John J Vanderlee Award for Male Nursing Students
My name is Thomas Pool and I chose to become a nurse to make a meaningful contribution to my community. My parents fostered children affected by parental substance misuse and through my exposure to foster care, I became determined to understand my privilege and not take it for granted. My experiences with children in foster care shaped my passion for advocating for underserved populations. Throughout my childhood and adolescence, I encountered nurses in a variety of roles, which piqued my interest into the diverse opportunities that a career in nursing has to offer. I witnessed valuable attributes among the nurses I met, including palliative care nurses during my father’s time in hospice, nurses in hospital when my younger brother experienced a fentanyl overdose, and when public health nurses immunized children in my parent’s care. Those attributes included kindness, compassion, patience and a wealth of knowledge. I am excited to work in a career that allows me to work in multiple areas and support individuals throughout their lifespan and help to improve their health trajectory. Providing patient-centred care goes beyond addressing physical needs to acknowledging their emotional, spiritual and psychological needs as well. A career in nursing will allow me to integrate my diverse interests into a career that fulfills my personal goals as well as supports the health and wellbeing of those in my community.