As an Indigenous person and member of the LGBTQ community, my research and clinical interests are informed by my lived experiences and how my cultural background has influenced my interactions with the healthcare system. These experiences drive me to advocate for a more inclusive healthcare system for minority health-care seeking groups. I chose to pursue a career in nursing because of the depth and breadth of the nursing role, with nurses being able to work at the bedside, as well as in research, policy, and health advocacy. In addition, my experience as a person with a life-long chronic illness has solidified my views on the importance of nurses and their ability to holistically care for individuals and families, especially since community health nurses were my primary care providers, educators, and support people when I first found out I was sick.
Currently, I am working as a registered nurse and research coordinator at the IWK Health Centre with the Aboriginal Children’s Hurt and Healing Initiative. I was recently accepted for early entry to the doctoral nursing program, where I plan to engage in community-based research surrounding Indigenous children’s pain experiences as well as child and youth mental health. Thank you so much to CNF and its generous donors for supporting me to complete this project and on my journey to work towards a more inclusive healthcare system for diverse patients and families!