What Does Nursing Mean to Me?

 “I come from two generations of nurses. When I was 16, I asked my mother why she was a nurse and her response was “nursing has been very good to me.” At the time I thought she meant, stable job with options for work different environments and meeting and working with people. Sounded great, so I went ‘all in.’ Now 20 years later and with 15 years of nursing experience, I have worked in the high Arctic being a lifeline for the most remote communities on Earth, I have volunteered for disaster relief in the foothills of the Himalayas, worked in the scorching Saudi desert and travelled to many countries people only dream of. I have brought babies into this world and held the hands of those whose loved ones could not at the time that they journeyed out of this world. I have served the sick and celebrated with the healed. Needless to say nursing has been very good to me.” 

Nicole Krywionek, Director, Critical Care and Cardiology, Ouellette Campus. 

“Nursing is my life.... literally! If it wasn’t for nurses I would not be here today, one myself! You see, I was born with a very rare heart defect and underwent two heart surgeries, one at 7 years old and one at 15 years old. I am here today because of the amazing care and compassion I received from nurses. I am a nurse today because those same nurses inspired me to lead a life of helping others who are suffering as I did then. I have now been a nurse for almost 21 years! I absolutely love this profession and am honoured to be a part of it. I have witnessed babies being born and shared joy with those families and I have helped patients pass away in peace and shared heart ache with those families grieving for a life lost. I have shared sorrow with patients learning of a terminal illness and I have shared joy with patients as they beat a cancer diagnosis! I am a better nurse because of these experiences and I want to thank those nurses who took care of me for helping make me the nurse I am today.”

Mary Robinet, RN, Mental Health, Ouellette Campus.

“When I reflect back and ask myself ‘what does nursing mean to me,’ it creates an abundance of memories that flow through my head. As a nurse we wear many hats as educator, listener, communicator, supporter, comforter, healer, problem solver. We do this each day without thinking about it, it comes natural, some days harder than others but it comes from deep in our soul. I smile within when I think of how many diverse people from all over the world, colleagues as well as patients and their families that I have worked and cared for in my career. I honestly believe I grew and developed as a better person by becoming a nurse. That is what nursing means to me.” 

Sherri Larose-Rossi, Utilization Resource Nurse, Ouellette Campus

“Being a nurse means recognizing and curbing the patient’s scariest moments to create the most positive experience possible where they can feel safe and comforted. As a nurse, I treat all my patients with the human decency and respect they deserve. During nursing interactions, whether it’s bathing or administering medication, I make it a priority to give my patient’s an extra five minutes to provide the compassion and emotional support they need. I sincerely believe that kindness and laughter are valuable assets in the healing process. When you treat the mind, you in turn heal the body. Being a nurse means fulfilling a responsibility to humanity by caring for the patients with respect, dignity and compassion. It’s a responsibility that I am truly honoured to have.” 

Loretta Monforton, RPN, Ouellette Campus, 7 Medical

“Nursing is truly care provided from the heart. You can go through the motions such as changing a dressing or performing a procedure, but I feel a nurse becomes a nurse in the moments spent during intimate interactions with a patient and their family. These moments may occur in the hug needed following life changing conversations … the extra time spent showering a patient which allows for a few moments in time to hear a little more about their life story … sitting at the bedside to feed someone who just needs an extra hand. Nursing to me is these small moments in time that impact the relationships and care that we as nurses provide for our patients, ultimately leaving lasting impressions.”

Kimberly Grubb, RN, Oncology, Met Campus

“I have been a #Nurse for 27 years. I have missed family birthdays, weddings, funerals and holidays with my family all to care for a stranger, who is my patient. I I get asked, looking back would I choose to become a #Nurse? Yes. YES! For all that I have “missed” out on, I have gained way more. I know that my educating a young mother on how to properly dose acetaminophen and ibuprofen for her child’s fever will go a long way helping to prevent a future seizure. I know that the 50-year-old heart attack patient that I help get to the cath lab in 35 minutes, means that he will now have the chance to walk his daughter down the aisle. I know that the elderly lady whom I found subsidized assisted living for, is now safe from her daughter who was financially and physically abusing her. I know I have made a difference in the lives of so many people. Now, imagine the lives impacted by the 19.3 million nurses worldwide who care for strangers every day. Patients have made me cry tears: of joy that they delivered a healthy baby; tears of sadness at a life lost too young; and tears of frustration when we’ve done “everything” and yet, it was not enough. Patients have taught me it is the kindness that is most remembered. Nursing is not a job. It is a profession. I am a geriatric emergency management nurse. I consult on the frail elderly in the emergency room. I ensure they are discharged safely home with the appropriate resources or I advocate for their admission. I love working with seniors. They all have stories. They all come from a time it is hard to fathom for most youngsters. I would do it all over again. #IAmANurse.” 

