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 on a surgical unit and as a research assistant in the areas of Indigenous health and pediatric pain. My future plans are to engage in nursing research that improves the healthcare experiences of children and families from diverse backgrounds. My first step to achieving this goal will be completing my masters-level project on the role of culture in parental involvement in pediatric pain care, with the help of generous organizations such as CNF and their donors. Thank you for supporting me to complete this project and on my journey to work towards a more inclusive healthcare system for diverse patients and families.