Monday, May 27, 2024

Alumni Spotlight with Sharon Bouffard

1.            Where and when were you born?

 I was born in Sarnia, Ontario in 1988.

2.            What is your current job and list some things you like about it?

I am currently working as a registered nurse (RN) in the emergency department. I enjoy this for several reasons:

  • people come into the emergency department in their greatest time of need; I like being able to help and support them during this time;
  • the environment is constantly changing and I am able to learn and experience new things every day; and,
  • for most people, the emergency department is the first moment of contact into the healthcare system, and I like that I am able to try and help to make their experience positive.

3.            How does it relate to your diploma or certificate?

The Practical Nursing diploma I received through College of the North Atlantic was the start of my nursing career. With this, I was able to recognize my love for nursing and I have been continuing on this path ever since.

4.            What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done in your lifetime?

Making the decision to change careers and go into nursing was a very difficult decision. I loved being a paramedic and was very confident in my skills. I always felt like there was more I could do though, so I decided to go into nursing. I was never sure if I made the right decision and throughout the nursing program, I questioned this decision every single day. Although it was a difficult decision, the things I have done in my nursing career so far and the positive changes I have made, make me realize that I made the right decision.

5.            What’s your favourite place in the world?

Newfoundland and Labrador – it is where I was able to discover myself and who I am as a person. It was the first place that I felt comfortable coming out as queer. The province is so beautiful and the experiences I had while I lived there have helped shape me into the person I am today.

6.            Can you describe an experience that changed your life?

While I was completing the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, my sister passed away suddenly. It was the greatest loss I had ever experienced and it made everything else in my life not feel important. I had to manage my grief while continuing on with school. I feel like this difficult time has helped me to connect with patients on a deeper level and to have more empathy when providing care.

7.            What’s your favourite movie or book?

My favourite movie is across the universe and my favourite book is The Love of Summer by Sarah Thompson (a local Corner Brook author)

8.            Is your current career path as you originally intended?

Originally, my career started as a paramedic. I thought that this is what I would do for the rest of my life, but after seven years of doing that, I found myself wanting to do more. I had the opportunity to get into nursing and have loved it ever since. I have been able to work as a community nurse, treating patients in their homes, a mental health nurse, and now as a nurse in the emergency department.

9.            What challenges did you face in launching your career?

When I started my nursing career, I was very eager and wanted to feel like I was making a difference right away. Unfortunately, change doesn’t happen quickly and it took a while to figure out where I fit in and where I wanted my career to go. I also feel like it took a while to gain confidence in my knowledge and skills, and I am still working on that everyday.

10.          What advice would you give to your CNA first-year self?

I would say have confidence in yourself. Take advantage of all opportunities that you get in school and turn them into positive experiences. Some things may feel impossible, but if you continue to work hard and believe in what you are doing, you can achieve anything.

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Ryanne McIsaac
Ryanne McIsaac
Ryanne is Editor of CNA Currents. Born and raised in Stephenville, NL, Ryanne moved back to Newfoundland after spending 16 years in Calgary, Alberta. Ryanne has a Journalism Diploma from College of the North Atlantic and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Cape Breton University. She worked for many years as a reporter and freelance writer. She is happy to be back in her hometown and working for CNA.


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