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Alumni profile: Adam Prieur

Apr 26, 2022

Adam Prieur

Adam Prieur’s path from graduation to his current work is “not your typical one”, he says.

Prieur is the academic operations coordinator at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton. This is a brand-new role for the hospital. He took it on in August 2021.

“I have my hands in academic activities across the hospital. I oversee the learner onboarding process, look for ways to improve the learner experience, and focus on connecting our employees (nurses, for example) with resources that will help them develop into great teachers. Right now, the focus is on connecting our staff with professional development resources, but in the future, it might involve designing and implementing a training program. Time will tell. We are trying to grow our reputation as an academic health science center and an excellent place to learn and to grow professionally. Education is a huge part of our strategic plan. I'm also responsible for coordinating the nursing, midwifery and physician assistant placements at our hospital,” Prieur says.

In 2010, Prieur graduated from the BScN program. Since I was in high school, I've always been interested in the larger picture of health system issues. So when I was applying to nursing school, I thought that I would probably work in a clinical area providing direct clinical care for a little while, and then move my way into another kind of role. I didn't really know what that meant at the time, but that was the plan. Then as I started to work in an inpatient surgical unit and became exposed to the way the hospital operates as a nurse, I began to develop some interests. After six months, I went back to study at McMaster part-time while working part-time as a nurse.”

In 2012, he completed his second degree, a BA in economics. “Studying economics was a perfect match for me because economics is about complex systems and how people and firms make decisions when they're faced with constraints. That happens every day in the healthcare system! I ended up moving to St. Joseph’s and bringing some economics tools with me.”

In 2014, Prieur became a nurse in the hemodialysis program at St. Joseph’s, and in 2017 became a nurse educator in the program. “I was working every day to solve problems and improve the way we train, recruit, hire and onboard nurses and provide professional development.” In 2019, he began coordinating nursing placements—just before the pandemic hit.

Since August 2021, Prieur has enjoyed his current role as academic operations coordinator. “The work that I'm doing is really gratifying. We are developing teachers and providing high quality learning opportunities. It raises the standard of care provided in the hospital. I feel like I’m impacting many more patients,” he explains.

His McMaster nursing degree has served him well, says Prieur. The program makes people into great problem solvers, teaching them to look for root causes or problems with a process, and to break down problems into parts, make plans and come up with solutions. “Also, people come away with the ability to work as a team,” he says. That includes engaging in respectful disagreement, being an advocate, or learning how to listen to a lone dissenter on a team. “Sometimes those dissenters are the ones who have the answer that the rest of us are not seeing,” he says.

Prieur has also worked as a part time instructor for the McMaster School of Nursing. When he speaks to students, he tells them: “I'm in a job right now that didn't even exist a year ago. By the time new applicants graduate, even more new jobs or different jobs will exist. I encourage everybody to pursue their interests. Look for new opportunities that will complement your skills and training, and you'll eventually end up with a toolkit that will prepare you for a job that you love.”

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