Smriti Sharma Sapkota ’22 Thrives as an ICU Nurse

Smriti Sharma Sapkota ’22 thrives in a fast-paced environment.

Luckily for the Jhapa, Nepal, native, her position as an intensive care unit (ICU) nurse at The Medical Center of Aurora in Aurora, Colorado, gives her plenty of opportunity to thrive.

As a student, Smriti was a peer mentor, resident assistant, Student Government Association member, Admissions ambassador, peer tutor and member of the Cross-Cultural Club and Diversity Task Force, all while completing the nursing curriculum as a Wesson Honors scholar. When looking for her first professional position, she sought a position that offered the same variety of challenge.

“I chose this hospital because we have one big mixed ICU where we see trauma, surgical, neuro, medical and cardiac patients, and every day is a new day for us,” Smriti said. “As a nurse, I am constantly monitoring and assessing my patients, communicating with the providers, respiratory therapists, physical and occupational therapists, and other team members to ensure the best course of treatment, updating and including the family members in the process and uplifting my patient's spirits.”

Located outside the city of Denver, The Medical Center of Aurora serves a large, diverse population with a wide range of concerns. It gives Smriti the opportunity to help a large number of people through some of life’s most difficult moments. That, she said, is what she likes most about her work.

“I love being able to be there for people during their worst times,” Smriti said. “Nobody plans to come to the ICU, and it is a big shock for the patients and their family. Being able to assure them that we will take good care of them and help them in every way that we can makes me happy. Also, seeing patients heal and go home gives me satisfaction, and helping patients and their families with the end-of-life care puts me at ease.”

Smriti credits her Colby-Sawyer experience with preparing her well to be able to manage the many facets of her current role. She said the combination of her classwork, her clinical experience at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center and her involvement outside the classroom gave her not only the skills she needed, but also a broader perspective on herself and her role in the world.

“The interpersonal relationships, professional skills and leadership qualities I learned at CSC are a big part of me,” she said. “The discipline with which we had to work as nursing students and the excellence we always strived for has made me so much more attentive to details … I feel like I am a better nurse because of that.”

In addition to her position in the ICU, Smriti has spent time since graduation traveling the United States and pursuing hobbies that help her relax. She said she is looking forward to being a scholar again, both by seeking certifications and learning new skills now and, potentially, by pursuing further education in the future.

The most recent outcomes report from the Harrington Center for Experiential Learning indicates that, like Smriti, 100% of the Class of 2022 is employed or in graduate school. Read more about Colby-Sawyer graduate outcomes.