Award Recipient

Michael Phillips

TD Aboriginal Nursing Fund Award

I have worked very hard over the last few years in school and it always seems that some money comes in from an unexpected direction just as things have gotten most dire. Looking forward to a little extra money really takes the stress out of my life allowing me to study better and get better grades. I need to learn as much as I can since I am planning on practicing in northern communities and may not have a doctor on hand. I worked in a factory for 18 years and enjoyed job security if not financial security. When I left for a better paying job in the service sector, I found that I enjoyed working with people. When my new job laid me off, I decided to get an education and thought long and hard about what I wanted to do. I needed to do something useful, that was in demand and that mattered. I took a battery of aptitude tests and Nursing was on the list (although psychologist was at the top) and when I thought it through I realized that Nursing fit the bill perfectly. At first I was planning on attending a college to become an LPN but when I found out that there was a 2 year waiting list I was upset and one of the teachers at the Aboriginal Community Campus pointed out to me that university entrance was based on grades, not first come first served. I had my application in the next day. I have never for a second regretted that decision. The learning has been life altering. My horizons have expanded and where at first I just wanted to become a Nurse, I now want to work where health care is desperately needed. Northern Aboriginal communities need affordable health care. I need 2 years experience before I can apply to the masters program at the U of M to become a Nurse Practitioner and after that I plan to head back up north.

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