Sandra Bauer, Geriatric Emergency Management Nurse, Met Campus

To me, nursing means I always have the wonderful opportunity to connect with others. I feel privileged to help patients at their weakest moments—times of intense pain or sorrow—and to be a part of their proudest, happiest moments, such as handing them their newborn. There’s times of pure exhaustion for patients when they need extra support. Just think of a woman who has labored a full day and is now dealing with a screaming infant! Nursing provides me with an opportunity to make a difference in a patient’s life—hopefully for the better!

Nursing means connecting with colleagues on a level rarely found in other fields. When a nurse asks for assistance, help is there. Everything is dropped in times of crisis because all hands are required on deck. We count on each other’s wisdom and experience for crash c-sections, code pinks and code blues, as well as for help in de-escalating tense situations. I may not know how to help everyone, but I have confidence there’s a nurse around who has expertise and will assist me.

Nursing offers highs and lows that I’d never experience if I had stayed with my initial decision to become an engineer. Tears cried with a patient lessens their load and happiness shared with a patient keeps us coming back, shift after shift.

Nursing means I’m proud of the person I am when I swipe in at the hospital, and I carry that pride with me when I swipe out.
Nursing means I’ve become a better person, after 31 years of nursing, than I thought possible. And, I proudly believe nurses are the most trustworthy professionals because we all feel the same way!

Rita Jacques, RN, Family Birthing Centre, Met Campus
Nursing to me means, waking up and going to work everyday with the phrase by Dodinsky resonating in my mind,

When some one gives you their trust, they are saying,
“I am Safe With You”
Don’t Break it, Appreciate it.

Nursing to me means listening to the patient’s pains, their sorrows and fears and then providing comfort, reassurance and healing touch to care for their illness and that brings immense happiness and fulfillment to my life. Patient’s appreciation of my care, dedication and compassion truly gives me the strength to face yet another day with another hope to help someone in need.

Anu Singh, Registered Nurse, Clinical Teaching Unit, Ouellette Campus
N - Noble
U - Understanding
R - Responsible
S - Strong
I - Intelligent
N - Nurturing
G - Giving

Matt Wilson, Decision Support Analyst, Decision Support, Met Campus

Nursing has been my lifelong career.. I began as an RNA in 1970, received my diploma as an RN, in 1983 and have worked at WRH since then. Nursing is all about caring, compassion, knowledge and sharing. It's about caring for those patients and their families throughout their most trying and difficult times. It is the compassion necessary to help comfort them during this time and show your humanity . It could be as simple as holding a hand, taking that extra time to just listen to their concerns and fears, and being there to support them in the joyous times and sad times as well. It is using your knowledge to deliver the safest and best care that you can give to the those in your care . It means also sharing your expertise with others who have chosen nursing as their path to follow. Nursing is not static but continuously changing and it is important to keep improving and updating your practice to provide safe and informed care. It has been a gratifying life choice for me personally because I know that I have made a difference in the lives of others in my care as well as my coworkers and friends. In Nursing and life I live by the words, where there is sadness let me bring joy where there is pain let me bring comfort and where there is despair let me bring hope.

Charlene Nosella, RN, ICU, Met Campus
Being a nurse means patients in your care must be able to trust you. It means treating your patients with respect, kindness, and compassion while demonstrating your knowledge, skill, and passion.

Misty Nichol, Health Records Transcriptionist, Medical Transcription, MET Campus

Nursing is my profession. It means taking care of people who are not able to take care of themselves due to illness. It is giving them the tools to make them feel better again. It is also helping them function to their optimal level.

