This week is National Nursing Week, an opportunity to shine a light on nurses across the country.

Before taking on the role of public health lead at Trinity Western University (TWU) in June 2020, Taryne Lepp spent twelve years working with the  Fraser Health Authority, including five years as a communicable disease specialist. A graduate of  TWU's School of Nursing, Lepp has also been on staff at TWU as a nursing researcher, clinical supervisor and course instructor for nurses in training. In February 2010, Lepp was part of a team supporting athletes and athlete-families at the Vancouver Winter Olympics. She holds a Master's degree in public health from Johns Hopkins University. 

"Being a nurse for me has been an active example of loving God and loving others. I am constantly challenged to see people the way Jesus does, (as) precious, and I’m motivated to prevent and alleviate suffering through justice and kindness," said Lepp.

The current pandemic is not Taryne’s first experience with a public health emergency. In September 2010, she spent four months helping to save Cholera patients in Haiti, through humanitarian aid work with Samaritan’s Purse.

“Those months taught me fortitude, gave me experience at managing a pervasive disease, and showed me I could make incredibly difficult choices,” she said. “Haiti changed how I saw the world, how I saw myself and altered the trajectory of my career away from acute hospital care toward public health.”

A decade after helping to fight the Cholera epidemic in Haiti, Taryne now brings a greater knowledge base and clinical expertise to help a university community of 5,000 students, plus 800 faculty and staff, navigate a pandemic.

Today on Connections, Taryne shares her experience as a nurse, what it's like to be a Christian and a nurse and how we can pray for nurses during this difficult season.