I Saw a Need, and I Knew I Could Meet It

Donna Wood, RPN, IBSIG Secretary

Nursing is a primary, yet secondary career for me.  I have always worked in the healthcare sector, and became an RPN in 1995/96, after working as a health care aid in the long-term care setting for many years.

Unlike many nurses who go into independent business after working for several years, I saw the need for footcare while working as the HCA.  I immediately went into the footcare business after graduating from the nursing program at MacMaster School of Nursing and am the owner of A1 Footcare Services in Thorold.

I have faced some challenges in this endeavour.  Prior to learning about IB SIG, there was no one putting themselves out there to help nurses in the Niagara region except Florence Norman (of Florence Norman Footcare).  She mentored me as much as possible, as did Catherine Arnott when I heard about the Independent Business Specialty Interest Group (IB SIG).

I have also learned that a lot of the time it was sink or swim, you’re frequently on your own.  My ongoing challenge is the everyday changes and advancements in social media, especially as it relates to business.  A lot of marketing is moving to the digital world, and it is hard to keep up.  I spend a lot of time outdoors in nature; it’s my way of stepping away from those challenges and taking care of myself so that I can be at my best for my clients.

I have met some of the wisest elderly people while operating my business, and I treasure the conversations we have.  I know that if I worked in a traditional setting, I wouldn’t be able to take the same amount of time with people, and a lot of those moments wouldn’t happen.  Being in business for myself allows me the freedom to make and maintain those connections.

IB SIG has been a very important part of growing my business, and it is one of the best groups that one could ever want to belong to, which is why I stepped up and became the group’s secretary.  It’s my way of giving back to an organization which has given so much to me.