I'm Colleen

Nursing

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What brought you to Fanshawe?

Attending Fanshawe College was a natural choice for me due to the excellence of the nursing program . However, when I attended Fanshawe College, the nursing program was located at the School of Nursing on Hill Street, far from the main campus. Although the building was recently torn down, many amazing memories continue from my inspiring and life-changing years attending Fanshawe College.

Tell us about your favourite Fanshawe experience.

My most meaningful Fanshawe moments involved patients in my care and the teachers who inspired me. Early in my education, I cared for an elderly woman during her final moments of life. My teacher helped me to focus on being present for her and keeping her comfortable; moments that inspired a life-long passion for palliative care and creating end-of-life memories. Later, I cared for children living with life-threatening and life-limiting illnesses and I witnessed their innocent wisdom and their incredible strength. They led me to a career in pediatric critical care where I am inspired and humbled every day.

What impact has Fanshawe had on your life?

Fanshawe gave me wings to soar, allowing me to experience opportunities I never imagined. Along with caring for children and families who have changed my life, I have provided education sessions in Canada and U.S. about palliative care, creating memories at end-of-life, and critical incident stress management; topics that having profound meaning for me. I have had the opportunity to teach at Fanshawe College, working with some of the teachers who inspired me to dream big. In 2007, I received the Distinguished Alumni Award for Health Sciences and provided a convocation speech the following year; moments I will always treasure.

What are you up to now?

I work in Pediatric Critical Care, where I started over 40 years ago; a truly magical and meaningful place. I continue to teach in nursing part-time; currently at Conestoga College. I completed my Master of Science in Nursing in 2019 and my End of Life Doula education last year; truly a life-long learner! Volunteering in the hospital and the community continue to be a meaningful part of my life. And I love spending time with family, especially my three beautiful grand-daughters, the eldest who just started nursing school! So much gratitude and moments that I will “Fanshawe Forever” treasure.

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