I teach in the first year of the BScN program at Lambton College and I am a full time PhD student at the University of Alberta. Becoming a nurse and teacher was a natural part of who I was as a child and part of my family history; many aunts, a grandmother, and a great-great aunt are nurses, and my mother is a teacher. From a very young age, I engaged in teaching and caring for others beginning with my dolls, family pets, and childhood friends. When I was older, I helped my brother and family members heal and become healthy after being ill. My interest resurfaced after I completed my BA in Sociology, inspiring me to to earn a diploma in nursing.
I found my ‘calling’ as a nurse in geriatric mental health. Working as a nurse in this area challenged my daily practice to learn more about the older people I worked with, and prompted me to return to school to expand my knowledge of nursing and research. I am privileged to work with, understand and learn from the experiences of survivors of mental health and older people in community and hospital settings. I have used these learnings and stories in my practice and in teaching. For my dissertation research project, I plan to learn about the experience of transitions in care settings from older people and their caregivers. Learning about what family caregivers and older people need for successful transitions across health care settings may influence the practices and policies of health care providers and leaders in both in-patient and community settings, to improve transitions and perhaps reduce readmissions for older people and their families.
Thank you to Bianca Beyer, CNF for supporting my PhD studies. I am honored to receive this award and support.