Meet third place winner Nichole Joly, – St. Paul’s Hospital

Nichole Joly, RN
St. Paul’s Hospital
Providence Health Care BC

On behalf of the 7B interdisciplinary team at St. Paul’s Hospital/Providence Health Care in Vancouver BC, I am nominating Ms. Nichole Joly for the 16th Annual Hospital News Nursing Hero Awards. Nichole has had a long nursing career with our organization and for the past two years, Nichole has worked as a Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) on 7B. 7B is our hospital’s Acute Medicine unit where we have COVID+ patients and patients considered high-risk, awaiting two swab results. Many of these patients come from the downtown eastside,which is considered to be the poorest neighbourhood in Canada. These marginalized patients are often homeless, or reside in SROs, and have substance use and mental health disorders. Nichole consistently provides a trifecta blend of socially just, culturally competent and trauma-informed lens to her care. Nichole introduces herself to each patient as they settle in on the unit. If a patient needs something, she is on top of it! Nichole initiated the “comfort table” on 7B; this was initiated as a harm reduction approach to prevent COVID+ from leaving against medical advice.

Nichole routinely procures patient-specific snacks and ice cream in order to keep COVID+ patients on the unit, receiving the medical care they require and hoping to minimize transmission in the community – and she refuses reimbursement for these purchases! In addition to our patients “visiting” family members by FaceTime and Zoom, Nichole advocates for community case managers to visit our most vulnerable of patients and for families to be with their loved ones in end-of-life situations. Nichole has such a caring and empathetic approach with staff members. She consistently supports all staff members, regardless of discipline, in every way possible. Nichole checks in with each person throughout their day to make sure they are managing their caseload. She will debrief with the team after challenging patient situations ranging from emotionallydraining code blues to adrenaline-pumping code whites. Nichole is the glue that holds her team together. She reinforces PPE practices daily to keep everyone safe and provides relevant COVID+ updates on topics like isolation requirements, vaccination and variants of concern. – Holly van Heukelo , Patient Care Manager St. Paul’s Hospital/Providence Health Care


There are a few rare gems such as Nichole Joly, whose inherent approach to life and work is to consider the underdog – that person who society has often given up on or seen as beyond the pale. In the hospital, it often seems like Nichole’s raison d’être is to empower the powerless and give a voice to those who others do not even see. Nichole is a humble being and takes pains not to offend, however this humility takes a back seat when Nichole feels like the rights, opinion and worth of one of her ‘people’ is not be considered and respected. At times like these Nichole is an outspoken advocate, whose sense of purpose, clarity and humanity cannot but be heard. It is this passion and purpose which inspires all who work with Nichole to become not just better healthcare workers, but better human beings. One of the core roles of any leader is to instill confidence in their team in its ability to get the job done. Nichole’s engaged and strength-based approach to her leadership helps all of those she mentors and supports to identify their worth and place within the team. She is also conscious of giving people the space they need to grow, while creating a safe space for dialogue where people feel safe confiding their challenges. Nichole is a fantastic nurse, an inspirational leader and most importantly a beautiful human being. – Padraig Reynolds, Social Worker


It’s so hard to think of a specific story about Nichole. With her it’s just a lot of little moments that add up to incredibly compassionate care. She really genuinely cares so much about the wellbeing of all of her patients, the nurses, and other staff she works with. She is a strong advocate for patients who use substances and have experienced trauma. She takes time every morning to ensure every member of her team feels heard, supported and understands the expectation of working with such a vulnerable population. She has thrown herself into the challenging work in red/yellow and spends time with staff to ensure they understand how things work different on the COVID unit. Nichole goes out of her way to make a connection with everyone on her team. When she asks how you are doing, she gives the impression that she really cares about you and how you are feeling in that moment. She is so incredibly empathetic and that her empathy is infectious. Any staff who have the opportunity to work with Nichole appear to be changed by the experience. She reminds us all why we are here, why we are nurses and our humanity can make a difference. –  Zoe Mulvenna, Clinical Nurse Educator


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