Kristy Mirasty

Distributed learning sites model a perfect fit for nursing graduate

Ever since she was a little girl, Kristy Mirasty had a knack for caregiving.

She remembers watching her grandfather struggle to balance a healthy lifestyle with his diagnosis as a Type 1 diabetic. As she was only a child at the time, all she could do in these moments was to try to monitor his food intake.

“He was insulin dependent, which means he had to give himself insulin daily and I had many opportunities to help him make healthy eating choices,” Mirasty said. “I have always wanted to help people with all different illnesses. Helping them makes me feel good, knowing that they are satisfied with their care.”

Now, Mirasty has turned that lifelong passion for helping others into a career path.

This spring, Mirasty graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. But unlike many of her fellow graduating students, Mirasty never took classes on the U of S campus in Saskatoon. Instead, the institution’s distributed learning sites model—designed to help serve the needs of students in the North—made it possible for her to do the entirety of her degree at home in La Ronge, where she could remain with her family.

“I did not want to move my family and I knew that it would be hard for me as I would not have any support in Saskatoon,” she said, adding that the model actually made her feel more involved in her degree. “Distributed learning made my learning experience interesting and unique because almost everything was through technology and I felt that our instructors were more involved with us.”

Mirasty is a member of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band, the largest First Nation in the province. She is also the proud recipient of an Aboriginal Student Achievement Award, which was given to her in recognition of her leadership and academic success.

“I think that this award just made me realize that I have accomplished a lot in the last year of nursing, and I had many opportunities that I was involved in and did not recognize how much these opportunities help me grow as a student and future nurse.”

With her studies behind her, Mirasty is excited to join the workforce and start putting her education to use for people who, much like her grandfather in her younger years, need guidance and support for their health. But, just as when she started planning for university, what’s most important is her family.

“I am unsure of where I want to work, but I prefer to be close to home because I have supports here. When I need to work 12-hour shifts, my family could help with the kids.”
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