'As a nurse, you are put in a position of extreme trust – people allow us to care for them in their most vulnerable moments in time'
What is your education and experience?
I was born in Vancouver and lived there until I moved to the Okanagan with my husband and two teenage children in 2010. I attended UBC and achieved my BScN and then specialized in orthopedics and adolescent medical/surgical care at B.C. Children’s Hospital. I worked there for 20 years prior to starting my teaching career in the Practical Nursing program at Vancouver Community College. I began working at OC on a term instructor basis in 2011 and accepted a full-time position in 2012.
What do you love about your work?
From the beginning of my nursing career, I have always mentored student nurses and new grads on my hospital unit. I thoroughly enjoy seeing the independence gained through knowledge and successful application of this knowledge in the clinical setting.
The pandemic has shone a spotlight on health-care careers, especially nursing. What are your thoughts for current students?
I just finished a three-week clinical placement with a group of semester one students and had them reflect on their growth over the past few weeks, so that they are cognizant and thoughtful of their achievements. I have also told this entire group of students how proud I am of them, choosing to enter this program at a time of such uncertainty — willingly taking on the many challenges of adapting to learning and practicing as a student nurse during Covid. They have come each day to lab and clinical, endured the rigors of COVID-19 screening and persevered in changing individuals lives both in the lab and with our Elders in the clinical setting.
I was very proud of the group of PN students that decided to persevere in their final clinical placement this spring, in order to graduate and enter the work force at this time of exceptional need. That is what makes a true nurse, that is to have the empathy, fortitude and knowledge in improving people’s lives, especially during these trying times.
What does it mean to you to become a nurse?
As a nurse, you are put in a position of extreme trust – people allow us to care for them in their most vulnerable moments in time. Showing empathy and respect are important as a nurse, and these are core values and strengths that nurses need to demonstrate now, more than ever.
Practical Nursing Diploma
Gain skills, attitudes and judgment needed to perform in a career in health care, with learning experiences that are integrated, professional, collaborative and culturally sensitive.
Careers in care
Careers in health care and social development provide a meaningful way to meet the needs of families and communities. The Okanagan region’s population and demographics provide diverse learning opportunities in a range of fields. Practical-oriented programs prepare students for careers in health and social development settings, including hospital and community nursing, long-term care, home care, social services, non-profit societies, children’s daycare and more.
There are 10 different Health and Social Development programs available at Okanagan College, with training covering physical therapy, pharmacy, early childhood education and nursing.