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UBC Reports | Vol. 49 | No. 5 | May 8, 2003

Single Mom Succeeds with Her Son’s Love and Support

His medical condition led her into Nursing.

By Michelle Cook

Tackling tough assignments can be a lot easier if you’ve got a study buddy. For Nursing student and single mom Tamsin Morgana, that buddy was her 8-year-old son Alec.

“We did our homework together,” Morgana says. “He would give me advice when I was having a tough time and he knew I was overwhelmed. And he’d draw me pictures.”

Alec’s support means a lot to Morgana, 40, because if it weren’t for him, she might not have left a successful career in sales and marketing to go back to school.

Alec was born with a congenital heart defect and has survived two-open heart surgeries. Today, he is a healthy, active tennis and violin player and a budding artist who produced artwork to encourage many of Morgana’s fellow students. Although Morgana’s parents are both health professionals (her mother is a nurse and her father, Ted Allen, is a UBC Clinical Professor of Medicine Emeritus), it was her experience dealing with her son’s medical condition that opened her eyes to the vocation of nursing.

“I saw it as more meaningful, quality work where you’re helping people and giving back to the community,” Morgana says. “Everyone said I was crazy, and I saw there were problems in nursing, but it didn’t scare me.”

What also attracted her to nursing was the possibility of more stability than what the local marketing industry offered, and more flexible work hours that would allow her to spend more time with her son. The two-year multiple-entry nursing program offered by the Faculty of Applied Science also gave her a chance to expand her skills.

Morgana says returning to school as a mom and mature student was an intimidating and often nerve-wracking adventure that put her time-management skills to the ultimate test, but she credits her family and son for helping her to make it through.

During her practicum, Morgana worked in community health and found a niche where she could combine her new and old career skills. The field focuses on prevention and promotion campaigns and, after she graduates, Morgana hopes to continue working as a children and youth community nurse visiting schools and clinics throughout Vancouver to provide health care, information and access to resources.

“Community health nursing is about getting out there and meeting people and helping them to meet their goals and needs,” Morgana says.

She’s also looking forward to having more free time to play with her study buddy, Alec.

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Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

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