Born to Care

From family caregiver to aspiring international nurse

Humble beginnings

Little Juliana in her home in Accra, Ghana.

As a proud wife and mother, Juliana Nketia is full of life. Her story begins in a small fishing community in Accra, the capital of Ghana. Life was tough while growing up in a community with poor living conditions, violence, and crime. Nonetheless, Juliana was grateful to be surrounded by the love of her parents. At the age of 12, Juliana and her family relocated to an estate in the town, Kasoa. Their new home promised a better future in a safe environment. Their lives had taken a turn for the better.

Born to care

Even at a young age, Juliana was inclined to care for people. She attended to her family when they were sick or injured, earning her the title of “family caregiver”. It was obvious to her that she would someday work in healthcare.

This vision solidified when she met a team of nurses who visited her high school. She was inspired by how they cared for the students, happily going about their work. She was certain then that she was born to do this. After high school, she went ahead and earned her degree in nursing.

I would rush to get the first aid box when anyone was sick or hurt without knowing what I was doing. I would sit with them and comfort them until they were okay.

The start of something

Sunday best – Juliana with her family at her baby’s christening

Working as a nurse was a dream come true for Juliana. After five years of working as a Registered Nurse (RN), she decided to specialize in Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) nursing. Juliana continued nursing in Ghana for another eight years, describing it as incredibly fulfilling.

Her favourite part of her job was seeing the smiles of her patients and mentoring the junior nurses. But the most rewarding part of her job was knowing she had made a positive impact in the lives of her colleagues, mentoring the next generation of caregivers.

During her time at the hospital in Ghana, fate led her to meet the love of her life. He worked as a Biostatistics Assistant in the records room, and after months of friendship and courting, he proposed. They have now been happily married for 11 years, and have three beautiful children.

For the love of family

As much as Juliana loved working as a nurse, the cost of living outpaced her wage. Regardless, she was dedicated and stayed committed to her chosen career. She draws inspiration from her parents, who have always supported her, and brings that same level of compassion and care to her work.  Her dreams of giving the best education to her children, the best life for her family, and coupled with growing economic challenges in Ghana, fueled her desire to relocate to Canada. She will always be grateful to her family, who supported her financially

I gave my all to caring and mentoring others. Maybe one day, they would be the ones taking care of me, or my family member. And I would want the best care for them.

A promising pathway

Juliana found Stenberg College online while searching for schools in Canada and enrolled in the Healthcare Assistant (HCA) Diploma program. With her husband’s promise to take care of their children, and faith in her new path, she moved to Canada in June of 2023. Her first few months were not smooth sailing, it was difficult for her to find a job. Nonetheless, Juliana’s light could not be dimmed. She remained optimistic, drawing inspiration from her colleagues and instructors at Stenberg College. After a few months, she landed a job in a care home called The Key, where she cares for older adults.

Juliana with her husband and third child

Although having substantial experience in health care back home, Juliana is eager to learn about the Canadian health care system and advance in her career. While working as an HCA in Canada, she plans to pursue the National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS), which will enable her to become a Registered Nurse in Canada.

The Health Care Assistant program at Stenberg has been a great opportunity. But it’s just a stepping stone. I will not stop here.

Dreaming of forever

Today, Juliana is focused on excelling in her 28-week co-op placement. She describes her experience at Stenberg as the best decision she has ever made and preaches the value of the program to friends far and near. She is hopeful that this experience will lead to permanent employment and a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), to support her immigration process.
Juliana dreams of the day she will be reunited with her family and live together here in Canada. Looking ahead, she sees herself doing what she loves most, caring for others in an acute care setting. She hopes to spread her big love and care to everyone who needs it.

Juliana (first right), at a potluck with her course mates from the HCA program.

Healthcare is all I’ve ever known and loved. And it is what I’ll do forever. I’ll retire a nurse


Esinam Adjaklo graduated with distinction from Stenberg College’s Business Diploma (Marketing Specialization) in 2024. She is currently interning with Stenberg College’s Marketing Department. She was born and raised in Accra, Ghana where she lived with her parents and 3 other siblings. She has always had a passion for art and creativity and graduated with a degree in Industrial Art with a major in Fashion Design from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. Esi plans to continue her studies at British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in the fall, make Canada her home, and establish her brand, Adzoa Atelier, as one of Canada’s top fashion houses.

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