Colleen Price, Vancouver Island University’s bachelor of science in nursing program chairperson, says she is impressed with how students have persevered through the COVID-19 pandemic. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

Colleen Price, Vancouver Island University’s bachelor of science in nursing program chairperson, says she is impressed with how students have persevered through the COVID-19 pandemic. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

Next generation of B.C. nurses already showing resilience

University program head says learning had to be adjusted amidst pandemic

Today’s nursing students, when they graduate from their studies and enter the health-care system, will have already risen to COVID-19 challenges.

The outset of the pandemic came in the middle of last year’s spring semester, with nursing students in the midst of class and clinical practice. Colleen Price, chairperson of Vancouver Island University’s bachelor of science in nursing program, said faculty had to scramble to make adjustments to how students consolidate “all of their learning and all of their skills” in a practice setting.

Last summer, first- and second-year students were not able to go into practice because there hadn’t been enough planning time.

“A decision was made by the province that … third-year and fourth-year students would be able to go into the practice setting if appropriate [protective equipment] was available,” said Price. “We had to reduce numbers in clinical practice in the hospitals. We couldn’t go into long-term care because of the outbreaks and because of the risk, so we had to make some major transitions over last summer, where some of our face-to-face practice sessions turned into online sessions.”

Going into last fall, with safety guidelines in place, hospitals were able to accommodate students a little better, said Price, and all theory courses went online in a blended format. She estimates face-to-face skills training in the VIU learning centre was reduced 50 per cent, as the department was not able to have that many students in one place at one time.

The university provided kits for students to take home to practise with.

“It would just depend on what year they were in: [intravenous] bags and IV tubing, dressing trays to practise how to do sterile dressing, any of the equipment other than sharps … our nursing faculty would do video conferencing with them and review skills with them,” Price said.

But while learning was affected, the pandemic saw demand for graduating nursing students.

“No issues about employment for our nurses at all,” said Price. “Island Health really was very supportive, in a pandemic and under these circumstances, supporting the students.”

Price has nothing but praise for students as they are learning and going into health-care workplaces in a pandemic.

“I’m so, so, so impressed with the students,” said Price. “They may have been anxious, but their questions were very thoughtful. They would check in, making sure that they had the correct understanding of various policies and guidelines. They knew that there were risks going into practice and yet they were dedicated to finishing the program.”

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

RELATED: B.C.’s COVID-19 count creeps up, seven more deaths

RELATED: VIU to study pandemic effects on mental health of grade schoolers



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusNurse practitionersVIU

Just Posted

A local letter writer would appreciate if cyclists would think more about safety while riding in the area of River Road in North Langley. (Black Press Media files)
LETTER: North Langley route popular with cyclists but letter writer urges caution

A road user has concerns about some of the cycling habits she’s seeing in the area of River Road

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole spoke to members of the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce via a Zoom chat with chamber CEO Colleen Clark on Friday, June 11. (Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Conservative leader talks tourism, trade, SkyTrain with Langley Chamber

The virtual fireside chat included talk about childcare and the budget

Deeba Mostafaie-Mehr, Setare Maleki Rizi, and Olivia Chen Xu from R.E. Mountain Secondary are recipients of three prestigious scholarships. (Langley School District/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley STEM students shine as recipients of prestigious scholarships

Three students from R.E. Mountain Secondary recognized

The new Langley Memorial Hospital emergency room opened for its first patients on Tuesday, May 4. (Government of B.C./Special to the Langley Advance Times)
LETTER: Aldergrove woman underwhelmed with new hospital ER

New ER is nice but needs adequate staffing, local woman writes

Graduation ceremonies will look different for the class of 2021. (Black Press Media files)
Ryan’s Regards: 2021 grads deserve more than a round of applause

Students have had a difficult 15 months, incomparable to most eras other classes graduated into

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

Most Read