What education have you taken?
I graduated from Sisler High School with a high school diploma, French Immersion diploma and Arts diploma. I completed two years in the Certified General Accounting (CGA) Program. I have a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Manitoba with a Psychiatry major and Sociology minor. Currently I am a 4th year Bachelor of Science student in Psychiatric Nursing.
What accomplishments are you proud of?
I was on the Dean’s Honour List at Brandon University for 2014/2015, the Dean’s Honor Roll at the University of Manitoba (Arts) in 2012 and on the Honor Roll for grades 7-12 at Sisler High School. I have been the fortunate recipient of the Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company Scholarship, a Bursary in Psychiatric Nursing, the Manitoba Hydro Bursary, the Brandon University Students’ Union Endowed Undergraduate Bursary and the Community Health and Communitas Scholarship – Bursary. Currently I direct the St. Peter’s Church 27 member choir. I serve as the Winnipeg co-liaison for the Brandon University Health Studies Student’s Association (BUHSSA), am the Student Representative on the Curriculum Committee, 2nd and 3rd year Mentor/Advisor, and 2016 Grad Committee co-chair. Through the St. Peter’s Knights of Columbus I am involved in food preparation, I am a mentor for the St. Peter’s Squires Circle and also am a member of the fundraising committee for Winnipeg Budokai Karate.
Tell me about yourself.
I was born in Manila, Philippines, the second youngest of six children. My family migrated to Winnipeg in 1979. I am married with three children ages 21, 17 and 12. I have been working as an office manager and bookkeeper for over 20 years.
How did you become interested in your field of study?
When I felt my youngest child was old enough to understand my desire to finish my post-secondary education, I returned to the University of Manitoba in the hopes of getting into the Nursing faculty. While doing the pre-requisite courses, I also decided to finish my Arts degree. In doing so, I chose psychology as my major and found the two goals meshed well together. A few of my professors acknowledged my passion to be a nurse and mentioned psychiatric nursing. This made sense to me, as I wanted a career that was more person-focused. I was accepted to both the Bachelor of Nursing program at University of Manitoba and the Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing program at Brandon University at the same time. This made me reflect on the type of nursing I wanted to pursue. Ultimately, my passion swayed towards being a psychiatric nurse and I have never regretted my decision.
What is your philosophy in life?
My philosophy in life is to be true to myself and to present myself genuinely. Although I aim for perfection, I am mindful of my humanity and imperfections. I have a great respect for people and the diversity they represent in our world. Finally, I look at life with a positive perspective, although I realize there is great disparity in this world. I approach life with a smile, because I appreciate that I am surrounded by family and friends who are supportive and loving. This allows me to be ready to undertake any daily challenge.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
I believe psychiatric nursing is in big demand. The increased awareness of the importance of mental health has made Registered Psychiatric Nurses (RPN) an asset in health care teams. I aim to broaden the scope of RPNs and hope to one day be a member of a palliative care team.
Monica is a Psychiatric Nursing student in the last year of her program. She will be going out for her final senior placement in February. Monica is a leader on campus and has participated in student governance with BUHSSA since the second year of the program. She has encouraged other students to get involved whether it is for voting for representation on the student association, voting for BUSU representatives, planning and contributing to bake sales, socials or grad fundraising events. She has assisted with co-ordinating students to sit on Psychiatric Nursing Program Committees. She is a wife, mother and student. She is warm and welcoming and always ready to lend a hand or to welcome new students to the program. She frequently visits other classes to tell students what is happening on the Winnipeg campus as well as sharing information on the larger Brandon campus on items of interest to our students. She is a big part of helping the students from both Psychiatric Nursing Programs and the Nursing program to form relationships and to work together well. Monica is the kind of person that brings people together to have a good time or to solve problems. She is a strong student and excels in her clinical practice. She is going to be the kind of psychiatric nurse that everyone and their loved ones would like to have.