National Nursing Week Spotlight – Inuvik: Debbie MacDonald

Blog Post

National Nursing Week is from May 8-14, 2023 and this year’s theme is “Our Nurses. Our Future.” Nurses are the backbone of our health and social services system, providing essential work year round to care for our residents and communities.

Debbie MacDonald is an Emergency Room (ER) nurse at the Inuvik Regional Hospital. Before moving to Inuvik over 25 years ago, Debbie was originally from Sydney, Nova Scotia, and she completed her nursing diploma at the Victoria General Hospital then pursued a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) degree at St. Francis Xavier University.

“I have worked in various roles, starting with ER/ flight nursing. I then went to the Operating Room (OR) as a scrub/ circulating nurse. From the OR, I went to Public Health as a Public Health Nurse, and a Community Health Nurse for Tsiigehtchic. I went back to the Inuvik Regional Hospital (IRH) as a Nurse Educator, where I completed my Rural & Remote Nursing Certification. In 2015, I went back to ER, where I have chosen to finish my career as it is the area that I consider my true passion.”

In the Beaufort-Delta Region (BDR), Debbie is seen as a true mentor for others, especially for new nurses. “I feel slightly awkward being known as a mentor, but I do know that I enjoy teaching and mentoring other staff. I enjoy being in ER and working in the Beaufort Delta Region, so I also enjoy showing new staff the beauty of the region and the knowledge of the people already living and working here. I do consider myself someone who learns from their patients and clients, so I have been privileged to gain knowledge from people local to the Beaufort Delta Region and communities for the past 25 years.”

Throughout Debbie’s time in Inuvik, her love for the NWT has extended to her family as well. “I brought my children to the North when they were very young, and they have made the North their permanent home as well. Each of them lives and works in their home communities and contributes to the North in different ways (my eldest son is in education, my middle son works in engineering, and my daughter works in infrastructure). They have reflected my love of the North back to me, and I am proud of what they have accomplished and how they have also made it their home.”



At the Inuvik Regional Hospital, Debbie is often seen going above and beyond her assigned duties as a Registered Nurse with high praise for her abilities in patient care and advocacy. “All of the nurses in the BDR work as a team, and I want to acknowledge that we work as a team both at Inuvik Regional Hospital, and throughout the Beaufort Delta Region in home care, public health, and in the health centres. In order for nurses to be successful in the future, we have to work as a team in order to provide the best care we can for the citizens of the Beaufort Delta. I would like future nurses to remember this so that the traditions of nursing carry forward.”