Sue Averill, RN

Co-founder and President


Growing up as an army brat gave me a love for travel and other cultures which was cemented by living in Mexico two years as a young woman. I wanted to be a nurse from age five and started my ER nursing career in 1979. After a devastating earthquake in Mexico City in 1985, I organized and lead a 21 person team providing medical care to one affected area in collaboration with The Salvation Army – my first foray into the humanitarian arena.

After obtaining an MBA and a stint in the business world, I decided to dedicate more of my time to humanitarian medical work: teaching in Cambodia, surgical and medical trips to Asia, Africa and Latin America, and helping to design medical clinics in Honduras and Vietnam. I now consider myself a “Humanitarian Snowbird” -ER nursing in Seattle six months a year and working for Doctors Without Borders and other volunteer organizations during the winter.

The key for me came during a surgical trip to Pakistan – by comparison to girls and women there, I have lived a charmed life. I was born in a time and place that fosters independence, education and freedom for women. I believe it to be my responsibility to give of myself for the many gifts that I have received through no merit of my own. One Nurse At A Time grew out of frequent inquiries by others “How can I get involved and do what you do?” Our goal is to make it easier for nurses to use their skills to help people around the world, to lower the entry barriers, to increase public awareness of the role and contribution nurses make in the humanitarian world. I truly believe we CAN change the world.

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