submitted 2013

A popular website for nurses recently asked its users to use one word to define their work. Common responses were "caring," "compassion," and "sacrifice."

Ask Jonathan Suzanski about it, and he'd probably agree with all of these. The two-time Augustana graduate-once with a bachelor degree, and more recently with a BSc Nursing after-degree-would also suggest a couple of other words. For him, nursing also depends on things like leadership and communication.

"Registered nurses take turns handling charge nurse responsibilities, and as team leaders, are responsible for providing excellent patient care. In those positions you've got to have skills to deal with new challenges that arise each day. There's so much diversity on a nursing team, not to mention the other professionals we work with, from MDs, to health care aides, to the various specialists and technicians."

"It's an important part of a registered nurse's job to ensure that we use that diversity effectively when delivering care to patients."

Jonathan says he acquired the basis for many of the necessary skills through his undergraduate experiences at Augustana, where he completed a BA specializing in physical education. He also immersed himself in campus life, working for a year as a Resident Assistant.

After graduating, he and his wife-both originally from Saskatchewan and both Augustana graduates-travelled abroad to teach English in Korea. Eventually both felt a "pull" back to the Camrose area. "We decided that Camrose was where we wanted to be." After considering various options, he chose the registered nursing program.

Two years later, he was employed at nearby Wetaskiwin Hospital. "I was hired into a position there right out of the nursing program, which was great. There are always other possibilities as well, however."

Indeed, that brings up another word that Jonathan associates with nursing: opportunity.

"As a registered nurse you can work anywhere. You can do anything from working on the floor of an inpatient surgical unit or outpatient clinics, to working in the private sector as a health consultant or sales rep."

When asked about whether he's interested in any of those possibilities, Jonathan makes it clear he's in no rush. "We're comfortable where we are right now. It's nice just to know that we can always explore our options."