Natania’s Story

CNF’s educational scholarship and research grants are about making dreams come true, just like Natania, a CNF award recipient…


Hello, my name is Natania Abebe and I’m a fourth year nursing student at the University of Ottawa. I want to share my story with you about why I wanted to become a nurse.

I am going to be the first person in my family to receive a BScN, so let me tell you, that when I say I had no idea what I was getting into — I really didn’t know what I was getting into when I started this program. Nursing school is really, really hard. But it’s worth it because I know that as a nurse, I can make a difference in someone’s life.

The only thing I knew about nurses before entering school was from what I saw on TV.

They say that nurses are the heartbeat of healthcare. But from what I’ve experienced, nurses are not just the hearts of health care – they are also the eyes, the ears, and sometimes the nose! (On a side note, I think every nurse can pinpoint the first time they smelt C.diff. There are very distinct smells in the hospital.) So really, I chose nursing because I care about people and I want to help others. Nurses, fundamentally embody care.

There are few professions in the world where you are granted instant access to someone’s life in an intimate way without really warranting that kind of information. I go onto the floor, and I know everything about a patient and keep in mind, these patients are vulnerable. People don’t come to a hospital to hang out – its not a hotel. Something must be really, really wrong for you to be there. So as a nurse, I keep in mind that it is a privilege to help someone heal. Because as nurses we are healers. Nurses spend the most amount of time than any health care provider with patients and we, I feel more than anybody, are given opportunities time and time again to show up, be present and help someone get better.

Apart from being a student at the University of Ottawa I’ve done a myriad of things that have helped me become a better nurse, from doing research in epidemiology, clinical research in neurology in different types of cancers as well as theology, to being a nursing mentor for my faculty. And I recently proposed the idea to hold a conference at our school based on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as a student rep. But what I am most proud of is the volunteer work I did at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario that has inspired me in my work today.

I want to extend my thanks to all of the generous donors who have given me the opportunity to pursue my education. You know, theory can only help you with what’s in your head, but it will never be the deal breaker for what’s in your heart. And nursing is one of those things that requires both your head and your heart.

By your generous donations, I am able to stay in school and pay my tuition. But more importantly, I want to thank you for what you have provided to all students who are recipients of a CNF award. I think now more than ever, it is important to encourage nurses to grow and evolve with the profession, and by offering opportunities like this you are giving someone the ability to flourish in all areas of nursing such as leadership and research. I think the more leaders we can have in nursing, and the more visibility we have in the public – the better. We are the last line of defence for our patients and our voices matter! By giving awards such as this to students, you are giving future generations the opportunity to make the profession grow. My intention after graduation is to work as an oncology nurse and I know that with your support, I am able to do so.

I am asking you to make a simple but profound change in the way you give to CNF – by becoming a monthly donor! Please help support all nurses across Canada!


Natania Makonnen Abebe

PS – To apply for a CNF scholarship NOW, click here!