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Mila Noordijk's Story

My passion for nursing started at a very young age. I lived in poverty in formal Yugoslavia in early 1960s. Due to own country’s hardships and political instability, my focus since childhood was always education. During these early years I was inspired by Mother Theresa.

The constant reminder throughout my nursing career was Mother Theresa’s vision for a better world based on compassion and selfless giving to others. Despite the constant challenges I come across, nursing is my calling and passion. It has brought some of the most kind, interesting people I have ever met into my life that I wouldn’t have met if it weren’t for this profession.

Through my lifetime, I have travelled to many corners of our globe, serving people in times of their own hardship, loss, or devastation. I wanted to make a difference in the lives of others as missionary volunteer. 

I often think of Mahatma Gandhi quote: “Be the change you wish to see in the world”.

After 35 years of acute care nursing working in 3 different countries, I have settled in Canada with my family.

In 2013, leaving behind rural Ontario, I ventured out to beautiful Nunavut. My first role was being a home care nurse in Repulse Bay (Naujaat). Flying into the unknown, through the small window of the plane, I was mesmerized by the beauty of the white, endless landscape without a horizon. Somehow, the moment when I stepped of the plane, leaving my husband and son behind to take on this new adventure, was the very moment I knew that I was where I was supposed to be and I never looked back. 
The next several months were filled with the most unique experiences of my life and I am happy that I have had the privilege to continue to live as full-time employee in Nunavut ever since. 
There is a satisfaction in making an impact on patients, families, or communities at large.

As a nurse, we selflessly do so much for so many. Our commitment and dedication to the nursing profession in Nunavut is ironclad because we know we make a difference. I am very proud to be a part of Nunavut’s nursing team and in my leadership role which gives me the ability to inspire, influence, motivate and share experiences with fellow nurses.

It is important to say that nursing is incredibly challenging, rewarding, diverse and is very flexible with many opportunities to expand your career.