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NP Spotlight – Ashley Carruthers

NP Spotlight NPAM News

Ashley Carruthers BM, MN, NP
Nurse Practitioner – Multiple Workplaces

This multifaceted role not only challenges me but also keeps me engaged and continuously learning, which is a core value I hold dear. Each aspect of my work reinforces my passion for healthcare, education, leadership and research, driving me to excel and make a meaningful difference.

I have dedicated 25 years to the healthcare field, beginning my journey on a medical/surgical unit as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). Driven by a passion for continuous learning and growth, I pursued further education and completed a bridging program from LPN to Bachelor of Nursing (BN). As a Registered Nurse (RN), I initially worked in acute care in the emergency department before discovering my true passion in the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU).

My commitment to lifelong learning didn’t stop there. Eager to expand my knowledge and skills, I earned a master’s degree and became a Nurse Practitioner. This led me to serve in a rural community in Nunavut, a deeply enriching experience that I will always hold dear to my heart.

My journey of learning and professional development continues, as I am now pursuing a terminal degree, a PhD in Integrated Health Sciences. This ongoing pursuit of higher education reflects my dedication to providing the highest quality care to my patients and my belief in the importance of lifelong learning in the nursing profession.

Currently, I wear many hats as a Nurse Practitioner. I serve as a primary care provider at Access Fort Garry in the Walk-In Connect Clinic, where I care for patients across the lifespan—from paediatrics to geriatrics—in an episodic setting.

In addition to my primary care role, I am an instructor at Red River Polytech in the Authorized Prescriber Program. This position has allowed me to contribute to course design and redesign, as well as to teach both virtually and in person.

Moreover, I run a medical aesthetics and health & wellness clinic, where I help patients with their aesthetic needs and guide clients in achieving their optimal health.

I have also embarked on a new role in leadership as the CEO of NPAM. A role that is new to my pedigree. This diverse range of roles not only fulfills my passion for patient care but also supports my commitment to education, holistic wellness, leadership and research.

Daily Responsibilities:
In my role as a Nurse Practitioner at Access Fort Garry’s Walk-In Connect Clinic, I am responsible for assessing, diagnosing, and treating patients. This includes ordering and interpreting laboratory tests and diagnostics to provide comprehensive care.

In my teaching role at Red River Polytech, I guide registered nurses in becoming safe and effective prescribers. I ensure that course content is current and relevant, redesigning courses based on student needs to enhance their learning experience. My teaching philosophy is student-centred, emphasizing the importance of active participation and practical application.

As a provider at a medical aesthetics and health & wellness clinic, I conduct comprehensive health assessments with a holistic approach. I tailor patient care to address each client’s unique health, beauty, and wellness needs. I believe in involving patients in their care journey, recognizing them as experts in their own lives and helping them articulate their needs.

Fulfillment in the Role:
What brings me fulfillment in my role is the profound impact I can make on my patients’ lives. As well as the opportunity to foster growth and learning among future healthcare professionals. In the clinical setting, I am deeply rewarded by providing personalized, comprehensive care that addresses the unique needs of each patient. Witnessing their improvement and knowing that I have played a part in their health journey is incredibly gratifying.

As an educator, I find great satisfaction in guiding and mentoring registered nurses, helping them develop into confident and competent prescribers. The ability to shape and update course content to better serve my students’ needs ensures that they are well-prepared for the challenges of modern healthcare.

Additionally, my work in the medical aesthetics and health & wellness field allows me to support clients in achieving their beauty goals and optimal health, blending my clinical expertise with a holistic approach.

My new role as CEO of NPAM allows me to extend my passion for advocacy and patient care to a broader scale. While I am still adapting to this new role, I am deeply committed to championing the interests of nurse practitioners and advancing our profession. Now, I have the opportunity to influence healthcare policy, support my colleagues, and enhance the visibility and impact of nurse practitioners across Manitoba.

This multifaceted role not only challenges me but also keeps me engaged and continuously learning, which is a core value I hold dear. Each aspect of my work reinforces my passion for healthcare, education, leadership and research, driving me to excel and make a meaningful difference.

Vision for the NP Role in Manitoba:  
I envision the Nurse Practitioner (NP) role in Manitoba expanding significantly into specialty areas, private practice, research, and leadership. As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve, NPs are uniquely positioned to fill crucial gaps and enhance patient care across various domains.

In specialty areas, NPs can provide advanced, focused care, addressing complex health issues and improving outcomes through specialized expertise. This expansion will not only enhance the quality of care but also increase access to specialized services for patients across the province.

The growth of private practice for NPs offers a valuable opportunity to provide patient-centred care in a more flexible and personalized setting. This shift can lead to more innovative and efficient healthcare delivery models, tailored to meet the diverse needs of our communities.

In research, NPs can contribute significantly to the evidence base that informs clinical practice and healthcare policy. By engaging in rigorous research activities, NPs can drive advancements in patient care, improve health outcomes, and shape the future of healthcare.

Lastly, leadership roles for NPs will be essential in guiding the direction of healthcare systems and policies. NPs are well-equipped to take on leadership positions, advocating for patient needs, influencing healthcare reforms, and mentoring the next generation of healthcare professionals.

Advice to Aspiring NPs:
To My fellow and aspiring NPs

I want to encourage you to embrace the opportunities for growth and never stop seeking knowledge. Remember that every experience, whether in the classroom or clinical setting, is a stepping stone toward your goal. Your ability to adapt, innovate, and provide holistic care will be crucial as you navigate the complexities of healthcare.

Believe in your potential to make a difference. As an NP, you will be at the forefront of patient care, advancing practice through specialization, leadership, and research. Your unique perspectives and skills are vital to improving healthcare outcomes and accessibility.

Stay resilient and passionate. The journey may be demanding, but the fulfillment you will find in advocating for and caring for your patients is unparalleled. Trust in your abilities and know that you are an essential part of the future of healthcare.