Skip to main content

The importance of lifelong learning for a Nurse Practitioner


During Nurse Practitioner Week, we recognize the dedicated team of nurse practitioners throughout our organization who provide excellent care to our patients and clients.

Nurse practitioners are registered nurses who have completed a master's level nurse practitioner education that allows them to work as independent nurse practitioners. They can assess a patient's health, prescribe medications, order and interpret tests, and make referrals to specialists.

Ranbir Atwal is a Nurse Practitioner (NP) Leader with Professional Practice and works within the Neurosurgical Service at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH). She has always been drawn to working in tertiary care centres, learning how teams work together to treat patients and manage medical issues, and taking advantage of opportunities to work with others who are motivated to learn and grow as professionals.

“One of the things I enjoy as an NP is the ability to be a lifelong learner. Over the past two and a half years, I have met many people who have shared their knowledge and expertise with me," says Ranbir. “I can be curious and ask questions which is fundamental to my growth as a professional."

What inspires her the most as an NP is the collegiality, appreciation and teamwork she sees at work.

The level of support as an NP has exceeded her expectations. Despite stepping into an established NP function, she had the opportunity to explore and expand the depths of her role in neurosurgery over the last year. Her proposal that her role should include completing neurosurgical consults and being on day-call was embraced and actioned.

“The neurosurgeon staff and residents have become my enthusiastic mentors and support system," she says. “As a result of their ongoing support, I am confident that my expertise in the field will grow tremendously over the upcoming years."

Caring for everyone

The concept of caring is the first thing Ranbir learned in her nursing education, and it carried through to every aspect in her career.

“I talk to colleagues about their tough days, or support patients and family members through a devastating prognosis. While being mostly available for the medical team on the neurosurgery unit, I often provide continuity of care to the families that need it the most."

Ranbir works with a team who strive for improved care and length of stay for a specific patient population. While the group is in its early stages of development, she is looking forward to playing an essential role in implementing new care plans to improve patient care and experience.

SOURCE: The importance of lifelong learning for a Nurse Practitioner ( )
Page printed:

Copyright © Vancouver Coastal Health. All Rights Reserved.