Sunny Jiao (MSN ‘17)

Sunny Jiao completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2012 with a focus in psychiatric nursing and has been working in the inpatient and emergency psychiatry units of a local Vancouver hospital. Mental health and substance use are her areas of passion and are facets of health she believes warrant greater attention and system supports. Sunny has completed a Master of Science in Nursing and in September 2017, will begin her PhD studies — her research will focus on examining the complex interplay of factors that influence the uptake of harm reduction programming in the acute care setting. Sunny is the recipient of a 2017 CIHR Canada Graduate Scholarships Master’s Award.

What has made your time at UBC the most memorable? 
The most memorable aspect of my time at UBC is spending the time to get to know fellow nursing students in my program, learning about the kind of work that they do and having discussions around our areas of interest. This usually involves having extended conversations on the commute home and sometimes involves good food!

What have you learned that is most valuable? 
Nursing is unique in that the field is so expansive, varying from maternity to palliative, from clinical practice to research, yet the lens with which we see the world and approach problems can be similar – that is, we take into account individual and social context, as well as recognize that differences in individual capacity exist.

What advice would you give a student considering a graduate degree in nursing? 
Go for it! MSN studies is different from undergraduate nursing studies in that you learn to think big picture and question assumptions. At the same time, you are provided with the tools to seek out answers based on evidence. Through course work and discussions, you move beyond the what and how and start thinking about the why.

Where do you find your inspiration? 
I find inspiration when I am connecting with people. This can be through conversations with patients and staff at the hospital, through discussions with my supervisor and with my fellow classmates, or through reading the words of a research participant on a page. It is fascinating how much wisdom each individual possesses, and it is often through their sharing and my learning that I start to see the connections.

How will you go on to make a difference in our world? 
I hope that my research will help to inform health service delivery for people who use drugs in a way that takes into account health equity. While harm reduction is the standard of care for people who use drugs in the community setting, there has been a delay in adopting this approach in the acute care setting with dire consequences. In this, my goal is to critically examine the complex interplay of factors that influence integration.

Photo and text provided by the Rising Stars Applied Science 2017 interviews