CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 6

6

G R A D U AT I O N

&

C O N V O C AT I O N 2 0 2 0

C O M M E M O R AT I V E E D I T I O N

Still determined to pursue a nursing
degree, Vaske went back to school
when her first-born was four months
old. Attending Red Rocks Community
College, she obtained the prerequisites to apply to CU College of
Nursing. Knowing how competitive
nursing programs are, Vaske said, "I
was certain I wasn't going to get into
the program." So, when she received
the acceptance email from Amy
Sturrock in Student Affairs, "My heart
jumped out of my chest!"
The Vaskes
- 3-year-old
Orion, Chris,
Erika and baby
Carson

Helicopter Pilot Comes Full
Circle to Become a Nurse
APACHE HELICOPTER PILOT SAYS NURSING SCHOOL WAS MORE
CHALLENGING TO GET INTO THAN FLIGHT SCHOOL By Dana Brandorff

E

leven years ago, Erika Vaske was on a two-year waitlist to get into
a nursing program. "A lot of my inspiration came from my mom,
who has been a nurse's aid for over 35 years," she said. For Vaske,
the wait was "interminable." So she chose another path - changed
majors and earned a bachelor's degree in social work.

After college, she joined the Army where she was an aviation officer. "It
was easier to get into flight school than nursing school," said Vaske.
She trained in Fort Riley, KS where she met her husband who is also a
pilot. She flew Apaches; he flew Kiowas (no competition there!). The
couple ended up in Germany where Vaske's last assignment included
commanding soldiers. "I had the opportunity to go to some pretty neat
places, see some cool stuff, lead soldiers and work with really great leaders," said Vaske.
Pregnant with her first child, Vaske hung up her wings and moved to
Colorado with her family. "It seemed like a very good spot for us," she said.

CU College of Nursing | May Commencement 2020

For the last two years, Vaske has diligently pursued her degree - raising
a toddler, giving birth to her second
child, and working at UC Health in
the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). "The
resiliency I gained and developed in
the military helped with nursing,"
she said. "It's going to be important
for us as nurses to be resilient, and to
remember that we're here to provide
compassionate care to our patients
especially during a pandemic and
such a scary time."
As Vaske prepares to join the nursing
workforce, she said she is hoping to
work in critical care. "My experiences
in ICU showed me that's where I will
thrive, and that's the plan," she said.



CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020

CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - Cover1
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 2
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 3
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 4
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 5
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 6
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 7
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 8
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 9
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 10
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 11
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 12
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 13
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 14
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 15
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 16
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 17
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 18
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - 19
CU Nursing - Commencement Spring 2020 - Cover4
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