Last May, GPRC Nursing Instructors Teresa Evans and Sheila Elliott were selected to head down under as part of a faculty exchange and research opportunity with Holmesglen Institute in Melbourne, Australia.
Check out their adventures here.
Recently, Holmesglen got to return the favour and join us in Grande Prairie for a visit.
Andree Gamble and Debra Kiegaldie from Holmesglen Nursing Department located in Melbourne, Australia arrived at GPRC earlier this month after a roughly 30-hour plane ride as part of an exchange program with the College. This trip was both of their first times to Canada.
With the expected completion of Grande Prairie’s new regional health and education centre in 2020, GPRC is building a partnership with Holmesglen Institute to share opportunities for research and education that comes from both institutions having hospitals on college-owned land.
On their agenda was getting to meet and discuss further opportunities with the College’s Executive team and Nursing Department along with getting to sit in on the some of the current accelerated Nursing courses happening over the summer at the College.
Gamble, an Undergraduate Coordinator at Holmesglen, discussed how much she enjoyed sitting in on one of GPRC’s classes.
“The cohort of students was outstanding and so welcoming of me,” said Gamble. “I think it would be good for our students to experience the smaller class sizes and likewise for the Grande Prairie students.”
Class sizes at GPRC are quite a bit smaller than those at Holmesglen, with a 56-student intake as opposed to Holmesglen’s approximately 600 students in two Nursing programs (a two-year Diploma program and a three-year Bachelor’s degree.)
A major goal of this budding partnership is to start an exchange program that would involve students and faculty.
“It would be good for our students and also the students in Grande Prairie to see how similar we are in terms of health care and access to health care,” said Gamble. “Our students live in a big city, so access to medical care of any description is really quite close. Here it is a different environment. This is a regional centre.”
Kiegaldie, an associate professor at Holmesglen Institute, said that would be great experience for their students.
“We talk to our students a lot about a global view on health. This would be an opportunity to expand their thinking and their understanding of what it means to work in another country,” she said.
The faculty from both institutions discussed the potential benefits of a faculty member accompanying the two or three students who would be partaking in the exchange to create a sense of comfort and continue to expand the sharing of knowledge.
“Faculty exchanges are beneficial because we can pick up on the little things that have been implemented successfully at GPRC and see if they would work for us and likewise,” said Kiegaldie.
At this early planning stage, discussions are around having students from Grande Prairie visit Holmesglen in April and students from Australia visit GPRC in October.
Before Andree and Debra departed on their trip home, they for sure got the Alberta-tourist experience. The ladies toured Banff and Lake Louise and saw a bear, got a picture with the Big Beaver in Beaverlodge, viewed the expansion project at the National Bee Diagnostic Centre and—their favourite activity—got to ride in a chuckwagon!
“I’ve never experienced anything like that before,” said Gamble. “It was the ultimate experience!”
A huge thank you to Andree and Debra for joining us at GPRC. We look forward to welcoming you back on campus in the near future.