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Alumni Profiles

Ashley Misurka

Ashley Misurka

Faculty of Applied Health & Community Studies
Year of Graduation: 2005
Program: Practical Nursing

Offering That Personal Touch

Ashley Misurka is a Registered Practical Nurse (RPN) on the inpatient psychiatry unit at Scarborough Grace Hospital. She also works at Sheridan as a Lab Instructor for the Personal Support Worker and Practical Nursing programs, and a Lab Assistant in the Nursing Skills Lab.

What led you to pursue a career in nursing?

While in high school I became ill and was hospitalized. During my hospital stay I observed the hard work and ongoing dedication of the health team members. I saw what nursing was really about. The care and support I received directed me to research health care careers, which then lead me straight into nursing. Working as an RPN offers me more 1:1 patient care than I could expect in a career as a registered nurse (RN). Depending on the area they work in within a hospital, RNs can be in charge of units and be faced with more paper work to complete.

What is your most memorable job experience since graduation?

Experiencing my first “code blue” (cardiac arrest). It occurred right at the end of my shift and began as a total panic situation. The adrenaline kicked in, all the staff came together like a team and the outcome was great; the patient did just fine!

What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your work?

The lack of funding means we are not always able to have full staff on the unit at the hospital. It cuts down the 1:1 contact with patients which can become frustrating. On a more positive note, it is very rewarding when you see patients come to the unit very ill, and leave the hospital on two strong feet. It is nice to wave hello when they come for their outpatient appointments, as we are able to see the progress they have made.

Working at Sheridan also has positive aspects. The most gratifying is watching the graduation of students who struggled but continued to give 150% throughout the program.

What trends/changes do you see happening in your field in the future?

Nursing is always changing and the RPN role is growing very quickly. I believe there will be more RPN opportunities in hospitals and through community placements. Although RPNs generally deal with patients with less complex issues than do RNs, the base skill set for RPNs in hospitals is becoming more closely aligned with that of RNs.

What advice would you give a Sheridan student or new graduate?

Keep an open mind about every job opportunity because one small job can take you further then you think.