What inspired me to apply
Nurses have many different reasons for applying to work in remote or isolated First Nations communities. Read about what inspired some of them to make the decision to become northern nurses.
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I was inspired to apply for a northern nursing position because of work I had done as a nursing student. During my studies I participated in multiple community health placements.
Through these placements I was exposed to community health nursing at an urban community health clinic. I had the opportunity to work at an addictions clinic serving a rural population base. I also worked at a community health centre that provided holistic care to a Mi'kmaq community. I found this work both extremely challenging and highly rewarding.
My experience as a student nurse prompted my interest in working beneath the umbrella of community health. My interest was specifically with marginalized populations with an emphasis on the provision of holistic, culturally competent care.
In addition, I welcomed the opportunity to experience a cultural perspective different from my own. I experienced this by living and working in a remote northern community.
I was drawn to the north by 2 things. Firstly, it was the opportunity to immerse myself in the rich and beautiful culture of the First Nations people. Secondly, it was the opportunity to practice nursing in an exciting, challenging role.
The opportunity allowed me to develop and advance my nursing practice. Ten years later and northern nursing is still irresistible to me.
I was at a point in my nursing career when I felt that I needed a challenge. I felt inspired to move out of my comfort zone. I decided to look for an opportunity to take my nursing skills to a different level. That is when I heard from a family member who is an outpost nurse with Health Canada in Saskatchewan. She described the kind of nursing I was looking for.
I had worked in remote settings in Africa with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) for 4 years before going north. I had enjoyed the challenge of practicing in a full scope role. Working in northern Manitoba offered similar opportunities and challenges.
Working here was also a chance to grow and become a better clinician. I had grown up in a northern community in Manitoba. I was aware of many of the issues that face the First Nations people.
I was inspired to work in the north by a friend who had worked in a remote community. His description of working in the north provided me with motivation.
I decided to push my boundaries and accept the challenges provided by nursing in the north. I was also inspired by the opportunity to work with First Nations and learn more about their culture and history.
I was inspired to do northern nursing by my desire to try something new and different. I had worked in a rural acute care hospital setting on an OBS/GYNE/PEDS floor for 3 years. Though I enjoyed the hospital setting and my co-workers very much, I had an urge for something more challenging.
I had applied to Health Canada based on a promotional ad in the Canadian Nurse magazine. I will admit that at the time of my application I had no idea what I was applying for. In hindsight I am so glad that I took the path of the unknown. I found a career that provides an exhilarating day to day life in the world of health care.