Following in her mother’s footsteps: a student’s journey to a career in nursing

Eti's in scrubs, smiling and standing in front of a hospital bedAfter years of studying sciences and being exposed first-hand to her mother, an incredible role model, and long-time employee at Mackenzie Health, Eti knew her calling was health care.

Eti first joined Mackenzie Health in 2018 as a volunteer in the Urgent Care Clinic. At the time, she was completing her first bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and Psychology, very unsure about whether to pursue a nursing or medicine degree. Eti spent endless hours listening to her mother’s stories about how rewarding it was to make a difference in peoples’ lives and while it was challenging work, her mother loved her career. So, when it came time for Eti to decide on her future educational journey, she first decided that volunteering at the hospital her mother worked at would help her decide.

Eti spent a year volunteering at Mackenzie Health, learning about the different services offered, gaining an understanding and appreciation of what a career in health care would be like, and interacting with patients, staff and physicians. So, when a new opportunity presented itself, Eti jumped at the chance and joined the Mackenzie Health team as a Patient Access Representative (PAR). Ultimately, her decision to join Patient Access helped her decide nursing would be the path she would pursue.

“Being at Mackenzie Health helped open the door to numerous learning opportunities, endless connections and the incredible chance to work alongside exceptional people, who have been instrumental in my journey towards becoming a nurse,” says Eti. “I’m so lucky to have incredible role models who have helped guide me along this journey, and I’m proud to share that as of September 2021, I applied and was hired as a Registered Nurse working in the Nick and Roseanne Cortellucci Emergency Department at Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital.”

Eti also took full advantage of the new and ever-growing Clinical Nursing Extern program offered at Mackenzie Health after completing her nursing school consolidation in the summer of 2021.

The Clinical Nursing Extern program is a unique experience designed to support students in developing and enhancing their nursing and learning skills and supports clinical staff with patient care. Clinical Externs practice in a manner consistent with the professional standards of the College of Nurses of Ontario, nursing best practices and the standards set by Mackenzie Health.

They are an asset to the health care team, bringing additional support to both patients and staff and exposing soon to be nurses to different medical devices, resources and the overall environment they will be working in.

“I was eager and driven to use this opportunity to learn new skills, gain the confidence needed to work in health care and as a Clinical Extern, I was able to work some of my shifts in the Fracture and Plastics Clinic where I participated in wound care and cast placements and changes.” says Eti.” To this day, I could not imagine doing anything else. I am forever grateful for the opportunities and roles Mackenzie Health has given me and while my path to becoming a RN was not easy, it was well worth it.”