Alumni Spotlight: Andrea Lauzon

20 January 2017

Bloomberg Nursing alumni do extraordinary things in the communities in which they work and live, and we take great pride in the work they do. To date, there are nearly 6,000 Bloomberg Nursing alumni, all of whom have made or continue to make a positive impact in the world of nursing.

Andrea Lauzon is one such alumni.

Title:  Nurse Practitioner

Organization/Hospital/Practice:  LIFEspan (Living Independently Fully Engaged) Service-a transition program for youth with cerebral palsy and acquired brain injury at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and UHN-Toronto Rehab

Hometown:  Goderich, ON

Current town/city:  Toronto, ON

Year of graduation:  2009-Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner-University of Toronto, Lawrence Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing; 1992-BScN-University of Toronto, Faculty of Nursing

Interests, activities, clubs and professional organizations:

I love spending time and going for walks with my husband and dog. I enjoy learning and practicing alternative and complementary treatments, such as meditation, yoga, Reiki. I have Reiki Level 1 certification.  I am a member of College of Nurses of Ontario, Nurse Practitioner Association of Ontario, Canadian Nurses Association, Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Society, American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine and Kappa Kappa Gamma Alumnae Association.

My passion in nursing is working with youth and young adults with cerebral palsy and acquired brain injury, using my holistic approach and expertise in mental health nursing, transition, and rehabilitation.

What was the most valuable lesson — inside or outside the classroom — you learned as a student the University of Toronto?  

During my first year in university, I was diagnosed with several chronic health conditions. I focused on the positives of the situation and approached my ‘newly diagnosed health status’ as a learning opportunity.  I began to balance various areas of my life:  school, work, personal and health.  I have carried my oath to self-care as a priority for over 20 years, and am living the benefits from the choices I make.    As an adult with chronic health conditions, I am able to speak, from experiential learning, with the youth, young adults and parents I work with about self-management, navigation, advocacy and self-care strategies.   I am a determined, curious and inquisitive woman, nurse practitioner and patient.

Greatest professional accomplishment:  

I am honoured to have received two leadership awards. The first award was for Nursing Excellence in Leadership at SickKids, nominated by my peers. The second award is the recipient for AstraZeneca award through Nurse Practitioner’s Association of Ontario for my proposal for Innovation in Chronic Disease management. My application and award allowed me to pursue a research project on the prevalence of mental health (anxiety and depression) in the patients in LIFEspan Service at UHN-Toronto Rehab.

Favourite Bloomberg Nursing professor:   Francine Wynn and Judy Watt Watson

What is your favourite thing about nursing?  

I enjoy being an autonomous practitioner within an interprofessional team of transition experts at two rehabilitation hospitals. I love working with youth and connecting with the patients in a genuine manner and having the time to establish long lasting relationships, for some, more than 8 years. The opportunities I have been awarded and taken in nursing covers front line nursing in psychiatry, establishing an outpatient clinic  as a nurse, reviewing and developing a mental health day hospital program, working as a team lead, moving to a paediatric hospital to work as a manager and returning to school to become a NP. As a NP, I met the challenge to implement two NP led transition clinics, one in a paediatric rehabilitation hospital and the second in an adult rehabilitation hospital. LIFEspan Service is one of the first, if not the first transition program crossing the paediatric and adult health care systems in Canada.

What advice do you have for current Bloomberg Nursing students?   

Acknowledge and accept who are you, your strengths, and your areas to develop. Put your goals in writing and follow your dreams.