Scott Robertson RN, BN, ENC(C)
Chief Nursing Officer
Health and Social Services
GNWT PUBLIC SERVICE:
Scott Robertson's ProfileMy Role
I work at the Department of Health and Social Services developing and reviewing policies and guidelines for nurses focusing primarily on community health centre operations. I work with nurses and other professionals across the NWT to identify priority areas for the Department to address, and then work on solutions. I also provide consultation to the Minister and Deputy Minister on issues related to nursing and health care in the NWT.Career Path
I was born at the “Old” Stanton Hospital and grew up in Yellowknife. After high school I worked as a first aid instructor in Yellowknife and then with an ambulance service in Bechoko, just down the highway from Yellowknife. I headed off to the University of Calgary and completed a Bachelor of Nursing degree focusing my senior practicums in rural and emergency nursing.
I did a 6-month mentorship at Stanton Hospital after graduation and worked with an amazing nurse in the float pool and got to go everywhere in the building with her. Some days were in the emergency department, some days we would get called up to the operating room, other shifts she would be the Patient Care Coordinator supervising the building. I don’t think most new grads get that type of experience, and I was so grateful to be able to “do it all.”What do you like most about your job?
What really does impress me is that since we are a fairly small group of professionals, and have fewer layers of bureaucracy in the NWT, we actually manage to accomplish a lot in a short period of time. My colleagues in the rest of the country are often amazed at how quickly the NWT is able to implement changes that we identify as priorities. The challenge of being a smaller group of professionals however is that when one person leaves it can have a big impact, especially in harder to fill nursing practice areas such as education, administration, and policy.What do you like most/least about living in the north?
I love that every day is an adventure. I built a houseboat and lived on it for 5 years, so even getting to work in the morning was often a bit of an expedition unto itself! Canoeing to work is something not many others can claim.
I am also constantly amazed at how our little city manages to have so much talent with accomplished musical, acting, and arts groups. The Choral Society’s production of Messiah last Christmas would have made Handel himself proud. Just one of the many little surprise features you wouldn’t expect in a bush town of 20,000 people.
Expanded Opportunities in the North
From a professional standpoint I have had just about every opportunity imaginable in nursing – from front-line clinical work, ambulance, medivacs, community health, teaching, policy, and administration. The ability to blend different clinical areas keeps my work interesting, and it’s something I think would be very hard to find elsewhere.
I often envy the amount of educational opportunities available in larger centres. The good thing is that we have a generous Professional Development Fund that allows us to access these opportunities, but sometimes it’s a long way to go for a 1 or 2-day course. It just requires a bit more planning.
But you just can’t beat the lifestyle here, especially if you like the outdoors. I spent a lot of time on the land growing up and spent my summers working as a guide on Great Slave Lake. With a big playground like that at your doorstep it’s easy to see how the people who like it here like it a lot.
Most Memorable Northern Nursing Moment
Sitting on a wolverine pelt at an Inuit hunting camp immunizing a child.Best-Kept Yellowknife Secret
The hundreds of DVD movies available for free at the Public LibraryFavourite Summer Activity
Fishing in the East Arm of Great Slave LakeFavourite Winter Activity
Flying my plane on skis, landing in untouched soft snow, hopefully somewhere I can catch fish!