Published: Sept. 1, 2020
Master of Science in Nursing, 2020
Registered Nurse / Nurse Practitioner Student
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT MY WORK:
I have predominantly been working in the cardiac surgical ward as well as cardiac surgical intensive care unit (CSICU). What I love about my work within this specialty was the ability to think critically and problem-solve in emergent situations requiring prompt intervention. Specifically, within the CSICU, these patients are quite ill post-operatively, so as the primary registered nurse it is my role to recognize and intervene quickly using my knowledge of hemodynamics and various shock syndromes. Additionally, I enjoy the quick recovery of our patient population. Most patients stay less than a day within CSICU, so it is enjoyable to see the patients improve and recover so quickly. Lastly, since most cardiac surgical patients are newly diagnosed, I enjoy education and counselling these patients as they adjust to their “new normal.” Whether it is simply to be someone to vent to, or a resource for post-operative information and strategies, I enjoy providing patient-specific support beyond medical interventions.
HOW I GOT HERE:
I graduated from my Bachelor of Nursing Science (BNSc) from Queen’s University in 2017, and immediately started my Master of Science in Nursing with McMaster University on a part-time basis. The ultimate goal of mine was to become a nurse practitioner, and I knew if I left school it would be difficult to return. I opted to continue graduate studies part-time, while working full time as a Registered Nurse to gain clinical experience. My first nursing job was general internal medicine at St. Joseph’s Hamilton, and six months later I transferred to Mississauga Hospital to their cardiovascular unit (CVU). Just over a year later, in 2019, I transferred to the CSICU. In 2020, I completed my Master of Science in Nursing and accepted a spot within McMaster University’s Primary Healthcare Nurse Practitioner diploma program.
WHY I CHOSE MCMASTER:
I loved my time at Queen’s University, but I wanted a change in scenery for graduate school. McMaster University was the ideal choice because of its prestigious reputation as well as it being known for providing excellent nursing education at both the undergraduate and graduate level. What inclined me to choose McMaster was its heavy emphasis in research-methods and evidence-informed healthcare.
HOW MY EXPERIENCE AT MCMASTER HELPED ME:
The nursing program at McMaster taught me numerous valuable skills. First, I developed and fostered my critical appraisal and inquiry skills. My studies within the graduate nursing program taught me to not only appraise research based on their conclusions, but to look into the rigor of their methods, statistical analyzes as well as whether the conclusions are adoptable to practice. This means to not accept research findings blindly because of one study, but to have a critical lens as to whether the findings make sense and whether it is replicable. In addition, my verbal and written communication skills were enhanced while at McMaster. I often would struggle with academic writing, and the school of graduate studies fostered my ability to write succinctly and communicate clearly. As a staff registered nurse at the bedside, this ability to communicate clearly and succinctly has enhanced my ability to care for my patients because I can better advocate for their needs within the interdisciplinary team.