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Why did you decide to enter the nursing profession?

I had always wanted to be a nurse, right out of high school but when family members told me that it was too hard physically I changed my mind. I went on to marry at a young age and have a family of four children. Our youngest was 16 when I was laid off from work and told me that I should go into nursing. A friend asked “Why not?” and that was when at 45 I went back to school and became an LPN. My kids joke that as they are all grown up, I needed to continue caring for people. So, nursing fit!
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How did you get to where you are today?

With the love and support of my family as they know I truly love what I do. They deal with my shifts and grumpy days after nights, along with my meetings and advocacy for my profession. They know how important what I do is and they accept and support me in my nursing career.
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What has been the most rewarding thing in your nursing career?

When people ask about my knowledge or experience in a specific area so I can share, and as well my heart is in the field of palliative care. There is an honour in being present with the patient and family during such an intimate and personal time that is a gift that I truly treasure. While I may deal with death on a regular basis, this may be the first time a family is going through the process and being able to help them is an honour.
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What has been the most challenging?

Not being able to work to our full scope, knowledge and competencies. We learn skills and yet we are not able to work them. Being able to provide better patient outcomes and deliver care is so very important yet we are held back from that. It is frustrating.
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What advice would you give to new nurses?

Never stop learning and never be afraid to ask questions. Go with your gut/intuition - it is real, listen to it.
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Nursing is...

A work of heart where you are an educator, listening ear, advocate, confidant, bridge-builder, counselor and interpreter who attempts to connect in order to help someone to heal. You give of yourself for others.