PA College Magazine - Summer 2022 - 6

TEACHING &
LEARNING
Student Profile
Career
Changers
Come
Ashore
By Rochelle A. Shenk
Alaska Bruneau '23
Growing up near Spokane, WA, Alaska Bruneau '23 hadn't
considered nursing as a career. Her family's connection to
the ocean steered her to work on the water. Her maternal
grandfather served in the Merchant Marine, and her
paternal grandfather served in the Navy and enjoyed fishing
as a hobby. He passed his love of fishing to Bruneau's father,
who turned it into his career. At age 18 he began fishing
for salmon and halibut off Sand Point in Alaska's Aleutian
Islands during the summer.
" I was named Alaska because my mom thought it a
beautiful and unique name. It also honors a beautiful
place, " she says. Her unusual first name is a 'talking
point " with patients. " I talk about Alaska all the time with
patients; many of them have been there. "
After high school,
Bruneau, who is
currently enrolled
in PA College's
Associate of Science
in Nursing program,
earned a B.A. in
International Business
from Whitworth University
in Spokane.
" My first job after college had me reconsidering my career
choice. I was confined in an office; I wasn't enjoying my life, "
she explains. Her father suggested that she and her sister join
his fishing crew that summer.
" It's not an easy job - the day starts at 6 a.m. and often ends
at 11 p.m. " It's physically demanding. I worked at the net all
day; by the end of the day my hands hurt so badly I could
barely fasten my pants, " she says.
It was on the water where Alaska considered her next career.
" There are a lot of skills I learned as a commercial fisherman
that translate to nursing. I'm used to working long hours and
using my hands and my strength, " Bruneau says, " I thrive
under pressure and handle tense situations well. Plus, I love
helping people. "
She had signed up to work as a student nursing assistant
at Sacred Heart hospital in Spokane, around the time the
COVID-19 pandemic began. " This might seem a bit odd,
but I was excited to take care of my first COVID-19 patient.
I wanted to understand the virus and learn how to be helpful
and supportive during the crisis, " she says.
6
PACOLLEGE.EDU
Everyone who has chosen a career in health care knows it takes a unique
individual to work in the field day in and day out. Health care professionals share
a passion for helping others, a dedication to hard work and a commitment to
a lifetime of learning. While some students choose to pursue a career in health
care out of high school, an increasing number of PA College students are career
changers. The future of health care will include workers who bring diverse skills,
training and experiences. In this issue, meet two future faces of health care who
found their callings on the water.
http://www.PACOLLEGE.EDU

PA College Magazine - Summer 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PA College Magazine - Summer 2022

Contents
PA College Magazine - Summer 2022 - Cover1
PA College Magazine - Summer 2022 - Contents
PA College Magazine - Summer 2022 - 1
PA College Magazine - Summer 2022 - 2
PA College Magazine - Summer 2022 - 3
PA College Magazine - Summer 2022 - 4
PA College Magazine - Summer 2022 - 5
PA College Magazine - Summer 2022 - 6
PA College Magazine - Summer 2022 - 7
PA College Magazine - Summer 2022 - 8
PA College Magazine - Summer 2022 - 9
PA College Magazine - Summer 2022 - 10
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PA College Magazine - Summer 2022 - 12
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PA College Magazine - Summer 2022 - 15
PA College Magazine - Summer 2022 - 16
PA College Magazine - Summer 2022 - Cover3
PA College Magazine - Summer 2022 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pchs/pacollege_2022fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pchs/pacollege_2022summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pchs/pacollege_2022winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pchs/pacollege_2021fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pchs/pacollege_2021spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pchs/inpractice_2021winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pchs/inpractice_2020fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pchs/inpractice_2020spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pchs/inpractice_2019winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pchs/inpractice_2019fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pchs/inpractice_2019summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pchs/inpractice_2019spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pchs/inpractice_2018winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pchs/inpractice_2018fall
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pchs/inpractice_2017fallwinter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pchs/inpractice_2017summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pchs/inpractice_2017spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pchs/inpractice_2016winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pchs/inpractice_2016fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pchs/inpractice_2016summer
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pchs/inpractice_2015winter
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pchs/inpractice_2014fall
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