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

Little Brown Bat, Cori Lausen image
Puntledge River bats being studied

Scientists will be monitering bat activity in the Puntlesge River Watershed this… Continue reading

A 30x40 ft boat/car shop in the Little River area near Wilkinson Road was fully involved by the time firefighters arrived on scene. Photo by Comox Fire Rescue
Comox firefighters battle ‘showy’ shop fire Saturday night

Smoke could be seen throughout the Comox Valley

ROAM Media’s Ian Adams designed the label for the new honey ale. Image supplied
Church St., Ace combine on a true Comox Valley brew

The taphouse has Home Buoy on tap, and it’s also in cans

The finish line! Huband held a ‘Colour Run’ Friday to celebrate what’s been a different school year. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Comox Valley school lets its colours run

Huband Elementary wanted a way to bring kids together

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

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

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

In this Saturday, May 29, 2021, file photo, people crowd the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif. California, the first state in America to put in place a coronavirus lockdown, is now turning a page on the pandemic. Most of California’s coronavirus restrictions will disappear Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
With COVID tamed, it’s a ‘grand reopening’ in California

No more state rules on social distancing, no more limits on capacity, no more mandatory masks

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Gabriola Island artist Sheila Norgate is promoting the Digital Innovation Group’s art impact survey. (File photo)
Vancouver Island artists get behind regional arts impact study

Artists urged to use their stature to help put arts and culture super-region on the map

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Neighbours on edge of Nanaimo city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Most Read