Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Meet Our Faculty

TRU Williams Lake is home to nine nursing faculty dedicated to helping students achieve their goals of achieving a career in nursing and Health Care.

Amelia Chauvette

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Q: Tell us about your experience as a nurse.

I started my career working as an IV nurse at a hospital at Jewish General Hospital in Montreal. I then worked as a NICU nurse and then went to England to work as a medical nurse. I cam to Cariboo Memorial Hospital to work on the medical sergical unit. In 2001, I started working in nurse education.

Q: What made you want to become a nurse?

I have always been curious and fascinated about how the body works. I love being around people and getting to know their history. I also wanted the opportunity to travel and to have flexibility in my work.

Q: How long have you been a nursing instructor?

15 years

Q: How long have you been part of the nursing faulty at TRU?

15 years

Q: What is your favourite part of being a nurse and a teacher?

Being with the students.

Q: What would you say to anyone who was thinking of becoming a nurse?

It's great and rewarding work.

Q: What is the most important thing you have learned during your time as a nurse?

It's important to look at the whole person. Everyone has a different story.

Lisa Dyck

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Q: Tell us about your experience as a nurse.

My past experiences as a nurse include working on Medical Surgical Units, Obstetrical  Units and as a Community Health Nurse with a First Nations Community.

Q: What made you want to become a nurse?

My Aunt was/is a nurse which peaked my initial interest but to be honest it came down to the desire to be in a profession that was team focused and one that would provide a wide variety of career options. Nursing fit that, and one of the things I am most passionate about is being able to advocate for people who may not be able to advocate for themselves at that moment in their life.  To care and to serve.

Q: How long have you been a nursing instructor?

9 months

Q: How long have you been part of the nursing faulty at TRU?

9 months

Q: What is your favourite part of being a nurse and a teacher?

I love being able to work with our future nurses; to instill in them a sense of passion for nursing and the desire to be the advocate for their patients and clients. To see the excitement and passion of the students as they care for their first patient, to be there when the family members thank them for taking such good care of their loved one. To see the students overcome fears and challenges not only as a nurse but as an individual.

Q: What would you say to anyone who was thinking of becoming a nurse?

 DO IT!  :-)

Q: What is the most important thing you have learned during your time as a nurse?

To see the person, not just the patient.

Amber Engel-Hanford, RN BScN

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Q: Tell us about your experience as a nurse.

 I have had varied experiences as a nurse. They have been from the beginning of life to end of life. I have been so blessed to have shared experiences with patients/clients in my career as they have allowed me into their lives for however short of a time. I have worked in Post Partum, NICU, Emergency, Psychiatry, Sub-Acute, Rural Nursing, Long Term Care, Home Care and now Sessional Faculty in the School of Nursing at TRU at the Clearwater Campus.

Q: What made you want to become a nurse?

I have always loved caring for people, even as a child and volunteered in hospital as a Candy Striper as a teen. I had a beloved mother-in-law who was a nurse who told me that I would be a great nurse. My initial entry into nursing was because I wanted to become a midwife.  

Q: How long have you been a nursing instructor?

I have been an instructor since March of this year.  

Q: How long have you been part of the nursing faulty at TRU?

I have been a part since March 2016.

Q: What is your favourite part of being a nurse and a teacher?

I love sharing nursing knowledge with students and feel it is ‘giving back’ for the wonderful education I was provided. I see it as an honor to pass on knowledge to future nurses. I hope to impart the importance of touching peoples’ lives and making their experience with you as positive and assistive as possible. It still needs to be about caring!

Q: What would you say to anyone who was thinking of becoming a nurse?

Nursing is a great career choice with many options and areas within which you can find your place. It is a vast and prestigious profession!

Q: What is the most important thing you have learned during your time as a nurse?

I have learned that meeting people where they are at is very important. Human connection is so powerful, especially during times of stress and uncertainty.

Erin Smith-Friesen

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Q: Tell us about your experience as a nurse.

I graduated with a BScN from UCC Nursing in 1998. After a short period of time in Med/Surg nursing, I discovered my passion for outpost and community health nursing in rural and remote First Nations communities. During this time, I also became involved in senior management of health service delivery in First Nations communities and continued in this role, including some clinical work, until 2013 when I decided to spend some time at home with my three young sons. In 2009, I graduated with a Master of Nursing (Family Nurse Practitioner) from the University of Victoria.

Q: What made you want to become a nurse?

To be quite honest, in the early 1990’s it was the only degree program of interest to me that was offered out of Williams Lake!  Things always unfold exactly as they should.

Q: How long have you been a nursing instructor?

I have taught for two years now.

Q: How long have you been part of the nursing faulty at TRU?

I have been a part of the nursing faculty at TRU for two years.

Q: What is your favourite part of being a nurse and a teacher?

My favorite part both of being a nurse and of being a teacher is bearing witness to individuals’ growth. It is so amazing and rewarding to observe your long term patients face challenges with which they sometimes struggle and see them eventually overcome these…and sometime blossom into something unforeseen. The resilience of the human spirit is amazing. Similarly, it is intensely rewarding to observe a group of fresh, eager, sometimes unsure, students soak in information, learn from their mistakes, sometimes experience a tough life lesson or two but ultimately come out the other side knowledgeable, confident, and competent – A NURSE.  One of my most treasured stories is of a very young mom I had as a patient many, many years ago who had her first child while struggling with many challenges. I felt that the odds went a little against her. Over the years, not only did she become an amazing mother, a health care worker and a community role model but she decided to go into nursing. I have so many stories like that one. It really simply doesn’t get any better than that. Nursing is very inspiring and incredibly nourishing for the soul.

Q: What would you say to anyone who was thinking of becoming a nurse?

In my view, there is no greater honour or privilege to walk alongside another human being during some of the most difficult, heartbreaking, joyous or most intimate moments of their lifetime. It has been an incredible experience and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Q: What is the most important thing you have learned during your time as a nurse?

You will find the most profound wisdom in the humblest, most unexpected places.