Nursing's Role In Communication

Sue Putman, BSN, MEd

Nurse Consultant

Switching from a business to a nursing program as an undergraduate was a strategic move for Sue.

Reflecting on the change, “I knew that nurses were needed and that I would have satisfying work when I graduated from college. I did and for thirty years, I have been lucky: I love my work.”

For Sue, nursing provides both benefits and challenges. As a nurse specialist in school-based program for children with special health care needs, she attends to both the health education and direct health care for students who are medically, physically and/or emotionally compromised.

Sue noted that while she has the opportunity to build long term relationships with many of her students and their families: “Every day is different and the differences can be very complicated. Issues arise where there are no policies or procedures and critical thinking and communication with my professional peers and colleagues [who may be administrators; not health professionals] is essential”.

Sue feels that her nursing education prepared her for her work, emphasizing the importance of commination and teamwork. “In this area of nursing, resources are limited and decisions often need to be made quickly. I am comfortable working autonomously, but am grateful for access to a supportive professional network”.

Sue’s advice to students considering a nursing career: “Nursing is a great career choice, but it is not easy. While analytic skills and science knowledge is important, interpersonal, communication and social skills are equally important. Nursing is about working closely with the whole person: physical, mental and social.”