The Pulse | Thursday, November 4, 2021
Empowering GI Professional Diversity Scholarship: Spotlight on Emily Salisbury, RN BSN CGRN
Earlier this year, SGNA announced its first recipients of the Empowering GI Professional Diversity Scholarship. The scholarship program, supported by Boston Scientific Corporation, focuses on increasing diversity and inclusion within the GI profession, and awards six recipients $50,000 in scholarship funds to pursue coursework toward bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate degrees in nursing, or nursing RN program classes.
We caught up with one of the SGNA member recipients — Emily Salisbury, RN BSN CGRN — to discover how they entered the profession, plans for their career and lessons they’ve learned along the way.
When and how did you first become interested in the GI nursing profession?
I had an endoscopy rotation in nursing school, and during that rotation, I helped wash scopes, used biopsy forceps to collect specimens and witnessed my first vagal response. I worked a brief period on a medical surgical floor and an opening occurred in a private endoscopy center. I was hired and worked there for approximately a year before looking for something more challenging, and there was an opening in endoscopy at University of Utah Health. The greatest thing about GI nursing is there are many areas of focus — IBD, endoscopy, GI cancer, motility, luminal, and hepatology, to name a few. I have been lucky in my career to have interacted with them during my years at the bedside.
Can you share your plans for your career? How will this scholarship help you achieve your goals?
I have been a nurse for 25 years and a member of SGNA for more than 15 years. I am a certified gastroenterology registered nurse and found my passion within GI as a mursing student during clinical rotations. Today, I am the clinical operations director of endoscopy for U Health at the Unviersity of Utah Medical Center. I am pursuing my Masters in Nursing Leadership at Western Governor's University. My goal is to become the executive nursing director of endocscopy and ambulatory GI services at U Health.
This scholarship will assist me in paying for school and helping me to avoid student debt. I anticipate the completion of my degree in May of 2022. It is an honor to receive this scholarship from a society which I have been a long term member. As a nursing leader, I have a duty to promote the practice of nursing. Obtaining my degree will allow me to continue my career path as a nursing leader and to promote evidence-based care specifically in the practice of endoscopy nursing.
What is one of the proudest moments you’ve had thus far in your career and why?
My favorite part of my job is interacting with others. I am really proud of the times and opportunities provided by my organization in building and developing relationships with other departments to assist in providing care or alternative services for our GI/endoscopy patients.
What is one thing you’ve learned about GI nursing that may help others with their own professional journeys?
GI nursing is diverse, and that is what I love about the specialty and why I continue to stay. It can be predictable, like when you are doing screening procedures. It can be adrenaline-charged, like when you are caring for a patient with a GI bleed. You are able to form relationships with patients who have chronic conditions similar to Crohn’s disease or you may interact with a patient only once during an EGD. GI nursing is team oriented, and I love the comradery and interacting with the physicians on a daily basis.
Congratulations to the six SGNA members who are the 2021 Empowering GI Professional Diversity Scholarship recipients:
- Jay Lardizabal, MAN, RN, CGRN
- Yoamis Lopez, ST
- Muriel Moyo, MS, BSN, RN, CCRN-K, NE-BC
- Victoria Purpura, BBA, RN, CGRN
- Emily Salisbury, RN
- Jinghong Yu, RN-BC, CGRN