Award Recipient

Melissa Dykhuizen

TD Aboriginal Nursing Fund Award – PhD

“Why did you come into nursing?” I ask at the start of each student clinical, but it’s also the question I struggle to answer. What brought me into the career that I love? I cannot always pinpoint the exact driving force, but often it is a combination of small life changing moments and pure luck that lead me to this amazing career.

One of the moments that sticks out to me is the work I did as a teenager as part of a youth advisory committee (YAC). Being selected for the committee, I was given the opportunity to travel to Ottawa and work alongside other adolescents to brain storm about tobacco use reduction and prevention in adolescence. This opportunity was my first real glimpse into population health, harm reduction and social marketing. Before this opportunity, I did not realize the scope of the nursing role or the potential opportunities a career in nursing could offer. I have spent several years of my career in community health and I believe the interactions I had through the youth advisory committee, and with my rural public health nurse, were the catalysts that drove me to consider nursing as a career.

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