Traci Tripp

Practical Nurse

From Broadcasting to Nursing

Traci Tripp

After nearly 15 years in the broadcast industry, Traci Tripp changed her career and changed her life.  Tripp says that enrolling in NorQuest’s Practical Nurse diploma program was a choice that she has never regretted.  She explains that her strong interest in all things medical dates back to biology class in high school. So, choosing nursing as a second career was a natural choice. But it wasn’t one she made lightly. She worried about the financial commitment and the effect on her family’s lifestyle during her non-earning student time. "My two girls had some hard adjustments, having to do without some things they were used to enjoying and often having to do without me. But it was all worth it in the end."

Tripp feels she draws on many of the same skills she used as a TV reporter in her new profession. "To be an effective support for those who are actively dying, you need to earn their trust and build rapport, just as good interviewers do," she says.

Evidence of this rapport is plain in the hand-written testimonials from the families of patients who have passed that tell her she’s a very special nurse. "Please know you are far more than 'just' a nurse," reads one. "You are following a true vocation in assisting and comforting the dying and the living."

These heartfelt words reinforce that she made the 'right' choice.  Upon entering the PN Program, Tripp set herself the goal of maintaining a 70 per cent average. However, in her first year she achieved 91 per cent and won a scholarship for the highest grade-point average. "For the first time in my life, I was at the top of my class," Tripp remembers, still sounding amazed by the accomplishment. "It was such a validation of my hard work and efforts."  Since then, Traci has enrolled in the RN bridging program at Athabasca University and continues to achieve both academically and professionally, building on the skills she gained during her time at NorQuest.

Looking back on her previous career, Tripp says that what she loved most was being out on the streets, talking and interacting with people. Now she’s as close to people as a professional can be, immersed in her patients’ final journey.

For the first time in my life, I was at the top of my class. It was such a validation of my hard work and efforts.