Lorie Steinwand, RN-Community Health Supervisor
Hay River, NT
Lorie feels like she was groomed to be a nurse early on and it wasn’t something she went to a counselor's office or took a test to figure out. As a young girl, Lorie spent a lot of time with her grandmother who gently nudged her in that direction.
“Granny always had this interesting way about knowing when people needed help with something. She would encourage me to visit those that needed help - especially the elders - in our community.”
Her grandmother would get her to bring gifts – like a hot pot of rabbit soup or a helping hand.
“My granny would always say; “They know you, Lorie, why don't you go out? Bring this hot pot of rabbit soup too, you know, so and so.”
And Lorie would go. There was always another elder or family in need and, the thing was, they all seemed to really need help at that time.
“So I found myself learning the way of helping people very differently. It wasn't something that you expected anything in return. It was just the way that you did things growing up.”
Lorie was born at the nursing station in Fort Providence. As the oldest child in her family of 5 children, she and her siblings all had a job to do, there were no complaints they just knew what they had to do to help each other.
Lorie chose to stay in the north for much of her education. She attended Aurora College, Yellowknife Campus first earning a northern nursing diploma, then a certificate in the Introduction to advance practice, and finally a graduate of rural remote nursing certification. Lorie recommends the Aurora College Nursing program to anyone wanting to pursue nursing as a career. She was able to get an education in nursing, while being only a few hours away from her family.
“I was able to extend visits, share all the seasonal events, and continue to do my part in helping at home while attending nursing school.”
Lorie calls herself a constant seeker for knowledge and has continued and has plans to further her education in Public Health.
Lorie has now been a Nurse for 16 years in various departments with the Hay River Health Authority – Public Health, Acute Care, Emergency, and Community Health.
“Hay River is my home, and only 179 km from by birth home. My roots here in the North are connected and I will continue to share the beauty our community has to offer. I will continue to share the culture and connectedness you experience when you come to work, visit, or locum.”
The most rewarding part of working in NWT for Lorie is being able to implement programs within the community. Being able to match programs to the services that are most in need and seeing them really flourish.
“… that is the best part. When you see those programs really are taken over by different community members or agencies that truly believe that it is important for them to continue with those services within your community. And when you have that, that's when you see change.”
Lorie is very passionate of where she works and noted that there were so many people that helped support her along the way.
“I think some of them would be surprised to know that they did have some impact on me and in different ways. I credit their kindness, support, and guidance for keeping me focused, engaged, and up to date with my competencies as a northern nurse. Thank you to the traditional knowledge keepers, nursing leaders, mentors that I have had the opportunity to work, learn, and be guided by within my profession. All of you need to be recognized much more often. Thank you.”