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Celebrating National Nursing Week 2024: Supporting people on their health care journey


Woman in wide brimmed hat with lilypads and a pond in the background
Natasha Campbell traveling in the Peruvian Amazon – Loreto Region, Peru.

May 6-12 was National Nursing Week, and 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.”

Today, we’re highlighting Natasha Campbell, a Registered Nurse and Opioid Agonist Treatment (OAT) nurse prescriber living in Quesnel.

What do you love about nursing?

I love that there are many specialties and options for work when it comes to nursing. If you find your passion early on – great! If not, you can try different areas until you find the right one.

I love working in mental health and substance use as a frontline nurse. It allows me to meet clients where they are and provide education so they may make informed decisions regarding their health, while collaborating with them to meet their self-identified goals.

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

Nursing has provided me with a life that I feel grateful and privileged to live. For example, nursing has allowed me to travel, which has helped expand my worldview, while enhancing my compassion and empathy. It has broadened my perspective through new experiences and observation of other cultures.

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

The best thing about where I live is the opportunity to explore nature and the outdoors. When you live in a rural community there is always another area to go explore, and living in this area of BC, there are beautiful yet vastly different areas, including many lakes and rivers, as well as dense forests, rocky terrain, and grasslands.

I work in overdose prevention and nurse-prescribe for opioid use disorder (OUD). The best thing about working in the place I do is that I have great colleagues and clients. The clients I work with are actively engaged in their health care and want to make changes based on their own self-identified goals; I just get to be there to support them in their journey along the way.

Additionally, I provide nursing services to populations of people that might not access health care otherwise. This not only supports the mental health and substance use needs of clients, but is also an open door for screening and connection to primary care providers for potential health conditions that may need extra support.

How long have you been with Northern Health? If you didn’t start nursing here, where did you originally start your nursing journey?

I graduated with my nursing degree in 2022, and I started working in mental health and substance use for Northern Health as soon as I graduated. I still remember listening to the news on my way to school, hearing them talk about the Ministry of Health and their plans to begin nurse prescribing for OUD. Fortunately, due to the educators and leadership I work with, I’ve been able to find work I am passionate about, get the education I need to better support clients, and attain my career goals early on.

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

Nursing is diverse and there are many career options available, which gives nurses the unique ability to identify skills in areas they are interested in. Nursing is also a career where knowledge to support best practice is always evolving, requiring a long-term desire and commitment to learning. So, if you’re interested in a challenging but rewarding career, with many career pathways and opportunities for learning, nursing is a great choice!