Award Recipient

Mariko Sakamoto

Mariko SakamotoI decided to become a nurse in eleventh grade after attending a nursing presentation at my school’s Career Day. I attended the session on a whim and I wish that I could remember now what exactly the nurse who came to talk to us said about nursing that day. I do remember that after school, I immediately went home and told my mother that I wanted to become a nurse.

For a variety of reasons, it took me almost another ten years after this event before I could call myself a nurse. I have now been an RN for almost twenty years, mostly working as a community health nurse in the Vancouver area, and obviously a lot has changed for me in that time. Among other changes, my mom, the first person I told about wanting to be a nurse, has passed away. If I could tell her now from a more experienced perspective, why I chose the path of nursing, I would tell her that something very special occurs at the intersection of caring for and being with other people at times of vulnerability. I would also tell her that being able to connect with others at a most human level is why I became a nurse and that this has been true for me throughout my career in all of my nursing roles. I have the privilege now of working towards a PhD in Nursing studying dementia, and this sense of connecting to the human experience continues on in my nursing research work.

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