Thayanthi Tharmaratnam, MSN '19, School of Nursing

“I wanted to empower and advocate for individuals to be informed about their health and well-being.”

Thayanthi Tharmaratnam

Thayanthi Tharmaratnam

  • Degree: Master of Science in Nursing
  • Grad year: 2019
  • Program: Nursing
  • Campus: Vancouver

Thayanthi Tharmaratnam graduated in 2014 from UBC with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and has since been working as a perinatal nurse in a local hospital. Maternal-infant health, lactation and nursing education are her research areas of interest. She is a recipient of the APSC Graduate Award, Registered Nurses Foundation of BC (RNFBC) Bursary, and Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Health Professional Student Research Award.

Why did you choose nursing?

I chose nursing because I desired to be in a profession where I could combine theory to application in the real world. I wanted to empower and advocate for individuals to be informed about their health and well-being. As well, the flexibility and adaptiveness of the profession made me feel that the options were endless and the skills and knowledge could be portable to any place in the world.

What have you learned in nursing that is most valuable?

Nursing has been a rewarding and dynamic career for me thus far. Working as a perinatal nurse has taught me more than I could ever imagine! Every time I go into work I am honoured that I am able to work with and support families in a life-changing milestone. I have learned that every day is different and you encounter unique opportunities and challenges that shape your learning and your practice as a nurse.

What has been your most memorable non-academic experience studying nursing at UBC?

A memorable aspect of my graduate studies at UBC has been my involvement in the Graduate Students in Nursing Association (GSNA). As the co-president, I had the opportunity to represent graduate nursing students across campus and organized events to bring together graduate nursing students, such as the annual nursing research symposium. Working together with other graduate students has helped me to get to know my classmates on a personal level and learn more about different areas and perspectives in nursing!

What advice would you give a student considering a graduate degree in nursing?

If you are passionate and want to contribute to nursing research, enhancing health care delivery systems or health policies, then go for it! In graduate school you engage with your fellow classmates and faculty in rich discussions on a variety of health-related concepts and ideas. A graduate nursing degree pushes your critical thinking beyond your practice and the UBC program is versatile in catering to your career aspirations. My best advice would be first to research more about the program, reach out and connect with current faculty and students and learn if graduate school is aligned to your goals.

Where do you find your inspiration?

In graduate school, I was inspired by a variety of people. My classmates and faculty have supported me well through graduate school and I have learned so much from their rich and varied experiences and expertise. Another source of inspiration is my family — their encouragement and support has guided me throughout the years to pursue my educational goals.

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