National Nursing Week Spotlight: Betty Ann Marriot shares her journey on becoming a Nurse Practitioner and an Instructor at Aurora College

Blog Post

May 6 – 12, 2024 is National Nursing Week and this year’s theme is “Changing Lives. Shaping Tomorrow,” which recognizes the way that nurses directly impact the lives of patients through care, compassion, and expertise that we provide as advocates of health. Another way nurses are seen impacting lives is through teaching and Betty Ann Marriott is a Nurse Practitioner (NP) as well as an Instructor at Aurora College and shares her journey on pursuing her nursing career in the North.

“I was born and raised in Nova Scotia and then came to Yellowknife as a member of the Armed Forces in 1992. My dream was to be a nurse in the North, so I applied to Aurora College and received my Northern Nursing Diploma in December 1997. I worked at Stanton Territorial Hospital for about 10 years in psychiatry, pediatrics, surgery, hemodialysis, as well as a short stint as Clinical Coordinator of the dialysis unit.

In 2007, I moved to Aurora College to work in the nursing lab and teach students psychomotor skills. During this time, I completed my Bachelor of Science in Nursing with a Pediatric Nursing Specialty from BCIT. While working at Aurora College, there were two Nurse Practitioners there and I was in awe of the knowledge and skills that they possessed – I felt inspired and wanted to be like that too, so I pursued the Master of Nursing in the Nurse Practitioner stream at Athabasca University.”

Betty Ann’s passion for nursing grew even further as she became interested in becoming an instructor while she had the opportunity to mentor a student on Pediatrics. “I think that I learned as much from students as they learned from me. Nursing truly is a career that involves lifelong learning. I was also interested in the expanded nursing role and because I worked in academia, loved hands-on nursing practice, and had a responsibility to further my education.”

When asked what she likes best about being a Nurse Practitioner and an instructor, Betty Ann says, “My quench for nursing knowledge is always being filled and I get to share this knowledge with students. Being both an NP and an instructor, the northern population benefits in several ways: 1. I am teaching northern students to be nurses, 2. I maintain an active NP practice, where I can provide Primary Health Care to Northerners and 3. My clinical practice helps me keep my classroom alive as students learn to apply theory to case scenarios.”

Through her time at Aurora College, Betty Ann comments on the type of challenge students face and how the College assists to ensure the success of the students. “Finding clinical placements in Yellowknife can be a challenge. Travelling within the NWT is expensive, so it is difficult for students to go to other communities for their practicums. The Aurora College program helps by partnering with other agencies and getting bursaries so that students can be supported to complete their practicums in communities.”

“Advice I would give to those interested in nursing is: Becoming a nurse takes a lot of hard work, constant education, and persistence but it is also an exciting and rewarding job that never gets boring. Because of the high demands, remember to take care of you! Find time to walk in the woods, pick some berries, go for a run or out for dinner with a friend. Personally, I love to garden, pick berries, kayak, and hike with my friends and family.”

“Being a nurse in the North is a unique experience that comes with its own challenges and rewards. I love the fresh air and the rich cultures that live here. Everyone is welcoming and willing to share and support all who have made the NWT their home. Also, because I was involved with most of the Yellowknife nurse’s education, I can feel relieved that I will receive some of the best care available.”


Interested in working in the NWT? Visit PracticeNWT for more information.

To learn about the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, visit the Aurora College website