Tracy King: Becoming a Vocal Advocate
Wednesday, November 8th, 2023
NWP Instructor Tracy King
Tracy King, a nursing instructor at Northwestern Polytechnic, isn’t just an educator, she is a beacon of inspiration for her students. Her personal and academic experiences, along with her dedication are playing a pivotal role in helping others and advocating for marginalized communities.
Growing up, Tracy was surrounded by a supportive family, including her aunt, who served as an influential role model. Her aunt's commitment to education helped instill the belief that she, too, could pursue higher learning and make a difference in people's lives. “My parents also played a significant part in nurturing my self-confidence and encouraging me to pursue my dreams,” explained Tracy.
Tracy completed her Bachelor of Nursing degree through the University of Alberta in 1999. Becoming a first-generation graduate was a significant milestone. Not only did it symbolize her determination to venture into uncharted waters, it also unlocked a field where she could effect change.
“Nursing was not a career I had initially considered, but witnessing the struggles and unheard voices of sick patients and their families ignited a fire within me. I thought I could do better.”
As Tracy entered the world of nursing, she quickly witnessed the impact she could have on the lives of patients. In 2005, she found her calling in nursing care when she was hired to work as a Registered Nurse at the Northern Addictions Centre, a position she keeps part-time today. “Those initial interactions with individuals struggling with addiction and marginalized communities opened my eyes to the stigma they face within the healthcare system,” Tracy said. Determined to make a difference, Tracy became a vocal advocate, striving to bring understanding and empathy for those who needed it the most.
Despite some moments of self-doubt, Tracy has remained steadfast in her commitment to serving patients and addressing the systemic issues affecting their care. Her unwavering dedication to providing compassionate, non-judgmental care sets her apart as a nurse and nurse educator who truly understood the value of treating patients holistically.
Over the last decade, Tracy has been sharing her expertise at Northwestern Polytechnic as a Nursing instructor, working in the field and refining her skills. In 2016 she completed a Masters in Nursing Leadership and Education through the University of Saskatchewan.
Tracy's work as a nursing instructor has allowed her to bridge the gap between academia and the real world. She has always cherished the opportunities to guide and mentor her students, “Part of my job is to instill in them not only the necessary knowledge and skills, but also the empathy and compassion that are vital in healthcare.” Tracy's joy stems from witnessing her students grow, develop their own unique approaches, and bring their diverse backgrounds and experiences to the table.
Tracy's passion for her work extends beyond the classroom. She is determined to challenge the stigma surrounding addiction and mental health, particularly for individuals who faced intersectional challenges. Tracy's commitment to giving a voice to the unheard and underrepresented is unwavering, and she tirelessly works towards creating a healthcare system that is safer, more compassionate, and inclusive. And in the spirit of always learning, Tracy is now actively working on a PhD from the University of Calgary. We have no doubt that her research will bring attention and care to the very people who philosophy labels the voiceless, marginalized, and underserved.