My interest in health policy started back in high school but even then I knew I would pursue health issues as a nurse. After completing my nursing degree in Alberta in 2012, I began my career as a registered nurse in an Intensive Care Unit – a position that developed my clinical skills, critical thinking, and appreciation for the complexity and importance of nursing research. When I started my graduate degree in 2016 I shifted my focus back to health policy. I decided to pursue a Master of Science in Nursing and added a Specialization in Women’s Studies. My thesis research examining individual experiences with contraceptive coaching when accessing abortion services combines a focus on women’s issues with a lens of health equity and application of knowledge in clinical care.
From utilizing clinical skills and abilities in direct patient care at the bedside, to developing research and knowledge, to participating in all levels of policy development, nurses can and must be involved. A nursing perspective focuses on wholeness – physical, mental, emotional, social, cultural, and spiritual health – and I believe that any health policy question that excludes nurses is inherently faulty. I am proud to be a registered nurse and after completing my masters I plan to bring my nursing background, knowledge, experience, and training into a career in health policy development.
I thank the Canadian Nurses Foundation for supporting my academic and research ambitions by selecting me as the 2018-19 recipient of the Military Nurses Award founded by Col. Agnes Campbell Neill. I am grateful and proud to be a CNF scholar.