Oct. 16, 2019

Registered nurse of 36 years carries her commitment to community into retirement

50 Faces of Nursing: Patricia Rosenau, BN’81, MN’94

Earning the title Senior Instructor Emerita for the nursing faculty was a culmination of rewards for Patricia Rosenau. In her dynamic 36-year career as a registered nurse (RN), she has honed her interests in client and community care within the challenging worlds of academia, long-term care, acute care, public health, home care, palliative and hospice care. 

“In every role it has been my goal and privilege to make a difference in the health of the clients, families, and communities I served,” says Rosenau.

In each diverse role, Rosenau modelled a passion for health care and a high standard of ethical practice — always a stalwart of collaboration, mentorship, accessibility, empathy and caring both personally and in support of her colleagues. 

Rosenau is a a perennial volunteer who has carried her service to community into retirement with the various groups she supports. These days she volunteers regularly with Calgary’s homeless population and a home care advisory board. She was a longtime member of the UCalgary Nursing’s alumni executive and she continues that commitment to her alma mater as a mentor to nursing students. 

Colleague Rita Lisella describes Rosenau as a role model who embodies the best qualities of an RN: compassion, knowledge, accountability, integrity and genuineness. “During her nursing career, she has navigated groups of RNs through a nursing strike, cost cuts, role and program changes. Pat has been a conscientiousness, ethical and competent RN.”

Patricia Rosenau, BN’81, MN’94

Patricia Rosenau, BN’81, MN’94

What’s an unforgettable experience from your time at UCalgary Nursing? 

“I have had many memorable experiences at UCalgary as a student and as a faculty member. Considering I spent four years as an undergraduate student at UCalgary Nursing, another two years as a graduate student and another 15 years as a faculty member, I am proud to say that I am ‘home grown.’ And my contributions to the profession and those I served are strongly related to my nursing education. 

“As an educator and administrator in the Faculty of Nursing I was invigorated and challenged working alongside exceptional colleagues. One of the highlights as a faculty member was the redesign of the undergraduate curriculum and the process and outcomes associated with its implementation.

“This experience consistently reminds me of the power of a team approach, and that innovation requires persistence along with the creation and commitment to a culture of collaboration and teamwork. This memorable experience continues to inspire me to know that better things happen in the face of change when the strength of others is captured in the process.”

What most excites you about the future of nursing or changes coming in the profession?

“The ever-changing nature of nursing excites me! I am optimistic and have confidence in the new generations of nurses who are addressing more complexity and uncertainty than ever before.

“Over the course of my career I have had opportunities to work as a RN in the Canadian, American and Qatari health-care systems.  Experiencing the similarities and differences has resulted in my enhanced understanding and appreciation of, and advocacy for, the important role and voice RNs have in the well-being of Canadians and Canadian health-care reform.

“I am passionate about RNs addressing issues such as first point-of-contact, health promotion at the individual and population levels, illness and injury prevention, coordination of care, inter-professional education, health-care service delivery in the context of Canadian society and a publicly funded and supported health-care system.”

What piece of advice would you like to share with aspiring nurses?

“Be the change and make a difference by being part of the solution rather than part of the problem. We often think that big changes at the health-care system level are the only ones that make a difference, but every time we care for the individual patient and address his or her health needs with compassion, clinical reasoning, evidenced-based knowledge, and ethical decision-making we are making an important difference.”

“Believe in people, those you care for and those you work withLearn from each patient experience, celebrate nurses, and seek opportunities to be a mentor.”

All through 2019, we'll be highlighting 50 Faces of Nursing and profiling nursing members in celebration of our 50th anniversary. If you know someone noteworthy (faculty, staff, alum, students, partners, etc.) who you would like us to feature, tell us more with this short online form. For more, visit nursing.ucalgary.ca/50