If the last 16 months have taught us anything, it's that our essential workers, like the nurses and caregivers graduating from the Faculty of Nursing, are dedicated, even in the face of a major global event. We thank our nursing graduates who are passionate about making us well, providing care and supporting our mental and physical wellness.
My interest in wounds started when I was still in the Philippines. My father had an amputation of his toes due to an infected diabetic foot ulcer. We successfully closed his surgical wound using improvisation as advanced wound care products were not readily accessible in the Philippines during that time.
In 2019, when I had the resources and time, I decided to take the Wound Care Management Program with the hope of working in a wound care clinic someday and continuing to help my wound patients. However, going back to school was a big decision for me as I didn't know if I still had what it takes to complete the courses. Aside from that, I was anxious to take an online course because I'm a bit technologically challenged. However, with the help of my instructors, classmates and family, I made it through.
The pandemic made it harder for me to finish the program. When COVID-19 hospitalization cases were rapidly increasing, it put a lot of strain on our health-care system and on health-care providers such as nurses on the frontline. As a result, I was required to go to ICU during the second- and third-wave surge to help out. Juggling work, school and personal life was not easy. But with the right attitude and commitment and the support I got, I am now graduating. Graduating with an unexpected positive surprise — the Dean's medal award.
Leah Belsheim, Bachelor of Science in Nursing
I have wanted to be a nurse for as long as I can remember. It's a dynamic profession driven by constant change, challenges and learning. I love that I have the opportunity to engage with clients of all ages, stages and walks of life. When I began my preceptorship experience, all of my training just went "click"! Being able to apply what I have learned in the last four years and respond to challenges in a clinical setting brought me a great sense of joy and achievement. I feel that it truly is a privilege to be a nurse. After building some practical experience in rural nursing, I plan to pursue further education to become a nurse practitioner.
MacEwan nurses are highly regarded. During my time at MacEwan, I received numerous compliments (in the clinical setting and out in the community) for being part of a rigorous, hands-on program.
Also, shoutout to all of my professors who went the extra mile by dressing up in costumes and bringing food to class. Commitment builds relationships and I’ll cherish those that I have built at MacEwan.
Kristen Cabernel, Bachelor of Psychiatric Nursing
Throughout my early life, I was witness to the effects of mental illness on my loved ones. I wanted to help them but I always felt unequipped to do so. This feeling, as well as my desire to help others, is what drove me to pursue a career in psychiatric nursing. After completing a diploma program, and spending a year gaining experience as a psychiatric nurse, I decided to take my learning even further so that I could become more competent in my practice. This led me to completing the degree program offered at MacEwan. Now that I have accomplished this goal, I am looking forward to my next endeavor.
Over the years, I developed a passion for nutrition — specifically the role that it plays in the development of psychiatric disorders. I recognized a gap of knowledge and practice that exists within the field of psychiatry and I feel that completing studies in human nutrition will be the first step towards closing this gap. So the next step for me is graduate school where I will be studying human nutrition and functional medicine. My ultimate goal is to share my learning with my peers and to advocate for change within the health-care field.
I think that it's very important to be passionate about what you study. If you have passion, it won't matter how old you are when you decide to complete your studies. You will find a way to push through and reach your goals.
Jenelle Dela Rosa, Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always dreamt of becoming a registered nurse. There’s something special about having the opportunity to make a difference in someone else’s life and being able to be a part of meaningful events, from childbirth to providing quality end-of-life care.
When I started my first year of university at MacEwan, I immediately felt like I was in the right place in pursuing my dream career. I've had the most amazing and supportive instructors and staff who made a positive impact in my four-year journey, and I've shared some memorable experiences with the friends I've made here.
I’m grateful to have pursued a role that allows me to promote health by sharing my knowledge and encourage the individuals that I get the privilege to care for to be active participants in their wellbeing! I’m now officially a registered nurse and I’ve landed a position at a neonatal intensive care unit, an area of specialty that I’ve always wanted to be part of.
Eric Lamarre, Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Dean's Medal for Academic Excellence
I didn't find my passion for nursing right out of high school — this was my second undergraduate degree. I would encourage students to treat themselves with some grace; it may take some time to figure out where you want your education to take you, and that's not a bad thing. This is the time to get to know your field of study — and to get to know yourself.
Nursing is at the intersection of health science and the art of caring. As a big science nerd and someone who loves people, I knew that I had made the right choice in my first year when I had the privilege of working with patients in a clinical setting while immersed in human biology courses. I've since been hired on at the University of Alberta Hospital operating room. I plan to work for a few years to hone my skills in the field, and my hope is to become a leader and educator in the clinical setting later in my career.
Janelle Myer, Bachelor of Science in Nursing
I've always wanted to help people — that's why I chose nursing — but it was at MacEwan that I learned what it means to receive support. Jocelyn Strobel, my learning specialist in Access and Disability Services, was always there when I needed time away to take care of my personal medical concerns. She always had solutions for me on how I could be successful when I got stressed at the start of each year, around exams and particularly when everything went online suddenly. I often thought prior to going to university that I wasn’t smart enough to do it or simply couldn’t because I required days off sometimes or extensions on things to accommodate my health.
If I could tell myself one thing when I started my degree it’s "you can do it." And I want everyone who’s struggling to know that you are worthy of a university education and you don’t have to struggle alone — reach out for help! I want to thank all of the wonderful people who work at Access and Disability Services — without you, I would not have been able to graduate (and on the Dean's List!).
Meet the Class: Faculty of Health and Community Studies
Graduates of the Faculty of Health and Community Studies are ready to venture into the community and weave themselves into the fabric of our society.
We acknowledge that the land on which we gather in Treaty Six Territory is the traditional gathering place for many Indigenous people. We honour and respect the history, languages, ceremonies and culture of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit who call this territory home.