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Steve Ackland

RN, BScN, CD (Canadian Decoration), CDS (Chief of Defence Staff Commendation)

I grew up in Ottawa and joined the Army at the age of 18. I served proudly in the Canadian Airborne Regiment. The highlight of my 22-year military career was serving 15 years as a Search and Rescue Technician (SAR Tech).

My first exposure to nursing was practicing annual medical training as a SAR Tech in area hospital emergency rooms. The nurses would share their assessment skills, and we would practice our IV skills. It was here where I acquired a great deal of respect for the nursing profession.

In 2002, I retired from 22 years of serving my country and enrolled in the BScN program at Seneca College. The four years were intensive, but I embraced the learning and excelled; I graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2006 and took an Emergency RN position with Sunnybrook Health Science Center in April. I was the first new grad ever hired in the Sunnybrook emergency department, and now it has become routine to see newly graduated nurses among the staff. While in my integrated practicum, I received The Sopman Humanitarian award from the University Health Network. This was a privilege and an honour for me.

I found when starting work as a new grad I relied heavily on the knowledge I gained in the first two years of the nursing program at Seneca. As an older student, I was initially intimidated about going back to school with all these younger students. The youth inspired me and the professors at Seneca encouraged me. The professors were truly passionate about their teaching, and I was grateful to have chosen this program. It was here that basic nursing skills were introduced to me and would prove to be ever so valuable at the bedside. I have fond memories of Seneca as the curriculum was challenging and the campus had wonderful surroundings. A colleague once said to me " Hang with the winners" and I did. I have made lifelong friends at Seneca, and I find it interesting to watch my colleagues pursue their careers and see where their practice is taking them.

Recently I have taken a position in Las Vegas, Nevada in the emergency department of a small cardiac hospital. My wife and I are looking forward to our new adventure and the warm weather. I will always stretch the boundaries of my practice and strive to keep things fresh. As for what the future holds... one never knows, perhaps the Nurse Practitioner program might be something for me. But for now I am happy and content, and for those teachers who have helped me along my path of life, they shall never be forgotten.

Warm Regards,