What Do They Do?: Leona Smith

On this "What Do They Do?" we profile Leona Smith - Professional Practice Lead, Nursing Services. Leona is of Ehattesaht and Ahousaht descent and has an MSc Nursing.


Leona's nursing journey is still going strong after 25 years in the field. Leona credits her grandfather for his encouragement to do more with her life. It was with his encouragement that she enrolled in a five-month Residential Care Aide Program. In the process of changing dressings, feeding and caring for people, she found her calling to be a nurse.


What do you do on any given day?

On top of facilitating at the 2015 FNHA Nurses Education Forum, being one of the faces of the FNHA Nurse Recruitment Campaign and currently serving as Professional Practice Leader, my passion is working with provincial schools of nursing, negotiating affiliation agreements, incorporating cultural competency into curriculum and into mainstream healthcare facilities.

I also work with nurses to complete the rigorous onboarding process, conduct evaluations, record, observe and provide feedback to ensure that practice is in compliance with best practices and provide mentoring and accreditation advice along with identifying education and training requirements for all FNHA nurses and support Certified Remote Practice  Nurses and Public Health Nurses .


What is one of the most unique aspects of your job?

I am privileged to come into people's lives at the birth of their children, all the way to the passing of their Elders. I have been witness to so many amazing things and I have been able to travel to almost every First Nations community, from rural and remote nursing stations to the more urban areas.

One of the strangest things I have had to do is the Egress training, which is part of the safety training for flying into some of the more remote communities on a float plane. You are strapped into a seat and you go under water and you have to learn to release yourself.