Portrait of Donor
Susan Salka is CEO, President, and a Director of AMN Healthcare Services, Inc., the nation’s largest provider of comprehensive healthcare staffing and workforce solutions. She is also a proud Aztec, having received her MBA in 1989 and an honorary doctorate in 2016. She serves as a member of SDSU’s Campanile Foundation Executive Committee and she received the Monty Award for Distinguished Alum- ni in 2010. Over the years she has also provided substantial support for the School of Nursing, spurred on by her belief that nurses touch everyone.
“Nurses impact more lives than nearly any other profession. Every day millions of people are directly touched by the care and compassion of nurses around the world. My family has been the recipient of the amazing nursing care and I witness their impact through the work of the hundreds of thousands of nurses who have worked for AMN Healthcare over the years. I want to do what I can to support the incredible people who are called to this profession and ensure they can pursue their purpose with a little less financial stress. I don’t have the skills or education to be a nurse, but I can help ensure that every person has the best quality nurses when and where they are needed most.”
In addition to providing financial support for the school, Susan has also offered career advice to its students and graduates. She wants students to, “Embrace your learning and social opportunities at SDSU with every ounce of energy possible! You are at an amazing place at such an exciting time in your life and you will en- joy your journey so much more if you make the time to build relationships as well as take advantage of all of the extra-curricular activities available to you. As far as your career in nursing, I would encourage you to find ways to take your talents and caring heart into non-traditional settings where your skills may be needed most! Join a mission trip to Guatemala! Work in your local inner-city clinic as a volunteer! Find ways to help others outside of your day job. This will give you a much more holistic view of what nursing and life has to offer.”
When asked about career advancement and leaderships, she offers this advice, “A baseline of experience is always important, particularly in this environment. You must have relevant experience and a good track record. However, what is far more important to your success and long-term career is an aptitude for learning, critical thinking, attitude, behavior and willingness to put in effort.”
Finally, she challenges everyone, “To constantly be asking yourself “What more can I do to help others?” If you start and end each day with this question, you will no doubt uncover countless opportunities, big and small. None of us can help everyone, but all of us can help someone.”
She has taken this advice, and her enthusiasm, to heart in her own life. Her husband, Scott Salka, is also an “Aztec for Life” who earned his business degree in 1987 and has pursued a career in biotech. She says, “I love life and want to make the most of every opportunity! My husband and I have seven kids, three dogs and a big extended family. We love to celebrate life with friends and family and we love to cook! Our house is a revolving door of people coming and going and we (typically) love it that way. “
Her final thought for nurses and nurses to be? “Thank you for what you do each and every day.”
Congratulations to Amairani Grover and Tina Munoz, IVHQ Scholarship Recipients!
International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) is a volunteer travel company which conducts many of the SDSU student trips abroad each year. This year, IVHQ offered two SDSU students the opportunity to contribute to meaningful community projects in one of their destinations through the IVHQ SDSU Volunteer Abroad Scholarship. The award was open to students in all majors participating in a two- week IVHQ program at their preferred destination and project of their choosing. Both scholar- ship award recipients were students from the School of Nursing.
Amairani Grover just completed her second year as a nursing major as SDSU. She says, “Nursing has always been a passion of mine, but I never imagined I would have the opportunity to take my passion and apply it elsewhere! This summer, I will be volunteering abroad in Costa Rica. As a volunteer on the health- care project, I will have the opportunity to provide support and assistance to the surrounding community, as well as gain insight into the healthcare system in Costa Rica. I’m looking forward to enhance my learning, and I know that I will find this experience humbling and rewarding!”
Tina Munoz is a student in the RN to BSN program. This program is designed to registered nurses who never completed their bachelor’s degree in nursing. She say, “For my study abroad, I will be teaching English in a summer camp program to children, some of which are newly immigrated. My husband will also be accompanying me and volunteering as well, so the scholarship is really helpful!”