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Samaritan RN Highlighted in Education-Workforce Podcast

Remember your younger years when you struggled to find your path in life? Cameron Vasquez, RN, certainly does because he’s only a few months out of college and heading to a lifelong career in nursing, thanks to a strong education/workforce development collaborative in Lincoln County.

On the podcast, “All In: Student Pathways Forward,” Vasquez recalls holding down three jobs to pay the bills, which left little time for his personal life. He tells about applying for nursing school at Oregon Coast Community College – and disappointingly being turned down. When he was finally accepted, he worked hard, studied long hours, graduated and immediately returned to the books again, so he could pass the state nursing board examination and begin working in his new profession at Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital’s Emergency Department.

“What I like most about my current job is the culture of teamwork,” he said on the podcast.

“The ED is a fast-paced, do-it-right-now kind of place and it requires collaboration between all members – physicians, nurses, techs, radiologists, pharmacists,” he said. “All these different professions come together to work quickly, accurately and safely. And that’s got to be my favorite part. Watching that in action is amazing.”

About the Podcast

The “All In: Student Pathways Forward” podcast series was created as a unique way to elevate Oregon community college student voices. It has been a dynamic advocacy strategy as part of Oregon’s participation in the SkillSPAN network with the National Skills Coalition. This is a national network of multi-stakeholder coalitions focused on developing and promoting skills policies, said Marc Goldberg, who produces and hosts the podcast series.

“The podcast focuses on Oregon community college students and graduates to help shape inclusive policies, practice and partnerships,” Goldberg said. “Students have shared their incredibly inspiring educational journeys at community colleges across the state, highlighting the programs and supports that have helped them complete college and gain careers offering economic mobility.”

This season’s focus is on job quality through the lens of college graduates, college presidents and local executives who lift up the importance of community colleges and the power of partnerships with regional employers, Goldberg added.

Vasquez Continues Learning

Vasquez is an eloquent and enthusiastic voice on the topic of connecting education to employers for quality jobs. On the podcast, he emphasizes the many different career paths available to nursing graduates. And, he talks about his work as a new nurse graduate in the Samaritan emergency department.

“There is still a lot of learning. You are responsible for a lot more now, for human lives,” he said.

In the ED, a nurse preceptor – a veteran nurse who acts as a mentor and on-the-job educator – is with Vasquez all the time, keeping an eye on him and pushing him to learn more and continue developing important communication and therapeutic skills to be a competent ED nurse. Vasquez talked about his department manager who was extremely supportive even while he was still in college, allowing him to focus on school and fit in shifts in the ED when he could, in order to have some income.

Vasquez said of Samaritan: “They invested in me and now I’m here. I made it!”

Listen to the Podcast

The podcast series is in its second season, highlighting community college students from across the state. The podcast episode featuring Vasquez also includes interviews with Lesley Ogden, MD, CEO of the two Samaritan hospitals in Lincoln County; and Birgitte Ryslinge, PhD, president of Oregon Coast Community College, with campuses in Newport, Lincoln City and Waldport.

This podcast went live in October and was shared later that month with more than 400 community college workforce leaders from across the country at a conference hosted in Portland.

Listen to this podcast, and others, online at Vasquez’s segment kicks off the podcast. Dr Ogden’s segment begins at 23 minutes and Dr. Ryslinge’s interview begins at 43 minutes.