Krysta Hatlen worked in the Somali Region of Ethiopia at a refugee camp for Somalis who were fleeing famine during the summer.

Nelson nurse up to the challenge

Becoming a nurse was an easy choice for Selkirk College graduate Krysta Hatlen.

Becoming a nurse was an easy choice for Selkirk College graduate Krysta Hatlen.

“I went into nursing partly because my mom was a nurse and partly because that was always what I wanted to do,” said Hatlen. “I love working with people and having an exciting job that doesn’t involve sitting at a desk all day so nursing was a good fit for me.”

Hatlen was recently given the Rising Star award by the College of Registered Nurses of BC.

“I’m very honoured and it’s really wonderful to find that my colleagues are so supportive of me and they really believe in the work that I’m doing here and overseas with Medecin Sans Frontier,” she said.

After graduating from the Selkirk College-University of Victoria nursing program in 2008, Hatlen began working at the Kootenay Lake Hospital in the maternity ward.

“I was funded to do my specialty training in maternity nursing right out of school by Interior Health and have been lucky to work on the maternity floor at Kootenay Lake Hospital with that training,” she said. “After working for a couple years I did further specialty training in London, UK and got my diploma of tropical nursing from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.”

After completing her training in London, Hatlen put her education from both Selkirk College and London to work in the Somali Region of Ethiopia at a refugee camp for Somalis who were fleeing famine during the summer.

While many people might turn away from a challenge, it is the challenge of nursing that Hatlen enjoys.

“You never know how a birth is going to turn out so it always keeps me on my toes,” she said. “I love to meet the families I work with during what is usually such a happy time for them and help them navigate through childbirth and the first few days of being parents.”

With her new award and a lot of experience under her belt, Hatlan is planning on continuing her education.

“I have applied to take my masters of science in midwifery, and I hope to continue my work with Medecin Sans Frontier overseas in a nurse-midwife capacity,” she said.

“For the future I hope I can continue to work in maternal-child health both here in Canada and in developing countries helping women to gain access to prenatal and delivery care for themselves and their babies.”


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