I am in the nursing profession. I am proud of what I do. I am present when they are in pain and I try to make them more comfortable.

For me, nursing is a vocation. It is a special job for a special group of people. It takes patience, commitment and a lot of love."

Norma Nambayan, RN, Mental Health, Ouellette Campus 
Nursing means to assist a person, and to be entrusted during the most vulnerable time in ones life! I take great honour in being able to provide comfort and assuring that each of my patients will receive my best. Nursing to me is a nonjudgmental career that allows me to extend, teach and offer help in the saddest or happiest times in ones life. I take pride in the care that I give as I approach each of my patients with the thought that this is someone's Mom, Dad, Sister or Brother and I will treat them as my family too!
Nursing to me is another way to pay it forward in this world!

Misty Paquette, RPN, Medicine, Met Campus
Since childhood, my mom has been sick. I was with her through it all; whether it was due to her congenital disorder, comorbidities, and/or the common cold. My mom practiced nursing for nearly 10 years, before she had to go on permanent disability. She would always come home with stories from her shift and work experiences. I would help care for her with the knowledge she bestowed upon me from a young age.

WHAT DOES NURSING MEAN TO ME? To me, nursing is my MOM. Nursing is caring for other's like my mom who need help to overcome health challenges. I treat each patient as if they were a family member.

Nursing is also my PASSION. I was taught the morals and values to look out for others and try my best to make other people's lives better. I am able to practice these everyday with patients. Even a small thing I can do to improve someone's health or quality of life brings me joy. I was born to help others."

Megz Johnson, RN, Emergency, MET Campus
Nursing to me is not a job but a privilege. It's a privilege knowing I have put a smile on a patients face who feels alone and scared. It's a privilege being their voice when they aren't able to talk. It's a privilege knowing that everyday I have made a difference in someone's life. It's a privilege knowing I have giving the best care and the utmost compassion... with NO EXCEPTIONS..

Dawn Susman, RPN, 6 East, Ouellette Campus 
Eyes see anguish, cameras only
Hearts allay suffering, newspapers powerless to ease.
Backs have borne cuts, powers-that-be do not endure.
Minds hold all memory, gigabytes cannot store.

Feet cover a thousand miles to get to you.
Lungs inhale your first and last breath.
Hands carry you tethered as an invisible grace.

Ears hear your cries as no politician ever would.


Colleen Adams, RN, Neurology, Ouellette Campus

Past submissions from Staff:

“I have witnessed and worked with a large population of nurses in different specialty areas. I admire their dedication, intenseness, passion and humour. I hope I have left some part my nursing legacy behind through my teaching actions. I am proud to be called an RN.”

Lainey Chauvin, RN, Cancer Program
“Nursing is understanding, support, compassion, respect, presence … an endless list. But mainly a good listener to the client and her/his family. Someone who is always ready and committed to take action to promote health mentally, physically and emotionally. In my opinion, best profession ever.”

Rouea Wahab, RN, Family Birthing Centre, Met campus
“Being a nurse doesn’t seem to have the same meaning anymore. When people think of “nurse”, they think of the bedside nurse, who provides hands on care in hospital. Nursing today means so much more because patients are impacted in so many ways There is no other profession where you can work in so many different patient care settings, from hospitals, outpatient centers, long term care facilities and home health organizations to name a few. The profession involves a vast amount of numerous skills and scopes of practices. Nursing is a great career and such a privilege to work with people from all around the world wither they are your co-worker or your patient. When people enter into the healthcare area for care, they have certain expectations. We have to understand that nurses see patients at their very worst, yet we do things for them that have such an impact, they will remember for a lifetime. Nursing means so much more than handing out medication, it says something about who you are as a person. Everyone is different, but nurses mainly share the same qualities. We are compassionate, hard working, ethical, trustworthy, caring, critical thinkers, etc. Only you can decide the qualities you wish to portray and the kind of nurse you want to be. There is no price tag that can be placed on making a difference in someone else’s life.”

Kelly Roth, RPN, Renal Dialysis, Ouellette campus.
 “It is when the patient smiles at you and takes your hand and says thank-you for making me feel better or making my pain go away. Then you realize that all the things you do in nursing is worth it for that moment in time.”

