(L-R) Student host Tara Yurychuk, Holmesglen nursing students Melissa Bell and Madison Banfield, and student host Kathryn Stickel.
From a Great Southern Land to the True North, Holmesglen Bachelor of Nursing students Madison Banfield and Melissa Bell have used their nursing course to study abroad and gain international career experience.
The second-year students jetted off to Canada’s Grande Prairie Regional College (located in north-west Alberta). Their optional study exchange included a three-week homestay with a host family, nursing classes and observing the day-to-day life of a Canadian nurse.
“I love that nursing is a career that gives you the opportunity to work in so many different areas and places. The trip was very rewarding and a great example of how nursing can take you anywhere in the world,” reflects Madison.
The pair joined nursing lab and simulation classes, shadowed nurses during their hospital shifts and toured various Canadian health facilities.
Madison witnessed a 12 hour shift in the surgical ward and Melissa in the emergency ward. They both spent a further two days in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and women’s health (labour and delivery) ward.
Madison and Melissa also toured the Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society (STARS) helicopter service and a homeless shelter.
They even had time to sightsee, which included visits to Banff National Park and Tumbler Ridge.
How did the study exchange help with their nursing career goals?
Madison used the study exchange to explore her neonatal nursing career path.
“Helping unwell babies who have not been dealt the best start to life [is] so rewarding,” Madison says. “Being given the opportunity to have a day in the NICU in Canada really cemented this for me.”
Meanwhile, Melissa explored the many career options nursing can provide.
“My thoughts of travelling as a nurse and working abroad have grown and I look forward to travelling further in the future,” she says.
The study exchange is part of a partnership with Grande Prairie Regional College that started in 2016. The initiative will help us contribute to future collaborative research and innovation projects. Holmesglen plans to host Grand Prairie Regional College students in 2020.
Find out what study opportunities are available to you at our nursing courses page.