Linda Vu is a Registered Practical Nurse who is currently the Director of Care at Elmsmere Villa Retirement Residence in Ottawa and has been practicing nursing for five years.
Nursing is a second career for Linda; she originally completed her degree in Health Studies and Gerontology at McMaster University. Her desire to provide compassionate, holistic care, a hands-on experience and job opportunities in the healthcare industry – especially nursing – encouraged her to return to school. She enrolled in the two-year practical nursing program at Canadore College in North Bay and graduated with a diploma in practical nursing in 2013. Linda also had experience with Revera Inc. during her training and education since 2009.
Her role as a Director of Care involves promoting evidence-based practice through clinical research, ensuring quality level of care with regard to Residents’ Bill of Rights, maintaining a person-centered approach for each resident of the home, as well as liaising with family members of the residents to ensure optimum care. As a Director of Care, Linda is responsible for managing, recruiting, providing nursing leadership, and training of staff and students on principles such as P.I.E.C.E.S. and Gentle Persuasive Approach. Linda also ensures that all residents are provided emotional support when needed, especially, those receiving palliative care. Linda finds it comforting that residents receiving palliative care are able to spend their remaining days in the home – their home – an environment they are familiar with.
To Linda, being an RPN is important because of the great demand for highly- skilled nurses, especially with the aging population. Also high on her list is the flexibility inherent in a career as a RPN, which is, working when you want and where you want including part-time, full-time and casual positions that can accommodate other responsibilities. Linda sees nursing as one of the most respected and rewarding professions in the world.
Furthermore, Linda finds nursing as being one of the most popular second career choices and from her experience, decided to enter the nursing field after graduating from University and working for a few years. With diverse specialties areas available to nurses such as pediatrics, gerontology, pain management, wound/burn management, psychiatric and home care, Linda thinks it is a good reason for anyone who is contemplating a career in the healthcare sector to become a nurse.
Linda is both a member of the RPNAO and the Gerontological Nursing Association as she understands the value of belonging to the professional association for both advocacy and support as a RPN and staying abreast of trends and issues in seniors care.
The flexibility inherent in a career as a RPN also encourages healthy work-life balance. Linda spends her leisure time with her cat named Bello, hiking in beautiful and scenic Ottawa, hot yoga classes, salsa dance, and participating in Dragon Boat competition. In the community, she continues to leverage her nursing knowledge and volunteers with the Heart and Stroke Foundation.