Gabriele Klepacki, RN, Critical Care, Met campus.
“Nursing means I get to help moms feed their babies. No matter which way they choose whether it be exclusively breastfeeding, pumping and feeding or bottle feeding formula they leave my office with the knowledge on how to do it correctly. The greatest pleasure though is when a mom is so sore from breastfeeding and does not think she can handle the pain any more. When I’m able to show her how to latch their baby pain free — she is so happy and so thankful for the time we spent together. I think I have the best job.”

Esther Bradt, RN, Maternal Newborn Clinic, Met campus.

“When you are at your most vulnerable point in your life and you have to surrender your health to another person. This can be so terribly scary. Nurses are there to reassure you that everything is going to be alright. You may have a disease they do not know where it come from or how to treat it – with lots of testing and you have to wait for answers - they keep you updated and reassured that there are professionals working toward your well being. You might have collapsing veins that roll in and out of sight and those special nurses with those special skills can find those rolling veins. They will show up at your bed side and you are so thankful because those last few needles were not nice. Nurses are special people that have special gifts to heal given to them by the Creator. Nurses calmly explain a procedure to you, so you can find the courage to go through with it. Nurses provide comfort to the many family members who come in many shapes, sizes, cultures and attitudes and make it look easy to treat everyone with respect. Nurses make the special trip for you to bring you extra ice water in the afternoon when they also have 7 other patients to look after. Nurses poke their head in your door at 2:00 am to make sure you are still doing fine and you are so thankful because your troubled spirit will not let you sleep. You now have someone to talk to. But most of all, nurses can look you in eyes in the worst possible time of your life and somehow make you feel comforted just like your mom used to. They gently tell you that in time, it will be alright, you’ll see and until that time comes, I will be here to help you! Nurses are angels given to us by the Creator to do his work here on earth!”

Audrey Logan, Indigenous Patient Navigator, Cancer Program, Met campus.
“To me, nursing gives me the honour of taking care of people from all walks of life. It means being there for people when they are at their lowest. It means treating each person with respect and dignity. Nursing allows me to demonstrate my passion for caring for others.”

Ashley Knight, RN, Medicine, Met campus.  
“What does Nursing mean it me? Well, I was blessed to be accepted into a profession that allowed me to become and to continue to become a Nurse who cares for the patient who cries out in the night for pain or just a hand to hold. To be a nurse that can sit and hold a dying person’s hand to ease their pain and fear of dying, to cuddle the crying baby, or wipe the tears of a child or adult. To learn, to teach, to listen, to acknowledge, to calm, to reassure, and at the end of the day walk proudly because I am a Nurse and I cared.”

Laurie Beneteau, RN, ED, Met campus.
“Nursing is an honorable and knowledgeable profession that is caring and trustworthy. I enjoy making a difference in people's lives through hard work, compassion, prevention and supportive care. I find it a privilege to provide excellent, supportive, and at times life saving or end of life care to people. It is definitely a rewarding career with lots of happy times as well as sad times.”

Miraz Hanna, RN, ICU, Ouellette campus.
“I became a nurse because my grandfather had cancer when I was a child and I remember thinking “why cant I do anything to help him? I remember feeling helpless when I was around and he was sick. So to me nursing is having the ability to help people in need weather it be a confused elderly patient on the Neuro floor at Ouellette campus or delivering a baby at Met campus. I have personally worked both areas and I think that it is amazing to see peoples appreciation for what we do as nurses from the birth to the passing stages of life. I don’t think people know the true meaning of appreciation until you do some form of help for a person at your job and just the appreciation on peoples faces sais enough for me. Nursing in the end I believe is helping out others and at the end of the day knowing I made a difference in someone’s life!”

Kimberly Neilipovitz, RN, Neurology, Ouellette campus.
“Nursing to me means taking care to invest your time into the caring of those more vulnerable. I feel blessed when a patient or their family entrusts me to their care and it humbles me. I feel that being a nurse has been rewarding from both a personal and professional angle. It carries through in all areas of my life.”

Helena Weglowski, RN, 3-South Psychiatry, Ouellette campus.