My name is Emily Aitken. I am a Registered Nurse with Advanced Certification in the field of Rheumatology.

My training consisted of focused placement in both the ER and ICU. However my heart was searching for something else. I wanted to be able to take time and connect with people and explore how Health as Expanding Consciousness (Margaret Newman, Nursing Theorist) can be put into practice on the front lines to enhance every patients health journey.

My first independent practice was working in the community with palliative patients and young people with disabilities. When I finished my degree it was time to move on and I found a unique little home in a grass roots rheumatology practice that was full of potential. For the last five years I have work extensively in the field of rheumatology, both as a front line professional and at a management and educational level developing policy, procedures and educational experiences for the team.

My experiences took me to the point where I could begin to focus providing resources to patients living in Northern Ontario, this has always been a passionĀ of mine. I worked hard to foster relationships with health professionals in North Bay and was eventually able to set up a space where I would travel to see patients remotely. It was during this experience that I knew I was on the right track with my career trajectory. Enhancing access to care for patients in northern communities is where I wanted to be, and it is where I am also needed to be. Although a very positive experience it also illuminated some of the limitations that I was faced with and focused me to expand by submitting an application for M.Sc.N program and pursue becoming a Nurse Practitioner.

If everything goes according to plan, I will be able to continue to pursue this vision of building access to care and I will have more autonomy to make this happen. Along with this I am committed to advancing professional nursing in this field as their is a need for regulation and protection for nurses working in rheumatology. I am actively pursuing establishing an Ontario chapter of Rheumatology Nurses and working collaboratively to have Rheumatology recognized as a Canadian Nurse Association Specialty Practice.