Tuesday, March 21, 2023


Natoria Job

Registered Nurse

Basic General Nursing at the Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.)

‘Good things come to those who wait’ but it comes faster to those who go out and get it.’  

Throughout life, this saying has always been my motto and motivation to keep pushing through life’s challenges. My name is Natoria Job a Registered Nurse employed with the Tobago Regional Health Authority, attached to the Emergency Department at the Scarborough General Hospital, where it has been my privilege and honor to serve the people of Tobago for the past eight (8) years.

My area of study was the Basic General Nursing at the Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree level which I acquired from College of Science, Technology and Applied Arts of Trinidad and Tobago (COSTAATT).  It took me four and a half (4½) years to complete my degree, which was relatively timely given the many ups and downs that I encountered throughout my journey as a student nurse.  

The initial qualification to become a Registered Nurse is five (5) CXC/CSEC subjects inclusive of Mathematics, English, a science and any other two subjects in grades I, II or III.  But that’s not all that is needed, that is just the bare minimum.  To become an excellent nurse, one should be empathetic, caring, has the ability to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills. An individual must also have strong communication skills, which is a critical role in nursing. Nursing relies on the ability to effectively communicate with other nurses, physicians and other disciplines, but most importantly with patients and their families while being your patient’s advocate. Nurses are seen as angels, between doctors and patients, as patients communicate and interact with nurses more than anyone else on an interdisciplinary healthcare team. This gives nurses the opportunity to develop bonds with patients; thereby, gather useful information to aid in their diagnosis and plan of care.

I was motivated to become a nurse after I gave birth to my son at a young age. As with most horror stories circulated by ‘John Public’ about the health sector, the maternity ward was not without its own. It is usually said that nurses on the maternity ward are mean to young girls that come to give birth and ask questions like “why you screaming now, you weren’t bawling when you were taking yuh man”. 

That being my biggest fear was quickly dismissed by two warm, welcoming souls. Midwives, whose names I cannot remember, made me feel so comfortable, so much so, that my main focus was getting the labor and delivery process out of the way to meet my little Prince.

The grant I received from the Department of Advanced Training and Advisory Services (DATAS) was extremely beneficial and instrumental in me completing my nursing degree.  As you may or may not know, as a student nurse you receive a stipend, at that time it was $1,300.00. For many students, including myself, it was the only form of income, to pay for one’s expenses such as travel, housing, food, books and tuition fees just to name a few. Thankfully, I was able to find out about Tobago House of Assembly’s financial assistance programme at DATAS. The grant afforded me that privilege to cover some expenses, which helped me to focus on more important things such as passing my exams and completing my degree.

The application process was a bit tedious as there were many documents I had to acquire and submit initially but once that was done it was smooth sailing thereafter.  The officer that was assigned to me was very reliable and easy to talk to and even better she was just a phone call or email away.

My journey to becoming a Registered Nurse was a lesson on life and growth. Throughout the period, my family dynamics had changed drastically, which led to the many decisions that I made.  I started off at the Ministry of Health – School of Nursing, San Fernando, Trinidad, cohort BNEP 10.  I was even elected President of my batch. This period was short lived as I knew I wanted more out of my studies, as this was only a certificate.  The COSTATT was offering a B.Sc. in Basic General Nursing for the first time and I wanted to be a part of this. Here began my journey to its Port of Spain Campus, but little did I know BSN 1 was going to be the “guinea pig” group as we called ourselves, everything was trial and error with us.  Thankfully, I was privileged to make some wonderful friends that helped make my journey lighter and brighter at the end. But I could not make it without my faith and belief in God who was my constant guide and strength through prayers.

The best part about my job is that it is very dynamic and fast paced.  Working in the Emergency Department (ED) broadens one’s knowledge of nursing and managing critically ill patients in an acute state. This gives a feeling of fulfilment and satisfaction where I can change, and impact one life at a time, which has always been one of my goals as a nurse.

I definitely would do it all again, if given the opportunity to become a nurse in this lifetime or the next.  This is my calling, despite the many challenges within this noble profession, all of which has made me stronger mentally and spiritually.

My advice to persons seeking a career in Nursing is to have the support of family and friends, which is very important, especially when you have children and other responsibilities outside of nursing. A strong faith in God and prayers does wonders to calm the soul throughout your nursing journey. You must also be disciplined in your studies; enjoy and love what you do.  And last, but certainly not least, before you get into nursing do your research, talk to nursing professionals and look at the avail of limitless opportunities.  And place God almighty at the center of everything you do, to help you in all your decision making.