Red River College Nursing student Amber Menzies graduated in 2011. She has since gone on to an exciting and meaningful career as a registered nurse (RN).
I began my nursing journey at St. Boniface Hospital where I had completed my senior practicum, cardiac sciences. I enjoyed my time there as I had fantastic educators and a great group of co-workers that were always there if you needed an extra hand. After having my first child, my husband and I decided we wanted to move closer to his family. We moved 4 hours away from Winnipeg. What I missed most? Restaurants and convenience of shopping any time I wanted!
I began working in the Shoal Lake ER as an RN. My first day I naively asked “what time does the unit clerk start?”, the answer was “you’re it”. I soon learned I would be the only RN each shift along with an LPN. It was very difficult at times as more hands make for lighter work as they say, but it was quite rewarding at times. While I was on maternity leave, the hospital ER closed and I had the opportunity to take a position as a Client Care Coordinator at another rural facility. I worked there for a year, but quickly learned that the position was not what I was looking for.
Last year I decided to take a position in Brandon Hospital on Single Room Maternity Care (SRMC). It is an hour commute, but I absolutely love it there. I continuously feel I am learning something new and love going in to work.
Amber also shares some advice for current and future students:
Life Balance: When I started working as a nurse, I was a newlywed ready to take on anything. I loved the quick pace of cardiac care. When I had my daughter and moved 4 hours out of the city, and was working full time, I felt I did not have a great life balance. I worked all week and rarely saw my 1 year old and 3 year old. I learned quickly that I was not happy with my “life balance” and sought out a way to improve it. I currently work a .5 EFT and get to see my girls grow up. It may change as they grow older, but was glad I found my balance.
Working Rural: I wish I had paid closer attention to what opportunity lies in working rural, as well as possibly drawbacks. In nursing school I figured I was a lifer in Winnipeg…then life happened! Working rural you can also seek out the rural municipality or town as they may help with those student loans.
—Amber Menzies, RN
Thank you Amber for sharing your story with us!
(posted by Meagen Chorney, BA MA, Nursing Instructor)