From expert Registered Nurse to novice Nurse Practitioner

“Integrity, resilience and hard work are the perfect ingredients for achieving great things which serve as an inspiration for others.”

Anais Merat-Fournier, Rising Star Fall 2022

Anais Merat-Fournier

  • Degree: Master of Nursing-Nursing Practitioner
  • Grad year: 2022
  • Program:
  • Campus: Vancouver

My professional journey began in 2010, when I graduated in France with a Degree in Nursing. My first clinical placement as a student nurse was eye-opening, as I simply loved the complexity of nursing with its multi-faceted knowledge components. Nursing is continually evolving to meet the needs of the ever-changing healthcare system, and I find this fascinating. 

Throughout the past 12 years, while embracing multicultural environments in France, the UK and Canada, I’ve developed both strong critical thinking skills and resilience as a result of working in acute medical and surgical settings including vascular medicine, ENT, maxillofacial and acute medical specialties. I have also supported the marginalized population of women, as well as immigrants and refugees, over the past four years, by volunteering in different non-profit organizations including the Vancouver Women Health Collective (VWHC), the Doula Services Association in BC (DSA), and the Immigrant Link Centre Society. 

Why did you choose to go into your field of study at UBC? 

Both my passion for patient-centered care together with my love of professional challenges have been central to my desire to assume greater responsibilities and become a Nurse Practitioner. Thus, enrolling in the Nurse Practitioner program at UBC, a top-ranked international university with a focus on research and multicultural diversity, has proven to be an excellent opportunity for me. 

What advice would you give a student entering your degree program?  

Becoming a novice in a new position while you are used to being an expert in your primary field of nursing is scary; “impostor syndrome” is real. Transitioning into the medical field while keeping your nursing philosophy is no easy task. So, be patient with yourself and trust the program. I have experienced how this program does an excellent job of preparing nurses for a new role by exposing students to a variety of resources throughout the program. Also, never underestimate the value of a solid support system during your NP studies; it is essential. So, I recommend that people considering graduate studies address all non-essential negative factors in their lives before starting the program! 

Where do you find inspiration for using your degree to make an impact on our world?

I draw my inspiration from my family: my husband and my two children. I do my best to be a role model for my children by showing them that integrity, resilience and hard work are the perfect ingredients for achieving great things which serve as an inspiration for others. Being a mom of two young children during the program and a newcomer to Canada, without support from extended family, has indeed been challenging. However, my motivation has never wavered thanks to their love and support. 

What are your future plans to make a difference in our world?  

I would like to aid in facilitating access to primary care for the marginalized population of women, especially immigrants and refugees. My ultimate goal is to run a primary care clinic in BC specializing in the delivery of holistic health care to newcomers to enhance a positive healthcare experience by providing culturally sensitive care, education, testing, and treatment characterized by compassion, understanding, and trust. 

Do you believe your education or accomplishments at UBC will have an impact on the future of work?  

As a result of practicing as a nurse and childbirth doula, I understand that many parents perceive their childbirth experience as psychologically traumatic, potentially leading to an array of complications that often remain unidentified by primary care providers. Therefore, my aim in my Culminating Project “Promoting perinatal healthcare by raising awareness of the multidimensional impacts of birth trauma: Recommendations for family nurse practitioners,” is to raise awareness of the incidence of traumatic childbirth and its potential consequences. This literature review not only provides the screening tools that primary care providers might use to screen the population at risk of experiencing birth trauma but also provides and describes interventions available in BC to support patients who have experienced birth trauma. 

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