Nurses Week Special: Celebrating the Lives of Unsung Heroes

Nurses Week Special: Celebrating the Lives of Unsung Heroes

In honour of Nurses Week, we delved into the lives of these unsung heroes who work tirelessly to provide care, compassion and comfort to those in need. From the bustling hospital, to the serene corners of long-term care facilities, nurses stand as pillars of strength, embodying the very essence of humanity in healthcare.

Through heartfelt conversations and shared experiences, we gained insight into the multifaceted roles nurses play in our healthcare system. Their days are not merely shifts on a schedule, but a tapestry woven with moments of triumph, challenge, and unwavering dedication.

In celebrating Nurses Week, let us take a moment to appreciate the invaluable contributions of these remarkable individuals. Their unwavering commitment to healing, advocacy and empath, and tireless efforts deserve our utmost gratitude and respect.


What inspired you to become a nurse?

“I was quite ill as a child. During this time being hospitalized I had a nurse that went above and beyond with me. I had a lot of procedures at this time that were quite terrifying and she always tried to help me through this. I said from that age of 9 I wanted to be a nurse and be able to be there for others going through terrifying times in their lives.”

  • Lindsay C.


What advice would you give to someone considering a career in nursing?

 “My advice for someone considering a career in nursing is to remember to practice self care throughout nursing school because it is going to be hard and overwhelming and you need to take care of yourself in order to make it through. But it is so worth it in the end!”

  • Jillyan K.


How do you prioritize self-care while caring for others?

“Caring for others for 12+ hours at a time can be exhausting, and self care is paramount. Protecting your days off is so important to prevent burnout. I prioritize self care by indulging in things that make me happy - lunch with a friend, a Homesense trip, getting a work out in, or a trip to the spa. Taking time to decompress after a shift in the bath always helps! One of the reasons I am able to provide care for other people in emergent situations is because I have such a strong support system. Whether it is a friend, colleague, family, or a partner - being able to talk and feel supported when days are hard is so important for me to be a nurse.”

  • Hailey K.


“This is one of the most difficult things to master as a healthcare professional and I know a lot of nurses struggle with finding that balance. However, I think it’s extremely important for nurses to take care of themselves first so they can take care of others. Give yourself permission to relax and enjoy what you love outside of nursing!

In my down time I enjoy spending time with friends and family, going to spin and pilates classes and watching my favourite shows.”

-Morgan M.


What are some misconceptions about nursing that you would like to address?

“I think a misconception about nursing is that there's a lot more to the profession behind the scenes than patients know or realize. While we love elements of our job that are apparent to all, like providing a nurturing presence and carrying out doctors' orders, I think as a whole we would love for others to understand everything that nursing encompasses. Every time we step out of a patient's room, we take note of each element of the interaction, adding up pieces of a complex puzzle. As we investigate patient status, we search through the thousands of pages of textbooks and notes that we have spent years integrating into our brains to identify red flags and important changes. We have to make real-time decisions based not only on this knowledge but also while considering possible challenges that may arise based on how the patient is responding. We notify the doctor of the most pressing information and make recommendations for new orders, including various medications and interventions, always trying to think one step ahead. And, just as we start to feel that we are getting back on our feet in response to a patient's progress, we enter the next patient's room and do it all over again.

Nurses are compassionate, caring, and selfless. And we are also well-educated, critical thinkers, and strong leaders. This duality allows for nurses to reach incredible specialty practices, infiltrating all ends of the healthcare field. From the nurses in the NICU mastering interventions on the tiniest, newest forms of life, to the nurses in the trauma bays saving lives against the clock, to the nurses in the clinics who ensure you feel supported during your appointment. I am truly inspired by all of the incredibly accomplished nurses around me near and far, and wish the rest of the world could see just how much these talented and strong nurses do every day!”

  • Teigan S.


What initiatives or changes would you like to see in the healthcare system to better support nurses?

“I’ve thought about this question for a long time, wondering where to begin. The healthcare system is riddled with so many gaps that directly impact the lack of support for healthcare workers, including nurses. Support might look different for every individual nurse. However, I feel that most nurses would agree that a major flaw in the system, leading nurses to feeling overwhelmingly unsupported, is the unsafe nurse-to-patient ratios. Prioritizing the nursing shortage, which has entirely plagued our system at this point, would indefinitely improve patient health outcomes, reduce medical errors, and completely transform the quality of care that patients receive. Having adequate nurse staffing would ultimately cultivate a healthier work environment for healthcare providers and reduce burnout and turnover rates among nurses. In the current climate of our healthcare system, these staffing and nurse-patient ratios can only progress if there are strategies in place to invest in nursing education and recruitment. Initiatives to ameliorate the support for nurses would not only enhance patient safety, but also contribute to a more sustainable and resilient healthcare system overall; and who better to support nurses, than more nurses?”

  • Taylor G.


Can you share a memorable patient interaction that reaffirmed your passion for nursing?

"It's not one particular patient interaction that reaffirms my passion for nursing, but many interactions throughout the days and years that keep me passionate about this profession; it's the act of caring for patients that appreciate you that continues to reaffirm my love for nursing. Whether it's helping someone get dressed after they've lost their baby and seeing the appreciation in their eyes without them saying a thing, or the simple act of comforting a patient when you see fear in their eyes and knowing that you comforted their soul while doing your best to save their body and life, or if it's something as intense as being part of the team that saved someone's life and being able to tell their family that they're alive. It's the small human moments that add up that fuel my love for being a nurse and caring for others."

  • Emily T.


What motivates you to keep going during tough days at work?

"As a pediatric nurse who works in the emergency department I am faced with many busy and challenging days. What motivates me to keep going through difficult days is being able to leave each shift knowing I was able to help a child and their family improve their health needs by providing compassionate care. The smallest act of kindness can truly make such a difference in someone’s life. My colleagues play a significant part in why I love my job so much. Being surrounded by such kind, intelligent, compassionate and hardworking people helps create a supportive environment that gives me the motivation to get through difficult times. I regularly remind myself why I became a pediatric nurse in the first place. I have always put others first and wanted to make a difference in children’s lives. The resilience of children I work with motivates me to get through the day. There is nothing more fulfilling than being apart of a team that helped a child recover from an illness or injury all while putting a smile on their face."

  • Amber L.


Can you share a memorable patient interaction that reaffirmed your passion for nursing?

“Working in the ICU, I have had many patient and family interactions that have reaffirmed my passion for nursing, particularly critical care nursing. The biggest privilege of working in critical care is seeing the patients who were some of the sickest pull through to make a meaningful recovery. Sometimes they come back to the unit to see us, sometimes we get updates through heartfelt letters or cards. Reading their stories of going back to their every day lives, or seeing them walk through the doors of our unit, is what makes the tough times working in this area absolutely worth it. These interactions, hearing how they’ve moved on beyond the ICU, is a big part of what keeps me passionate about critical care nursing.”

  • Hilary C.


To all the nurses out there, thank you for your incredible work, your unwavering dedication and your boundless compassion. You are the heart and soul of healthcare and your impact extends far beyond the walls of any hospital, or clinic. Happy Nurses Week!

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