Where we are

UBC Nursing Alumni are change makers in healthcare practice, education, and research. Here are some of the members of the community of UBC Nursing alumni and where they are making a difference. 

Stephanie Wong, BSN '15

What has made your time at UBC the most memorable?

I have learnt and grown with a supportive cohort of students with vastly diverse backgrounds and talents, all working towards a common goal. I have also been fortunate to work with key faculty, and leaders in the nursing profession that have inspired and mentored me; through them I have found my areas of clinical and research interests. It is these people that I have met, and the insights I have gained through their work and experiences that made my time at UBC most memorable.

Why did you choose Nursing?

For me, there was an immense draw to the nursing profession; you have the ability to profoundly impact the lives of the people and families as they transition through health and illness. The reason why I initially chose nursing is the same reason why I continue to be passionate about nursing. I chose this profession based off of one of its fundamental core values: the patients.

Tell me about your experience in Nursing. What have you learned that is most valuable?

Nursing is dynamic and constantly changing. I have experienced and observed people at critical points in their life from the birth of a first child, to holding the hands of a patient near death. I have delved into the world of mental health and have come to understand the importance of investing in the social determinants of health. All these experiences from the program have been instrumental in shaping me as a person and as a health care professional. My perspective of health, life, death and dying has been forever changed, as my understanding of complex, ethical, political and social problems has been expanded.

One of the most valuable lessons that I have learned is the complexity and interplay of people and their environments. Problems and solutions are multifactorial in manner and require us to view them as such. This is the same for people and the patients I encounter. Being conscious of this complexity of has changed the way I approach situations in order to address them holistically.   

How are you applying the skills you learned through your studies at UBC? How do you feel a degree in Nursing has benefited you compared to a different field of study?

The beauty of the nursing program is the direct translation of the skills learned in lecture, lab and clinical into the workplace. The program has set the foundation for my learning in order to continue growing as a health care professional.

What I did not realize before entering this program is how the nursing profession has the ability to allow oneself to rediscover their passions with a myriad of direction and choice. I feel that this is what makes nursing so unique.

Kimberly Singian, MSN '15 

What has made your time at UBC the most memorable? 

The people, especially my fellow nurses, have made my entire UBC experience unforgettable. Learning in an environment with individuals that come from varying degrees, background, and health interests was exciting and motivated me to persevere in my graduate degree in nursing. 

Why did you choose Nursing? 

I chose nursing because I wanted a career that involved helping people. It sounds cliché, but I wanted to do something meaningful in my chosen career. I believe helping and empowering others to improve their health require a caring mindset that makes life fulfilling. With hard work, commitment and willingness to learn, I was proud to obtain my bachelor degree in nursing five years ago and ever since, I have been working in Acute Stroke Cohort and Medical Units at Royal Columbian Hospital and Burnaby Hospital. With my graduate degree in nursing, I am eager to utilize the advanced knowledge and skills I learned to improve my nursing practice. 

Tell me about your experience in Nursing. What have you learned that is most valuable? 

My experience in nursing has taught me to have more patience, empathy, and a positive attitude. I also learned the value of teamwork, time management, and work-school-life balance. Working in acute hospital settings consistently reminds me that I encounter people at vulnerable moments in their lives. It is important to be present with them in their struggles and advocate for them to competently meet their needs toward better health. Specifically, the graduate courses pushed me to critically think in an even broader level and two of my favorite courses were health promotion in nursing and to my surprise, my elective on analytic methods in epidemiological research.

How are you applying the skills you learned through your studies at UBC?

I acquired a tremendous amount of advanced knowledge and skills focused on nursing research and education. The nursing courses, chosen electives, and my supervisor prepared me to carry out a research study that looks into the primary care service delivery of men and women diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and comorbid depression using the Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network. It is important to understand the complexity of Parkinson’s disease and recognize it is not just a motor disease but also accompanied by non-motor features that can negatively affect quality of life. I believe my research has the potential to contribute valuable knowledge and assist health care providers to care for patients with Parkinson’s disease.

