May 28, 2019

Nurse entrepreneur committed to nurturing health leaders

50 Faces of Nursing: Amy Deagle, BN’06

When she founded the International Network of Nurse Leaders (INNL), Amy Deagle was driven to unite a community of nurses, hone their leadership skills and help them tackle important causes in health care.

As manager of clinical innovation with the Calgary Rural Primary Care Network and CEO of the INNL, Deagle is a problem-solver and advocate. She is passionate about finding solutions to health-care challenges from a local perspective including equitable access to health-care services in rural areas.

In the early part of her career, Deagle focused on labour and delivery nursing in rural hospitals. She earned a Master’s of Nursing degree in 2011 at Frontier Nursing University in Kentucky with a focus on Certified Nurse-Midwifery and Women's Health.

According to her nominator Renee Creasy, nursing has been a dream of Deagle’s since she was a child. She requested a “nurse” cake on her fourth birthday and many years later, after high school graduation, the passion still stuck. Her next step was unequivocal.

“It is because of her lifelong passion for the nursing profession and her desire to continually advance and contribute to the profession that I think Amy Deagle should be featured as one of your 50 Faces of Nursing.”

In her own words, Deagle says: I believe that nurses have the power to change the world. Nurses are uniquely positioned to advocate and influence not only the patients they interact with, but the organizations they work for, the communities that they live in and the causes they believe in.

“As nurses, we have the opportunity every day to be leaders.”

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

In my final year at UCalgary Nursing, we had a speaker come in to talk about life after graduation and all the opportunities that would be available to us as nurses. She had been an ICU nurse, a STARS nurse and a travel nurse. It was during that speech that I realized how many doors I had opened for myself by choosing nursing as a career path. In my career so far, I have been a rural acute care nurse, a labour and delivery nurse, a travel nurse, a certified nurse-midwife, a primary care nurse and now, a nurse-manager and a nurse-entrepreneur.”

Is there a nursing issue you are especially passionate about or would like to change?

“Leadership in nursing is a passion of mine which is why I started the International Network of Nurse Leaders. We have the opportunity, every day, to stand up as leaders: and with the right training, skills and confidence, I believe we can start to shift our profession to a healthier future. I am also passionate about advocating for health-care services in rural areas. I believe that increasing the RN scope of practice in these areas as well as increasing nurse practitioner funding will solve some of the health-care delivery challenges facing rural areas.”

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

“The momentum of nursing leadership on a global scale is very exciting to me. I truly believe we are a profession of leaders and changemakers and when we come together with a united purpose we can, and will, change the world.”

Your advice for aspiring nurses?

“You have chosen an amazing profession; there are so many doors open to you as a nurse and your career is up to you to craft.”

“Shed the ‘just a nurse’ mentality and really understand that we are powerful agents for change. Learn to advocate not only for your patients but for your colleagues and the profession as a whole. Get involved in causes that you are passionate about and never shy away from bringing the nursing perspective to the table. Make learning a cornerstone of your career, never stop trying to learn and grow to evolve your practice and yourself.”

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