Pennsylvania Nurse 2019 Pennsylvania Nurse 74.1 - Page 22

PSNA Member Highlight Jennifer Partyka RN, BSN Why did you choose nursing? I come from a family of nurses: my grandmother was a practical nurse, her daughters were nurses, and my cousins are nurses. It is a career I’m honored to call my own. I’m lucky someone pays me to do what I love doing. After graduating from the University of Scranton in 1995, I was thrilled to teach second-year undergrad students when my own kids were in school. I loved teaching as much as I love being a nurse. I currently manage the very best teams in a pre-surgery center and an interventional pain clinic. I’m also enrolled in a MSN program at Wil- kes University. Why do you encourage nurses to explore professional advocacy? This past year, I supported my friend and fellow RN Bridget Malloy Kosierowski on her successful campaign for State representative. We attended high school together and kept in touch through social and professional events. Having served the members of our community at their bedsides — and some at their most difficult moments — I had no doubt she understood the needs of the people in our neighborhoods. I strongly support the idea of nurses seeking office. It’s our job to advocate for our patients and be a voice for someone who has none. It’s our job to help keep people healthy. And it’s our job to educate the public. The expe- riences of patient advocacy give nurses a unique perspective on what is needed to improve a community. Holding office, developing relationships with elected officials, and offering your perspective are natural “next steps” as advocates. Tell us about your campaign experience. Bridget’s campaign was unusual from its inception. Our beloved representative, The Hon. Sid Michaels Kavulich, passed away unexpectedly after his re-election in the fall. Once Bridget won the Democratic nomination in com- mittee, she had seven weeks until election day — all while working her shifts and being a mom of four. Even with a time crunch, she smiled through it (like when had to wear scrubs when she met with TV crews and reporters in the employee parking lot). Bridget set a great example for the people working on her campaign. Bridget’s campaign, though, was not my first. I learned a long time ago to stand up for the things I believe in. I’ve helped with many campaigns and support candidates who align themselves with the American Nurses As- sociation’s (ANA) position on health and human rights. Issue 74, 1 2019 Pennsylvania Nurse 20