Windsor country singer balances microphone and scrubs after return to nursing amid pandemic

Within months of releasing her debut country album and days after a performance, Windsor's Kelsi Mayne got out her scrubs and a face shield. 

'Whoever can help, should help,' says Kelsi Mayne

Kelsi Mayne, chief medical director at Pulsar UV, says she knew she wanted to help out during the pandemic. But she's also balancing her music career. (Submitted by Kelsi Mayne)

Within months of releasing her debut country album and days after a performance showcasing her talent, Windsor's Kelsi Mayne got out her scrubs and a face shield and returned to nursing. 

Last year, Mayne's very first album launched around the same time COVID-19 hit Canada, derailing many of her music plans. She told CBC News that she still had some musical obligations to fulfil as she was being funded through FACTOR Canada — a music grant offered through the federal government. 

"I felt like I had this [nursing] degree and if I wasn't using it then what good was I doing?" she said.

"I promised myself as soon as my obligations allowed I would help if it lasted long enough, and it did unfortunately, but now I'm happy to be actually able to help out." 

Days after a performance for the Country Music Association of Ontario in October, Mayne started nursing again.

At first, she was a testing nurse for HCP Diagnostics, a medical staffing company that also offers rapid COVID-19 tests for asymptomatic people, film production companies, workplaces and essential travellers in Ontario. 

She has now joined Pulsar UV — which also offers medical testing for film productions in the province — as their chief medical director. 

Kelsi Mayne, a country singer who turned to nursing when the pandemic hit (Submitted by Kelsi Mayne)

Mayne hasn't been working in a hospital or ICU as she said she would have needed a significant amount of re-training. The last time Mayne practiced nursing was about two years ago at a clinic. 

"Obviously I didn't feel comfortable with my current practice states, I've been working in and out of clinics and so I wouldn't be suitable to go into the hospitals," she said. 

She said she was drawn to go back in to nursing because she was "raised to help other people." 

"This is another one of those instances where it's a total team effort and whoever can help, should help," she said. 

"It is really rewarding to be able to help out even in some small way ... when I'm testing these people in their workplaces and a lot of these people have to go through this so many times, like in film and television it's up to three times a week,  and I know everyone's exhausted and tired of it but to kind of just maybe brighten up someone's day for the five minutes that I'm with them and maybe make it a more slightly more enjoyable experience, that in itself is why I went into nursing in the first place." 

And she's doing all this while keeping up with her music career. 

In her down time, Mayne said she is still "chipping away at it as much as I can." 

She's currently editing her latest music video and already planning more collaborations with other artists as well as livestreamed events. 

"I've always kind of been able to balance things," she said. "It's just kind of taking one day at a time, making sure you're taking deep breaths and enjoying the process too."