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April Bakonyi – On Becoming a Nurse Practitioner

“I strongly feel nurses play a large role in making the world a better place. The nurse-patient relationship is such a powerful connection. We are often the one with the patient 24/7 seeing them at their worst and working with them to achieve their best. We empower, encourage and support patients through some of the toughest times of their lives”.

After graduating in nursing in 2007, April Bakonyi worked for four years in Toronto on a medical-surgical floor. In looking to fulfil more of a leadership role April decided to pursue a career as a Nurse Practitioner.

The role of a nurse practitioner appealed to her because of the increased autonomy, critical thinking and unique nurse -patient relationship. April explains, “I was really looking for a way to enhance the nurse-patient relationship; and, I felt the ability to assess, diagnose,prescribe and order diagnostics tests provided a unique opportunity to do so.”

April pursued her aspiration of becoming a Nurse Practitioner and returned to school enrolling in the UBC Masters of Nurse Practitioner program.

She found out about the Registered Nurses Foundation of British Columbia from the Manager of Student Services at UBC. The Monica Green Bursary through RNFBC enabled April to complete her studies at UBC. When asked about the impact of receiving the bursary, April says, “If it weren’t for this bursary, I would not be where I am today.”

In 2014 April graduated from the program and began working at BC Women’s Hospital. Today, April works in the Nurse Practitioner Clinic at the Women’s Health Centre where she runs a variety of clinical outreach programs.

 

In her current practice, her nursing focus is on the delivery of women centred primary care. “I am very passionate about women’s health and empowering women to become active members of their own health. It is my goal to become a leader in the field of women’s health, through both research and clinical expertise.”

Through her role, April spends her time working at the Vancouver Women’s Health Collective which is a non-profit women’s organization whose mission is to value women’s knowledge and to support one another to take charge of their own health. This clinic offers full scope primary care provided by nurse practitioners. In the role of the nurse practitioner, April assesses, diagnoses, prescribes and orders the appropriate diagnostic tests. April also works on an inpatient unit at the hospital providing contraceptive counselling and management to postpartum mothers with a history of addictions. April is also involved with the Aboriginal Mother Centre, again providing full scope primary care to Aboriginal women and their children.

April’s favourite clinic is the clinic at WISH, which focuses on providing full scope primary care to women involved in the sex trade industry. The best thing about being a nurse practitioner April says is, “You truly feel as though you are making a difference in the lives of so many individuals. Working as a nurse practitioner in the downtown east side is especially rewarding because you see some people at their ultimate low and you work with the physically, mentally, socially and spiritually to achieve and sustain healthier lives”. RNFBC wishes April much success with her new career as a Nurse Practitioner.