YON 2020 Day 29: Robert A. Erickson, MSN, APRN, CRNA

His education in Northeast Ohio provided the foundation for Robert Erickson, MSN, APRN, CRNA, to expand his professional career and be a leader at both state and national levels. Here he reflects on his path and those who supported his professional growth.

Nursing is many things to me. It is a rewarding career that has allowed me to care for many individuals and families for the past twelve years. It has allowed me to provide for myself, as well as grow both personally and professionally.

I started my journey into healthcare in 2004 when friends told me what a great career nursing could be. I was a nursing assistant, and then became a Diploma RN.

I had an influential leader, James (Jim) Middleton, MSN, RN, who was my director and guiding light when I was at Huron (Road) Hospital. He motivated me to pursue my BSN. I could not have imagined then what doors opened once I completed my studies at Cleveland State University's RN to BSN program. After working four years, I attended Youngstown State University / St. Elizabeth Health Center School for Nurse Anesthetists, Inc. While there, I met my best friend, Kristinn Sergi, MSN, APRN, CRNA.

Aside from a stable income, Nursing has provided me varied career opportunities, expanded my friendships, and helped me find my true calling. I enjoy national and international travel, as well as volunteer work. It is a privilege to have traveled to the Dominican Republic as an anesthesia provider for a surgical mission trip, and to mentor many nurses. Currently I am the Chief CRNA at my facility, and am the immediate past-president of the Nevada Association of Nurse Anesthetists. I have spoken to legislators in Washington D.C. multiple times on behalf of the nursing profession.

Being a male in nursing has not been a barrier for me. Reflecting on my colleagues as a whole, I have learned our similarities and differences, as well as ways to adapt to different genders, colors, languages, generations, and find things in common—just like our diverse patient population.

Robert A. Erickson, MSN, APRN, CRNA, lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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