I recently completed my second year of nursing studies at GPRC and the journey has been filled with learning opportunities, hands-on experiences in different clinical settings (including long-term care, public health and maternity and pediatrics), stresses and times where I questioned myself, “why am I doing this?”
Being a student in my 40’s with the majority of classmates who are half of my age makes me think sometimes, “is this the right place for me?” I remember one of our instructors last year mentioned that when you reach over 35 years of age, 100,000 brain cells die every day; no wonder sometimes I feel nothing is going into my brain. 😊
Being a male nursing student where nursing is still considered as a female-dominated profession, my experience has been wonderful so far with very little not-so-wonderful moments. When I was in a long-term care clinical setting, patients and staff at the facility were happy to see a male nursing student as some of the patients needed physically demanding care. Whereas in my maternity clinical settings, many female patients were not comfortable with a male nurse. There are some moments where I missed some learning opportunities in the maternity clinical setting just because I am a male student. It is very interesting because many of the same patients would not be uncomfortable if the doctor was a male. I hope the stigma behind male nurses changes over time because, at the end of the day, nurses are here to help, no matter their gender. I am excited to be a part of that change and to be a male nurse. Even with these challenges, I know that I have chosen the right career path for me!
Submitted by GPRC Nursing student and Student Ambassador, Ram Neupane.
Program: 5th Year, Business Administration Position: Midfielder Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta
GPRC Wolves midfielder, Scott Fraser is in his fifth and final year at the College. He has played a key role in the program and mentoring our younger players. Scott has a wand of a left foot and possesses a wonderful first touch complete with a booming shot. He is one of the most naturally gifted athletes in the squad and his love for the game brings the team’s momentum up a notch.
Scott is a popular member of the squad. He is a mature student-athlete and advises the younger athletes of the Wolves way. Thank you to Scott for his dedication to the Wolves.
Anna van der Giessen
Program: 2nd Year, Bachelor of Science in Nursing Hometown: Bezanson, Alberta
With the departure of last year’s Cross Country Running MVP Kelcie Bulas, Anna van der Giessen was tasked with leading the Wolves Women’s Cross Country team this fall. Anna stepped up to the task and was the top GPRC Wolves Women’s runner in every race during the October and November season. The pride of Bezanson, Alberta, Anna looks to score points in Indoor Track for the Wolves in the 600m, the 1000m, and the 4 x 400m relay this semester. Thank you Anna for your dedication to the Wolves program.
Congratulations to our GPRC Wolves Featured Athletes of the Week. Thank you for being excellent examples of what it means to be a student-athlete.
3rd Year, Licensed Practical Nurse Middle Hometown: Beaverlodge, Alberta
Leah is a very dynamic athlete with a fiery spirit. She is seen in the league as a major offensive threat from the middle and recently recorded 8 and 10 kills per match respectively this past weekend when the Wolves took on the NAIT Ooks. Her all around skills of defense, serving consistency as well as dynamic closing to block make her a valuable asset on the court and to the team. Her leadership abilities are demonstrated both on and off the court with immense dedication to the weight-room and in her academics. Leah serves as a co-captain to the Wolves squad.
Well done, Leah!
1st Year, Open Studies Guard Hometown: Stockholm, Sweden
Sophie joins the GPRC Wolves in her first year all the way from Stockholm, Sweden. Sophie’s first season with the pack is off to an incredible start with her averaging 14.3 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. She currently sits at 8th in the Conference for 3 point percentage at 41.9%. Sophie is a leader and co-captain of the team. She plays an integral role on our team and is a fantastic leader. She is seen around the league as a major threat to score a lot of points. Sophie’s dedication to her team, sport, and studies are evident in everything that she does.
I am originally from Nepal and been living here in Canada since 2011. In the year 2015, Nepal had a devastating earthquake which claimed over 9,000 lives. The house I was born and raised in was destroyed and my family was in mental trauma.
I was here, in Canada, when it happened; as soon as I knew about the situation there, I couldn’t stay here and went back home right away. Even though my family (parents) had lost their house, luckily no one was physically hurt. There were people in a different part of the country who had lost everything including their loved ones. I spent a couple days with family and went on volunteering in a different rural part of the country. I did whatever I could but felt like if I have had some healthcare skills, I could have done more. At one part of the country, I was a part of a medical team for temporary health check-up for affected people. I didn’t even know how to check blood pressure or any other basic vital signs. That was the triggering moment for me to be in the program I am in now.
I am determined to be graduated so I will be able to use my skills for some humanitarian cause in any part of the world.
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.
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 theNational 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.