July 5, 2021

Nursing career leads to new adventures, opportunities and growing pains for alumna

Claire Schulz, BN’17 is an operating room fellow at a trauma centre in Texas
Claire Schulz BN'17 in Austin, Texas
Claire Schulz BN'17 in Austin, Texas

Last year, during the pandemic, UCalgary Nursing alumna Claire Schulz made the move to the United States from Canada. She left Alberta for Austin, Texas and started working at a surgical ICU in 2020.

“It wasn't a great fit, so I went on the hunt for an OR program and am delighted to have found one,” she says. “Currently, I'm in an operating room fellowship training program at a Baylor Scott & White, level one trauma centre in Temple, Texas.”

Schulz graduated from UCalgary Nursing in 2017 and worked as a causal nurse on Unit 62 at the Foothills Hospital as well as the UCalgary Nursementor pilot program coordinator. She’s also been a chronic disease management nurse for the Medical Home program with the South Calgary Primary Care Network and the Claresholm medical clinic as part of the Calgary Rural Primary Care Network.

Best memory from UCalgary Nursing? “The connection and support I felt from my fellow classmates. We worked together to make sure we were all successful at nursing school. Clinical shifts were often the most stressful, but they also contain some very vivid memories.”

What did you do in your spare time during your nursing program?Climb! Some weeks I would cut out my weekly climb because ‘I was too busy.’ That inevitably backfired, because my brain felt more alert when I included regular exercise.”

A talent you wish you hadA photographic memory.”

Your greatest extravaganceMy life tends to be very minimalist at the moment — [I’m] trying to keep my world small and transportable. However, I do invest in memories and activities. I'm very quick to say yes to any outdoor or travelling adventure. Living minimally allows the flexibility to say yes when an opportunity presents itself rather than the cycle of planning and saving (which I also do).”

A dream yet to fulfill? “To travel more and see more. In recent years, I've been trying to focus my attention less on chasing the next best thing.”

Your mottoRight now I'm repeating ‘Those who worry, suffer twice’ to myself a lot.”

When were you happiest, and where?Similar to dream-chasing, I'm trying to find happiness in the daily routine.”

Anything you’d rather be doing right now?Living in Texas has taken me away from the mountains. I wouldn't mind trading in the Texas heat for the mountains. While I'm here, I'm learning the importance of water activities to still enjoy being outside.”

What do you most value in your friends?Kindness and a listening ear.”

Did you have a mentor or do you now?I've been fortunate to have many mentors throughout my life. Some formal, and others I have studied at a distance. Right now, I have a formal mentor as I explore the options of going back to school for my masters.”

What is it about being a nurse/your role that keeps you going?There is nothing stagnant in nursing. This leads to new adventures, room for opportunity and growing pains.”

Advice for new grads?Keep an open mind. I'm still learning about new opportunities available with a nursing degree.”

If you’re a graduate of UCalgary Nursing and would like to share your story, fill out this easy online form.