How do you feel a degree in Nursing has benefited you compared to a different field of study?

A graduate degree in nursing can provide the opportunity to integrate my advanced knowledge and skills in the areas of clinical practice, education, research, and administration, whether here in Canada and/or internationally. I believe there is truly an art and science in nursing. The work that nurses do is more complex than what the general public might think. Nursing has a rich history and though it still faces a wide range of challenges, it has come a long way to becoming a respected profession with a distinct body of knowledge that can be applied across lifespan. 

How will you go on to make a difference in our world? 

I will have to take this endeavor one day at a time. I want to provide my patients a voice that is often missing within the healthcare system. Also, I wish to be part of educating nursing students.  It is difficult to tackle broader and complex issues on my own but it is important to utilize what I learned from my years of nursing school and hospital experience. I believe my research study on Parkinson’s disease and depression within primary care will prompt future studies and hopefully reach a change in a population level. With my commitment to the profession and believing that I can make a difference in a small yet meaningful way makes being a nurse truly worthwhile!

Shelby Barr, BSN '15

What has made your time at UBC the most memorable?

Being in such an intense, fast-paced program as UBC Nursing, I think the most memorable part has been the experiences and memories shared with my classmates. We spent a lot of time together, in lectures, at clinical, and studying – you really get to know one another. We’ve shared some unique experiences, good and bad, and it’s fun and therapeutic to laugh at your mistakes and share your highs and lows of nursing school together! I’ve made great friends through the program, and years from now I know I’ll still enjoy reminiscing together about nursing school memories.

Why did you choose Nursing?

I chose nursing because I feel that it is a great combination of science, critical thinking and technical skills as well as compassion, advocacy and caring for others. I studied biology in my previous undergraduate degree at UBC, and while I enjoyed it, I wanted to be able to apply this knowledge and use it in the context of promoting the well-being of others.

I realized that Nursing was the right career for me after personally witnessing the care that nurses provide, and after spending time volunteering. I loved how nurses spend a significant amount of time with the patients and families, and develop such a close rapport. I also chose Nursing because you can work anywhere in the world, and in so many different environments. It’s one of the few careers where there are so many options and types of jobs available, and I love that flexibility.

Tell me about your experience in Nursing. What have you learned that is most valuable?

My experience in Nursing has been exciting, challenging, and in general, an adventure. We started our clinical rotations just three weeks after beginning the program so I really was learning as I went. It was quite a steep learning curve to immediately be submersed into an acute care environment but you just keep going and soak in all the learning opportunities that come your way. I feel fortunate to have had such a variety of experiences, from scrubbing in to operations, watching live births, and just being present with families in a very vulnerable time of their lives.

In addition, after witnessing patients and families experience immense suffering, I feel that I’ve gained a new perspective. I am continually amazed at the strength and resilience that people display in these situations. It has taught me to never underestimate others, and to always be caring and compassionate towards anyone you encounter, as you never know what people are going through. Personally, nursing has taught me to really value and not take for granted the health and well-being of myself and loved ones.  

How are you applying the skills you learned through your studies at UBC?

Given our immediate entry into the clinical environment, I had the opportunity to apply the skills I learned during my studies almost immediately. Nursing is a continual learning process, and I am excited to begin working as a Registered Nurse (RN) and continue to build upon my skills.

What are your plans for the future--immediate? Long-term?

In the immediate future I plan to be working as a pediatric nurse. I would like to return to school for my master’s in nursing as a Nurse Practitioner within the next five years or so. In the long-term I can also see myself going into nursing education. I love that there are so many options and career pathways in Nursing!

How will you go on to make a difference in our world?

I think we all have the capacity to make a difference in the world, just by our everyday interactions with one another. I will strive to make a positive impact on the lives of every patient that I encounter, and be a source of compassion and comfort. People place a great deal of trust in nurses, and with that I will do my best to advocate for and empower people to achieve the best possible health outcomes.