In 2010, Emily (Buter) Rusticus ’10 graduated from Trinity’s nursing program and answered a call to the health care industry. She now works in the Pediatric Neuro unit at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago.
She serves a diverse population of children from newborns to late teens, from minor hospitalizations to chronic conditions. She often cares for children with cancer before they are moved to oncology and gets to know many of them well.
One child in particular prompted Rusticus to think of her oldest sister who died of a brain tumor at the age of nine. “I see lots of kids in those situations, but she especially reminded me of the sister I lost,” she said. “I can be there for the family and give them my full attention in the small moments. That’s when I know why I’m here, to serve God and this population.”
Although she can’t often share her faith, Rusticus does pray with Christian families and is challenged by working in the city. Growing up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and worshipping in a Christian Reformed church, Rusticus believes it is important for everyone to live outside of their comfort zone.
“I chose to work in downtown Chicago, because when I was offered the job at Children’s, I knew God was calling me to work in an atmosphere that is often far from my comfort zone. It is important for me to show my faith even in places where Christianity is not always evident. I am also able to serve people who are in great need of the love and compassion I have been taught so well to give.”
She credits her Trinity professors with that excellent teaching. “My experience at Trinity was wonderful, beginning with our first nursing class,” said Rusticus. “The teaching staff was superb. Not many nursing schools can say that their staff knows each student by name and genuinely cares about them as individuals.”
Because of the College’s location and the partnerships the nursing department has formed with local hospitals, students have many options for field experience in the Chicagoland area. “With Trinity so close to Chicago, I was able, through my clinicals, to serve a very diverse, urban community,” she said. “I had amazing, real world experiences.”
During her field experience, she worked the pediatric rotation at Hope Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois, and for her senior project, or “capstone,” Rusticus worked at Children’s Memorial on the floor where she was completing a year-long mentoring program.
Rusticus, who is married to Alex ’09, an accountant with Evenhouse & Co., P.C., is looking into graduate school to pursue becoming a nurse practitioner.