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 person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Local youth vaccination clinics underway

Pfizer vaccine will be used

Priya Sharma. (Submitted)
Column: Why ultimatums don’t work

By Priya Sharma It is a common misconception that people can choose… Continue reading

People had a chance to interact with different animals at the petting zoo, participate in mutton busting, and buy everything local during the Fall Fair held in 2019. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
55th Fall Fair in Vanderhoof cancelled

Alternative events eyed once again

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko, a Vancouver lawyer, has been suspended from practice for two months after admitting that his firm mismanaged $44,353.19 in client trust funds. (Acumen Law)
High-profile B.C. lawyer suspended over $44K in mismanaged client trust funds

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko admits to failing to supervise his staff and find, report the shortage

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., center left, reaches over to Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., joined by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they celebrate the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act that creates a new federal holiday to commemorate June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people after the Civil War, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 17, 2021. It’s the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden to sign bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday

New American stat marks the nation’s end of slavery

Athena and Venus, ready to ride. (Zoe Ducklow - Sooke News Mirror)
Goggling double-dog motorcycle sidecar brings smiles to B.C. commuters

Athena and Venus are all teeth and smiles from their Harley-Davidson sidecar

Kimberly Bussiere and other laid-off employees of Casino Nanaimo have launched a class-action lawsuit against the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
B.C. casino workers laid off during pandemic launch class-action lawsuit

Notice of civil claim filed in Supreme Court of B.C. in Nanaimo against Great Canadian Gaming

A Photo from Sept. 2020, when First Nations and wild salmon advocates took to the streets in Campbell River to protest against open-pen fish farms in B.C.’s waters. On Dec. 17, federal fisheries minister Bernadette Jordan announced her decision to phase out 19 fish farms from Discovery Islands. Cermaq’s application to extend leases and transfer smolts was denied. (Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror)
Feds deny B.C.’s Discovery Island fish farm application to restock

Transfer of 1.5 million juvenile salmon, licence extension denied as farms phased out

John Kromhoff with some of the many birthday cards he received from ‘pretty near every place in the world’ after the family of the Langley centenarian let it be known that he wasn’t expecting many cards for his 100th birthday. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Cards from all over the world flood in for B.C. man’s 100th birthday

An online invitation by his family produced a flood of cards to mark his 100th birthday

FILE – Nurse Iciar Bercian prepares a shot at a vaccine clinic for the homeless in Calgary, Alta., Wednesday, June 2, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
B.C. scientists to study effectiveness of COVID vaccines in people with HIV

People living with HIV often require higher doses of other vaccines

Most Read