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

Ron getting loose and sipping a glass of the family’s favourite greek amber spirit, Metaxa. (Photo supplied)
In Our Valley: Ron Lechner

Retired part-time singer and Rio Tinto lifer: Ron Lechner

Map of the road work that will be completed this summer. The streets highlighted in red are what the district planned on completing before additional funding, and the streets highlighted in orange is the road works that will be done with the additional funding. (District of Kitimat photo)
$1.1 million allocated for road work this year in Kitimat

Kitimat council has added $470,000 for more work by deferring four other projects.

Hirsch Creek Golf Course Volunteer, Augie Penner, talking about how he continues the tradition, set by Joe Atamchuck, to catch and release fry that keep spawning at the course. (Jacob Lubberts photo)
VIDEO: Kitimat golf course volunteers making moves for the fishlings

During the highwater season, salmon are known to lay their eggs in the ponds at the golf course

Ocean Wise’s cetacean photogrammetry research program uses aerial images collected by boat-launched drones to measure the body condition of whales. (Ocean Wise Marine Mammal License MML-18 photo)
LNG Canada commits $750K to whale research, conservation initiative

Ocean Wise education team will work alongside educational and Indigenous leaders in the area

The Sam Lindsay Aquatic Centre will be closed from June 28 until September 13 for annual facility maintenance as well as teach pool and decking repairs. (Black Press photo)
Sam Lindsay Aquatic Centre closed: June 28 – September 13

The aquatic centre will be closed for annual facility maintenance

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

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

A vial containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a vaccination site in Marcq en Baroeul, outside Lille, northern France, Saturday, March 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michel Spingler
mRNA vaccines ‘preferred’ for all Canadians, including as 2nd dose after AstraZeneca: NACI

New recommendations prioritizes Pfizer, Moderna in almost all cases

Most Read