Camping trip inspired student to attend nursing school in North Bay

Nipissing University nursing graduate Daniel Doak



Having a small close-knit setting like Nipissing University, it wasn’t a hard thing for Daniel Doak to make the switch from planning a teaching career to nursing.  Doak is one of the newest graduates from the Nipissing’s four-year Bachelor of Science (Nursing) program.

Doak said he was attracted to Northern Ontario from the Greater Toronto area after a camping trip nearly a decade ago.

“The first time I came to North Bay was on a rained-out camp trip in Algonquin Park in 2010. Since then, I was always drawn to the possibility of going to school in the North, where all kinds of outdoor activities would be readily accessible,” he said.

“When I first moved to North Bay in 2013, it was a bit of a culture shock to move from the GTA where everything is available within an hour drive to a northern town of 50,000. It took about a year for me to get used to living in a small city, but since then I’ve grown to love it and I’m actually moving to an even smaller rural town.”

Doak said he had decided to attend Nipissing U initially to pursue a career in teaching. Nipissing is well known for its Bachelor of Education program.
“In high school, I was always intrigued by a career in healthcare, but I didn’t consider myself to be strong enough in science to make a serious attempt at it,” Doak revealed.

He began studying in the liberal arts program, but said he discovered teaching was not what he wanted.

“So I began to seriously research making the jump into nursing. Fortunately, Nipissing is a small school with an excellent nursing program, so it was not difficult to talk to people and successfully make the switch.”

He said one of the best experiences was being immersed in clinical experiences right in the first semester.

“The constant exposure to ‘real’ hands-on nursing is crucial to staying motivated in a challenging program, and many schools in larger centres have a hard time offering the same experiences due to the number of students they have to accommodate,” he said.

Doak said he plan is to be soon hard at work in Southern Ontario.

“For the next few years, I’m looking forward to doing the hands-on nursing that I spent years preparing for. Starting in June, I’ll be working in a long-term care home in the small central Ontario town of Bobcaygeon. I’m excited about this opportunity to allow me to work to the full scope of RN practice, including leading other staff and potentially even RN prescribing,” he said.

Satisfied with his career choice, Doak said he is quick to recommend it to others.

“For younger students, I would encourage them to strongly consider a career in health sciences, even if they have some doubts about it. Healthcare is a surprisingly diverse field, and is completely different from how it’s portrayed on TV. I would also recommend they extensively research where they choose to study. Post-secondary education is a life-changing experience, and it’s best to seriously consider not only where you can get the best experience in your field, but also where your personal growth can be fostered.


Filed in: Education, News

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