Linda Satkoski

Nurses Make a Big Difference

Linda Satkoski

Linda Satkoski

Back in 1968, Linda Satkoski was a member of the first class of students to earn Associate of Science degrees in Nursing from Purdue University North Central. Through the ensuing years, 2,665 other nurses have graduated with nursing degrees from Purdue North Central (PNC).

Today, she is Senior Vice President of Physician Relations/Patient Care Services for La Porte Regional Health System (LRHS).

When Linda took her first job as a staff nurse, she entered the field in an era of unprecedented advancements in medicine, patient care, medical technology and health management.

Despite changes in job title and responsibilities, she still considers herself to be first and foremost a nurse. “Nursing is an excellent profession,” she says without hesitation. “It has been very good to me. In every job it has always been about patient care.”

Satkoski started her nursing education in 1966 – a time when Purdue extension classes were held in the Barker Mansion in Michigan City. When Purdue North Central opened its current location in 1967, she was among the first students who took their seats in new, state-of-the-art classrooms. She can recite the names of individual professors who made a lifelong impact on her and taught her the skills and abilities she uses on the job each and every day.

“My nursing education was absolutely fabulous,” she recalls. “I had a great clinical education; but I also learned leadership and management skills, managing patient care at the bedside with critical thinking. It was an excellent foundation.”

Through the years, Satkoski has worked with countless nurses educated at PNC, and she welcomes them to the LRHS staff. “PNC provides nurses with a solid nursing education. We (LRHS) feel very fortunate to have Purdue North Central as our neighbor and colleague. A great number of our nurses graduated from PNC. Every day, we rely on those nurses to care for our patients and provide them with a positive experience at La Porte Hospital.”

The medical field has relied on nurses to provide essential care for generations. Their care is crucial to saving lives, overcoming disease, preventing illness and ensuring good health. The expectations and responsibilities of nurses continue to grow, creating new opportunities as well as new challenges.

Good bedside nursing and patient care have always been essential, but today there is more collaboration among healthcare providers.

Satkoski believes that “Nothing will replace the good eyes and ears of a nurse.” From her vantage point, she sees today’s nursing shortage continuing in the years ahead and projects that the need will reach a critical stage by the year 2020, thanks to an aging population and increased demand to care for the boomers, a growing reliance on outpatient care and a heightened awareness of wellness issues and prevention.

To attract and retain nurses, employers will have to be more flexible in their scheduling, be more open to job sharing, allow some retired nurses back in various capacities and be more receptive to ideas that utilize the talents of the nurses at hand.

Today, she sees many more options open to others in the field who have the right education and skills. That is why she encourages the hospital nursing staff to pursue their educational opportunities. The PNC Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing presents an attractive option for many nurses who want to grow.

“The bottom line is that we all want what’s best for the patient. We encourage nurses to do what is best for them. The hospital allowed me to pursue my education. If I had ideas, I was encouraged to present them. I definitely do the same for others,” she notes.

This emphasis on education and critical thinking skills helped La Porte Regional Health System earn the Magnet designation awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) – the highest designation available for recognition of excellence in nursing. La Porte Hospital was only the second facility in Indiana to receive this honor.

Nursing presents a stable, rewarding career option. Plus the communities benefit from having an active workforce that includes well-educated, competent healthcare professionals.

Purdue University North Central is proud of its long history of graduating many of the outstanding nurses who work tirelessly in our region’s healthcare institutions. Nurses like Linda Satkoski have made and will continue to make a significant difference in our local communities. We all are grateful to Linda and the many nursing graduates from our local universities who serve our region’s healthcare needs so admirably well.

Reprinted from an editorial by James B. Dworkin, Chancellor, Purdue University North Central

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