Kate Saunders: On the Value of Being an RNFBC Bursary Winner

If you ever wondered how important your support to RNFBC is for aspiring nurses, we would like to introduce you to Kate Saunders. Mother to five-year-old Jack, Kate spends most of her spare time working two jobs, as a Research Assistant for the CAMEO Program with the BC Cancer Agency and as an employed student nurse at the UBC Hospital.

In addition to her two jobs, Kate is attending school full-time in order to complete her Bachelor of Science Degree at UBC’s School of Nursing. That kind of grueling schedule is what it takes to pay the bills. Trying to balance life as a mother and a full time student in a demanding program requires a great deal of tenacity and financial responsibility. Tuition is expensive and credit lines have their limits. While in the nursing program, Kate applied for an RNFBC bursary knowing she was soon to run out of funding to continue her schooling.
During her second last year of the program, Kate was awarded the RNABC Nursing Education Bursary through RNFBC. Without the financial support Kate received from RNFBC, she would not be able to attend her final year, let alone complete it. “I would not even be able to do it”, explains Kate. Thanks to support from RNFBC, Kate is now in her final year of the program and anticipates graduating from the program in the spring of 2014. When asked what receiving the bursary means to Kate, she explains “it felt like a weight off my shoulders”. Kate did not always know she wanted to be a nurse. She earned a philosophy degree and then a science degree while contemplating careers as a teacher, a counselor, a social worker, and a doctor. It was not until the night before she gave birth to her son, that she decided a career path as a nurse would be her calling. “The labour and delivery nurse stayed up with me all night”, Kate remembers. Five years later, Kate still thinks about that nurse and the connection she formed with her that inspired her to become a nurse. Kate believes that nursing affords her the opportunity to foster relationships with the patients in her care. “The best thing about nursing is how powerful and rewarding it is to support people when they are sick and to do the little things to make them feel so important.”
Kate looks forward to completing her nursing degree next spring and is leaning towards a career in mental health or palliative care. RNFBC wishes Kate every success as she begins her new career as a Registered Nurse.