Award Recipient

Vanessa Van Bewer

TD Aboriginal Nursing Fund Award – PhD

My son recently said to me: Maman- I thought you were studying to become a teacher? When I first started my PhD program in nursing three years ago, I told him I was studying to become a professor, and in my son’s young mind, he interpreted that as a teacher. I thought about correcting him, but rather I said: nurses are a special type of teacher, but we also do so much more.  Indeed, in my 15-year career, I have had the opportunity to: share in the joy of childbirth with new moms; listen to adolescents disclose their deepest fears; counsel young people on remaining safe in their sexual relationships; and teach students important concepts for nursing practice. If I were to summarize, in my role as a nurse, I have been a teacher, a caregiver and a counsellor. But, most importantly, I have borne witness to some of the most profound moments in a person’s life. In my future career as a nurse-researcher and, yes, as a teacher, I hope I continue to honour the experiences of those with whom I interact on my nursing journey. My name is Vanessa Van Bewer and I am a proud registered nurse.

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