Skip to main content
Back to all news

NP Spotlight – Jennifer Ardiel

NP Spotlight NPAM News
Jennifer Ardiel RN NP

Jennifer Ardiel RN NP
Nurse Practitioner – Department of National Defence & Brandon University

“My role includes education to colleagues and the military community, participation of committees, and patient safety analysis. Being part of a truly multidisciplinary and supportive team restored my passion for healthcare and nursing.”

Whilst I would love to say I had some pivotal moment where a career in nursing called out for me, the truth is far more boring. I originally entered university with the intention of being a pharmacist. However, calculus was my downfall. A random guidance counsellor at the university said I had all the prerequisites for nursing so here I am 24 years later.

I completed my undergraduate degree from the University of Manitoba in 2004. As a RN, I spent the first portion of my career in long term and chronic care. Whilst I did really love end of life care and geriatrics, I had a strong inclination for graduate work and furthering my nursing career. At the time, there were limited options for those wanting a graduate degree in nursing. Like my undergraduate path, I had all the prerequisites for the NP program, and I thought it was the degree that would give me the most options. I graduated from the University of Manitoba Master of Nursing program in 2011. Graduate school was one of the most stressful points in my life and I had lost all interest in my nursing career. I seriously considered not writing the NP licensing exam and admittedly, did not study for it at all. If someone had offered me a free cup of coffee to leave school, I likely would have taken that offer. However, my pragmatic brain won out. I finished grad school and showed up for the licensing exam and passed! Procrastination and avoidance do yield results sometimes.

Workplace, Daily Responsibilities & Fulfillment in the Role
As a nurse practitioner, I spent three years working in geriatrics and I loved my practice and caring for people in long term care. This position brought me a great sense of purpose as a nurse practitioner. Caring for someone during the finality of their life will always be some of the most meaningful and proud moments in my career. However, the immense challenges of role creation, change implementation, and forging new paths as a nurse practitioner was more than I could shoulder any longer. As the adage goes, people leave managers and not companies. My first position as a nurse practitioner really taught me about balance of career, passion, and self.

For the last nine years, I have been a nurse practitioner for the Canadian Armed Forces in Shilo, Manitoba. My practice and role have evolved during this time. Currently, I provide primary care and occupational healthcare, with a focus on care for women, BIPOC, and the 2STLGBTQIA+ community. My role also includes education to colleagues and the military community, participation of committees, and patient safety analysis. There are times that not all that glitters is gold. I have been challenged as a nurse practitioner and person during my time on this team. I have learned so much about myself as a nurse, employee, and person. However, being part of a truly multidisciplinary and supportive team restored my passion for healthcare and nursing.

Since 2020, I have also been a sessional professor with the nursing undergraduate program at Brandon University. With every class, I gain a deeper understanding of the challenges of educators and there are some amazing students that renewed my faith in humanity and the future of the nursing profession. When I reflect on the professors that left lasting impressions on me, I endeavour to approach education in a similar way. My goal is to build upon my experience as a nurse practitioner with evidence-based care, and the reality of nursing in our current health system. With each course, I learn more about how to be an effective educator or at the very least, I have learned what anonymous students really think about my boring slide show presentations.

Vision for the NP Role in Manitoba
Looking forward to a vision for nurse practitioners in Manitoba, I contemplate the profession with a Dickensian lens. Knowing the history of NP practice in Canada, including the successes and tribulations, allows me to reflect on the amazing advances and progress that has come from the tireless work of many. Sometimes success comes in huge and publicized changes but often it is the quiet whispers that mark the collective move forward. When I look at the present, I am inspired by the company I keep as a nurse practitioner. Change is not a threat and is not easy. Anything worth doing, is worth doing well. The future for nurse practitioners is bright and brimming with opportunity. If someone offered me that cup of coffee today to quit, I would kindly decline.

Advice to Aspiring NPs
For any aspiring nurse practitioners, I would encourage them connect with other nurse practitioners at various points in their careers, from the novice to experts. Mentorship is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a lifelong cheering squad.