Providence Healthcare
Providence Healthcare

Investing in Our Future - Aileen's Story

Some people think when you pass the half-century mark it is time to rest on your laurels and coast to retirement. Human Resources senior director Aileen Edwards sees things differently.

After working at Providence since 2004, Aileen felt she hit a career ceiling when she reached her 50s. So she applied to the Master of Arts in Leadership at Royal Roads University in Victoria, British Columbia, and was accepted.

Providence’s Healthcare Education Grants program covered about 80 percent of the cost of her tuition and books; Aileen paid for her flights to Victoria and accommodation expenses.

“The grant was extremely helpful,” said Aileen, explaining her decision to apply for a Master’s degree was easier to make knowing the organization would support her.

Her hard work and determination to work full time while studying full time paid off. Last year, Aileen flew back to Victoria to receive her graduate degree.

Obtaining her degree took collaboration, strength and determination. She and her husband, who works full time, reorganized their responsibilities at home to create time for her to study. Leading up to her classes, Aileen had worried she might be the oldest in her class, which turned out to be the case, “but not by much,” to her relief. During the program her mother died - a deeply difficult time for Aileen and her family - but she resolved to continue her studies believing this is what her mother would have wanted.

Having graduated, she reflects attaining her goal has had a positive impact personally and professionally. At Providence, Aileen applies her education to improve patient care. Her Master’s thesis, for example, examined how nurse practice consultants can enhance communication among the front line nurses at Providence; several of her report’s recommendations have been implemented.