Learning to care for others: Nunavut’s nursing program
“I’m going to do anything to stay these four years”
Nunavut’s new nursing students are enthusiastic about starting the first year of Nunavut Arctic College’s four-year nursing program, an enthusiasm they were eager to share when Sophie Rhys-Jones, the Countess of Wessex, paid a visit to the college Sept. 14.
The group of first year nursing students — 16 in all — is one of the biggest groups that physiology instructor René Ritter has taught.
“They’re all really keen and enthusiastic,” he said.
About half of them took the college foundations course, which is required by the college to prepare students academically for the demanding nursing courses.
The foundations program helped the students with terminology and to feel more comfortable at school, said first year student Taylor Glugosh, who found an interest in nursing after receiving good treatment from a community nurse in Rankin Inlet.
“She was very neutral and I really looked up to her, and I thought that’s the kind of role model I want to be for people,” said Glugosh, who is originally from Toronto.
“Typically you would think that your family would be the one to be there for you, but that’s not always the case for everybody, and to be able to be that outside person to look at a situation and be able to pass no judgment, I think that’s somebody that everybody needs once in awhile,” she added.
First year student Alookie Itorcheak agrees.
She wants to set a good example for other prospective nursing students.
“I wanted to let other people know that you can go through the program, you can have a career, and show them that you can do it,” she said.
Itorcheak, who has lived in Iqaluit all her life, said the program was convenient for her — “I wanted to grab it and I just wanted to learn.”
She also started the program because many patients prefer to speak Inuktitut when talking to a nurse.
“You can be very understanding, and if you work with other nurses, it would be beneficial to them too,” Itorcheak said.
The fledging nurses already know a nurse needs to be able to care for others.
“I’ve always been told I’ve been a very caring person,” said first-year student Emily Aoudla-Henrie, who has had to step up and care for family members during hard situations.
“I was told that it comes so naturally to me and that I should become a nurse,” she said.
“Whatever obstacle will be thrown at me, whether its personal issues or life issues just in general, I’m going to do anything in my will to stay these four years,” Aoudla-Henrie added.
After they graduate, Glugosh, Aoudla-Henrie and Itorcheak plan to practice nursing in Nunavut.
“My hope and my wish for this class would be that we all make it there together.”