practitioner textbook. She is the recipient of the 2009 University of Iowa Distinguished Alumni, the University of Iowa Seashore Dissertation Award, the 2007 Betty Means Community Health Award, and was one of the 2007 Spirit of Hermina Finalists – an award recognizing Iowans who take extraordinary measures to impact the health of their community members. Guthrie was also recognized in "100 Great Iowa Nurses" in 2009. She holds her B.S.N., M.S.N., and Ph.D. from The University of Iowa.