The COVID-19 pandemic brought to light the courage and commitment that nurses work under every day and showed the important role that nurses play in the community. The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) has themed National Nursing Week 2021 #WeAnswerTheCall to showcase the many roles nurses play in a patient’s health-care journey. In recognition of National Nursing Week, the University of Lethbridge is honoured to share a sampling of stories from our nursing students, alumni and faculty to showcase how they, and nurses everywhere, answer the call.

To all nurses, we say thank you.

“Nurses are a voice and advocate for patients and their families. Regardless of the area they work in, nurses all have one important goal ─ to make their patients feel valued and heard.”

Tiffany Trinh (BN ’18)
uLethbridge Master of Nursing student

Why did you choose nursing?

I chose to become a nurse because I like caring for others. I have a growing desire to positively impact people’s lives and develop meaningful connections. At 12 years old, I began volunteering at a variety of organizations throughout my community. This caused me to realize that helping others is what I am passionate about. Volunteering at the Boys and Girls club showed me the joys of working with children, and volunteering at the Good Samaritan Society allowed me to build therapeutic relationships with those in need. I have met many residents and staff members who have, in my opinion, helped me as much as I have helped them.

Who has inspired on your journey. Why and how?

I’ve met a lot of amazing instructors throughout my nursing education. I’ve learned something different from each of them as they all have different experiences and stories. They have all inspired me to work hard and that the possibilities in nursing are endless.

The theme for this year’s National Nursing Week is, #WeAnswerTheCall. What does that phrase mean to you?

I think this phrase means that nurses are a voice and advocate for patients and their families. Nurses provide direct care, so they constantly see and hear the challenges their patients face. Nursing is a unique profession because of the diverse career opportunities, roles, and responsibilities. Regardless of the area they work in, nurses all have one important goal ─ to make their patients feel valued and heard.

Why did you decide to pursue your Master of Nursing?

I received a letter about the program and talked to my parents, who are my biggest cheerleaders. They encouraged me to continue my education because there are so many different and unique opportunities in nursing. They motivated me to challenge myself and wanted me to take on all the opportunities they were never able to have. I really want to make them proud. I also talked to many nursing instructors that I look up to. With support and encouragement, they informed me about all the careers that would become available if I chose to pursue my Masters. I would love to teach one day, and I think furthering my studies will be beneficial in helping me become a better nurse.

What does your research focus on? What do you hope your research will accomplish?

My research is focused on immigrants’ experiences with diabetes education. Immigrants face many barriers and challenges. When their health is compromised it makes it harder for them to adapt and manage these barriers. Diabetes is a complex disease that may be difficult for fluent English speakers to understand, so this difficulty is likely amplified for those who do not speak English or speak English as a second language. My goal is to make diabetes education for this vulnerable population more culturally safe and to contribute to better diabetes management and outcomes.

What has your education experience been like at uLethbridge?

It has been very positive. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to attend an excellent school like the University of Lethbridge and to have a supportive faculty to help me accomplish my goals.

What advice would you share with anyone wanting to pursue a career in nursing?

Nursing is a great career to pursue! It can be challenging, but it is also rewarding. There are many different areas you can work in and you never have to limit yourself to just one job. Also, never beat yourself up if you don’t know “everything.” You aren’t going to know everything, and that is okay. You will learn as you go, and you will always have a team to support you. Enjoy the nursing school experience and take every opportunity you can get. Remember the reasons you wanted to pursue a career in nursing and to have empathy for those around you. It’s easy to get caught up in tasks on busy or stressful days, but at the end of the day it’s being there for your patients and their families. A quote that I’ve learned that will always stick with me is, “They may not remember your name, but they will always remember how you made them feel.”