Adam Halvorsen Leg Day 2017 Optimized

The past president of Nursing Students of Washington State has advocated for patients at WSNA’s Nurse Legislative Day and has accepted a job at Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland.

Adam Halvorsen knows that providing the best possible patient care is crucial in the health field, which is why he is using his degree in nursing from Washington State Univer­sity Tri-Cities to advocate for better care for patients and for his nursing colleagues across the state. 

Halvorsen got involved in advocating for nursing policy as a student at WSU Tri-Cities. Little did he know his efforts would lead him to become the WSU College of Nursing Outstanding Under­grad­uate Student this fall. 

It’s been an amazing ride so far,” he said. I’ve been very humbled by this profes­sion and by my incred­ible colleagues, and I’m excited to see where it leads me.” 

Inspired by service

Halvorsen’s passion for service grew out of his start in the military. The day after 9/11, he signed up for the U.S. Marine Corps and spent four years active-duty with time in Okinawa, Japan, as well as through a tour in Iraq. 

Sept. 11 happened and on Sept. 12, I signed up,” he said. I saw a need and I went for it. My core philos­ophy is service. I believe in service to others before self.” 

After he left the armed forces, Halvorsen continued his career in service in two jobs: as an emergency manage­ment techni­cian for Medstar Ambulance and as a firefighter for the Gallup Fire Depart­ment in Gallup, New Mexico. He enjoyed those roles, he said, but he wanted to be a part of the long-term care and recuper­a­tion of his patients, rather than just being a part of their initial care in his emergency care roles. 

The thing with nursing is you don’t see a person at their height of being – you see people at their base,” he said. To be able to be allowed in that moment of their lives and to try to have a positive impact, it is a blessing to be able to do that.” 

He enrolled in the WSU Tri-Cities nursing program, which is where he was intro­duced to oppor­tu­ni­ties that would allow him to use his passion to better nursing and patient care for Washington state. 

Leader­ship in nursing

In addition to the hands-on training he received from his experi­enced profes­sors and instruc­tors in the WSU Tri-Cities nursing program, Halvorsen received the oppor­tu­nity to take on leader­ship roles within several state nursing organizations. 

He served as presi­dent of Nursing Students of Washington State. His experi­ence at WSU also led him to serve as part of the Washington State Nurses Associ­a­tion, as well as attend a national confer­ence through the National Student Nurses’ Associ­a­tion. Through these affil­i­a­tions, Halvorsen had the oppor­tu­nity to provide input on associ­a­tion policy, expand commu­ni­ca­tion efforts through video, as well as gener­ally advocate for his peers and future colleagues in nursing. 

Last year, Halvorsen also joined his WSU peers to repre­sent WSU at Nursing Day at the Capitol in Olympia, which allowed him to interact with promi­nent govern­ment figures to advocate for patient care and speak publicly about the impor­tance of nursing educa­tion and the nursing profession. 

Halvorsen said he hadn’t initially planned on getting involved with these types of leader­ship roles or that it would lead him earning the WSU College of Nursing Outstanding Under­grad­uate Student award. 

I honestly didn’t expect it, but I’m honored to repre­sent my incred­ible peers for the work we have accom­plished together,” he said.

Adam Halvorsen Optimized

Future as a nursing leader

Halvorsen said the primary reason behind his activism in the nursing field is that he is able to have a positive impact, not only on the current state of health care, but also its future. 

If we could get more students inter­ested in being proac­tive, not only in policy, but in their commu­ni­ties, we could have a much better impact in nursing, compared with what we think our limits are as student nurses,” he said. Washington has amazing poten­tial – we have a lot of schools and students out there. There’s an amazing oppor­tu­nity to grow nursing and help people.” 

After gradu­ating this fall, Halvorsen now has the oppor­tu­nity to exude even more leader­ship through his role as a director for the National Student Nurses Associ­a­tion where he is also head of the ethics and gover­nance committee for the organi­za­tion. Addition­ally, he has accepted a position as a full-time nurse in the cardiac depart­ment of the Kadlec Regional Medical Center. 

After spending a few years as a full-time nurse, he plans to obtain his doctorate of nursing practice. He hopes to use his career experi­ence and academic creden­tials to continue with advocacy work and volun­teer oppor­tu­ni­ties. His long-term goal is to work with the American Nursing Associ­a­tion to develop and refine nursing policy. 

It’s been incred­ible experi­ence so far, both through my educa­tion with incred­ible profes­sors at WSU, in addition to what I’ve been able to partic­i­pate in through state and national organi­za­tions,” he said. I hope to keep having an impact in nursing so that everyone can benefit.” 

Halvorsen said he couldn’t have accom­plished his feats without the mentor­ship he received from the the nurses at WSU, WSNA and those within the NSNA. 

Their guidance and leader­ship has taught me so much that I will continue to use throughout the rest of my career,” he said. 

This article is reprinted with permis­sion of the Washington State Univer­sity College of Nursing.