Graduate has plans for higher learning

 

By LEN GILLIS

Nursing school for Brittaney Kent was a time of personal growth, where she said she developed her leadership and interpersonal skills.  Along with that, Kent was a successful graduate in Nipissing University’s four-year B.Sc.N. nursing program; one of many in the Class of 2019.

She recalled she had a good feeling when she first visited the campus, back when she was graduating high school.

“I chose Nipissing because I felt warmth when I stepped onto the campus, visiting as a graduating high school student. The nursing program at Nipissing requires students to be in a clinical setting first semester or first year, therefore individuals have the opportunity to discover if they have chosen the right profession, very early on,” she explained.

Kent added that the class sizes were personable and there was opportunity to develop an individual’s practice through electives and autonomy over some placements.  She also liked the fact that outside of the nursing classes, the Nipissing campus is surrounded by forested hiking trails and a waterfall in the backyard, while also having access to shopping centres and other urban amenities.

She admitted that it wasn’t all easy to deal. There were some challenges she said.

“Financial challenges. Overcoming and coping with the stress and anxiety that comes along with that.  Burn out. Coming from high school, where a majority of (yet, not all) students come from a provider’s home where structure and routine naturally occur. Many students, including myself, had a difficult time developing and maintaining a balanced lifestyle throughout higher education. Between studying, working, having a social life and self-care, exercising and eating well,” Kent said.

On the flip side of that she said, Nipissing provided a positive learning environment.

“The best part of my learning experience was being provided the space to explore my personal growth and identity in an open, caring environment with professors and faculty that are intelligent and experienced, as well as supportive,” Kent said.

“I also had ample opportunity to develop soft skills through getting involved on campus. I wasn’t only learning in the classroom or in placement but I was also learning leadership and interpersonal skills through working and volunteering opportunities on campus.

“Of course every program and school has exceptions and room for improvement; generally speaking, the school of nursing, Nipissing University, as well as the Student union’s staff ensure that each student is the main priority.”

Kent said she appreciated her learning experience and has plans to work in Western Canada.

“I went into the nursing office in September and explained to the placement coordinator, Michelle Banks that I was interested in learning about traditional medicine and how to integrate traditional healing with western medicine, as well as a passion and desire to contribute to the maintenance and growth of remote/northern communities. Without hesitation, she connected me with a placement in a fly-in community in northern Saskatchewan.

“I am looking forward to having 100% autonomy over my development and creating my career,” she said. “Nipissing University School of nursing professors spoke highly and thoroughly of the importance of holistic health; ensuring that emotional, mental, physical and spiritual health be on the forefront while delivering client-centered care. There was so much room to explore the multiple avenues; we were exposed to public health, community health, medicine and surgery, research, higher education in nursing, geriatrics, family and child, every aspect of health care and delivering it,” she recalled.

“I personally have accepted a position in Northern Saskatchewan, where I completed my fourth year consolidation,” she said and added she plans to advance her career with higher education, most likely through medical school.

“I aspire to go to medical school, pursue a masters or become a Nurse Practitioner and contribute to developing health care systems in northern Canada. It’s difficult to tell what the future holds.

“I am excited to collaborate and work directly with a diverse experienced multidisciplinary team- learning from others’ experiences and having autonomy over developing my practice. None of which I would have similar opportunity in urban health care centres/hospitals.

“I was really worried about horizontal workplace violence and pushing a “med/surg” agenda and burning out within a couple years. Today, I am grateful to say I work with an incredible team that supports a community. Not just see and treat patients in a hospital. I have Nipissing University to thank for that.

Her advice to future students is to talk to as many people and professionals as possible to help determine your choices.

“If you meet people from different professions ask them if they are happy and enjoy what they do. Listen with an open mind and take the time to understand why people feel the way they do, then take it with a grain of salt- your experience could be different than their perception.”

 

Filed in: Education, News

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