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Celebrating National Nursing Week 2024 – Empathy and responsibility


Woman in scrubs stands with one hand on hip
Veronica Largo is an internationally educated nurse, in the process of getting her license to practice in BC.

International Nurses Day takes place on May 12 as part of National Nursing Week. In recognition of the tremendous impact nurses have on individuals, communities, and the future of health care, this year’s theme is “Changing lives. Shaping tomorrow.”

Veronica Largo is an internationally educated nurse working in Dawson Creek. She’s in the process of getting her license to practice as a Registered Nurse in BC.

What do you love about nursing?

I love nursing because it’s a profession of diligence and the epitome of compassion. It’s rewarding to be able to help others at their weakest, help them regain their wellness, and develop their ability to take control of their health.

This year’s theme is “Changing lives. Shaping tomorrow.” How has nursing impacted your life?

Nursing has transformed me into a more accountable person. Dealing with people’s lives is both an honour and a challenge. Thus, nurses need to have a skill of empathy with responsibility. The caring trait goes beyond hospital premises; it becomes a part of your personality and automatically emerges whenever the situation demands it.

What’s the best thing about where you live and work?

My role as a nursing clinical instructor in the Philippines has provided me with a wealth of unique experiences. From leading lecture discussions in the classroom to overseeing our students' hospital exposure, I've had the privilege of immersing myself in various hospital settings. This diversity is exemplified by my experiences, ranging from conducting health teaching in a bustling obstetrics ward with a patient census of 150, to performing wound care in a medical-surgical ward, and even administering CPR in the emergency room. The last two years have been particularly focused on supervising students in the operating room, a role that has even required me to co-scrub with students during brain surgeries.

What sets being a nursing clinical instructor apart is the profound impact it allows me to have on both patient care and nursing education. I can directly contribute to patient well-being while shaping the future of nursing by teaching and mentoring aspiring nurses.

What’s one thing that you wish everyone knew about the job nurses do?

As a medical-surgical nurse, I wish everyone knew that we cannot eat, sit, or go to the washroom during an ongoing surgery. However, no matter how exhausting our day has been, a simple “thank you” from the patient or significant others is stress-relieving.

How long have you been living in Northern BC? Can you tell us about your journey to become a licensed nurse in BC?

I earned my Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2007 and my Master’s in Medical-Surgical Nursing in 2011. I was formerly a Surgical Oncologist Nurse and eventually became a Nursing Clinical Instructor for four years in my home country, Philippines. 

I arrived in Dawson Creek in September 2022 as a student at Northern Lights College (NLC), where I’m taking a Business Management Post-Degree Diploma – Health Administration Specialization. At a symposium in collaboration with Dawson Creek's local government, Northern Health, and NLC, I learned about the opportunity for internationally educated nurses to pursue nursing careers through the British Columbia College of Nurses and Midwives (BCCNM).

I created a profile in Nursing Community Assessment Service (NCAS), now known as Inspire Global Assessment, and a BCCNM account. I secured the requirements for registration and was eventually scheduled for a skills assessment in December 2023. It is encouraged to take the knowledge assessment before the skills assessment, so I took the knowledge assessment the day prior, both in Vancouver. It is not a pass-or-fail assessment. It is only intended to determine eligibility or readiness to practice. I received my triple track assessment result (Registered Nurse, Licensed Practical Nurse and Health Care Aid) in February 2024.

My BCCNM RN pathway evaluation was accepted in February 2024, and they required me to finish transitional education before granting me a provisional registration. I must finish four courses; I am currently enrolled in two online courses.

I received my Health Care Assistant (HCA) evaluation result in March 2024, which indicated that I only have to finish one remedial course before becoming a registered HCA. No further examination is required, so I decided to enroll in the required course, which will start at the end of April 2024. It’s a one-month course which will help me secure a job while completing my RN requirements. I also received my LPN result in March 2024, and decided not to pursue this pathway.

With each passing day, I am one step closer to my dream of becoming a Registered Nurse in BC. This journey has been a testament to my dedication and perseverance, inspiring me to keep pushing forward.