For a UBC Nursing Student & A Queens Health Studies Graduate...
What is the hardest part of your program and what were the steps that you took to overcome any difficulties?
One of the biggest challenges I found in both of my degrees were that there are some courses that you have to take in order to fulfill your degree requirements and sometimes these courses may not be your strong suit. For example, in my first undergrad this course was statistics and in my nursing degree this course was pharmacology. The common thread in both of these courses were that my professors did not effectively teach the material in a way that I was able to understand, which made it very difficult for me. In these instances I had to step it up and find other ways of learning the material. Some of the strategies I used were studying with my peers, using online resources (i.e. nursing pharmacology videos) and doing extra readings. Unfortunately you will most likely encounter a professor during your university career that does not have your specific teaching style, but you need to find alternate ways in order to succeed in the course – Queen’s and UBC both have academic advisors that can help in these types of scenarios, but personally, I found the most helpful resource were my peers in the class! Study groups were my saving grace through these tough courses.
What is some advice you would give high school students when applying to your program?
It may sound cliché, but my biggest advice would be to “just breathe”. The process can get very stressful and waiting to hear your acceptance can bring on a lot of anxiety. Take the process one step at a time; one application at a time and you will get through it! Also, Queen’s is a university that look at more than just your
Why did you choose your program, what makes it unique to you?
When I was applying to university I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I knew I had a passion for healthcare, the older adult population, and working with people with disabilities, but I didn’t know what career path I wanted to take. I was aware of the accelerated nursing programs and so I decided that instead of applying for a 4-year nursing undergrad and being
limited to that career, that I would do
a general undergraduate program
first, because it would allow me to
experience other career opportunities related to health. I chose Queen’s because they had a general first year of arts and sciences that allowed me to take courses that I was interested in and determine a path for the rest of my undergrad by declaring a major for my second year. I chose Health Studies because of its focus on health promotion and health policy. During my experience in the Health Studies program at Queen’s I was able to get a sense of different positions in the healthcare system, and ended up deciding to apply to the Accelerated/Advanced Standing Nursing programs. I chose UBC for my nursing program instead of going back to Queen’s because I wanted a new experience and I had heard amazing things about this program from another Queen’s alumni who was currently in the program.
How would you describe the workload and work-life balance?
Queen’s is a university that really emphasizes the importance of work-life balance and becoming involved in the Queen’s community. In my experience I was able to find this balance in both of my programs. Personally, I think a good work-life balance can be achieved in any program as long as you are able to
develop your time management skills (this is key)! It is also important to realize that you may not be able to be involved in as many extracurricular activities as you were in high school and that’s ok! Don’t try to take on a bunch of extracurriculars just because someone else does; what may work for someone else may not work for you. You need to prioritize the things you want to be involved in, as well as your schoolwork and friends. Queen’s offers so many resources that can assist you with organizing your activities around your class/school schedule. UBC nursing is a small community that has an amazing sense of community support, specifically peer to peer support. I found that as a cohort we really make the effort to help each other in classes, as well as health/wellness. The faculty also offers “wellbeing liaisons” that are an amazing resource for any issues you may be facing during your time in the program. As for the workload, the transition from high school to university can be very daunting and can be difficult to adjust to at first, but I promise that you will become accustomed to the new environment and adapt to the fast pace university classes. In my experience I found that most professors are very understanding when it comes to personal challenges that can arise and will work with you to accommodate you. So, if you ever encounter any hardships, speak with your professors (I promise they are not as scary as they may seem); they are there to support you when you need it. Remember, you are not alone and there are so many other people in the same position as you, talk with your peers because you can help and support each other!
grades, they want multidimensional students so make sure you showcase your strengths and what makes you unique in your applications! Try to make yourself stand out from all the other applicants. As for applying to the accelerated nursing programs, most of the programs in Canada have multiple requirements (i.e. CASPer test), on top of the general application that must be completed, which tests your professionalism, ethical considerations, critical thinking skills etc. Grades are important, but they are not the only factor that a university will consider!
Can you explain the difference between an RN and an NP?
A Registered Nurse (RN) is a person who obtained a Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN/BScN) at an accredited university and who has completed the NCLEX exam and has been registered as a nurse through the province/territory in which they work. RN’s can work with patient’s who have more complex health issues compared to a Registered Practical Nurse (RPN) (nurses that come from a college degree). RN’s can work in a variety of areas including the hospital setting or community setting. The main duties of a registered nurse include but are not limited to: working closely with patients by providing all aspects of care – assessing, monitoring, providing interventions and recording the patient’s status/updates. A big aspect of nursing is being able to communicate and work with the interdisciplinary team (i.e. physicians, PT, OT, dietitians, the patient and their family etc.) about care planning, health education and prevention. Becoming a Nurse Practitioner (NP) requires additional schooling and many years of experience. NPs can work in the hospital setting, but are usually seen in the community (i.e. clinics, private practices). With the advanced knowledge of a Nurse Practitioner, they are able to provide independent services, which include diagnosing health issues and prescribing medications
A very special thank you to our interviewee...
Hello! My name is Stephanie Hancock and I am currently completing my Bachelors of Science in Nursing through the University of British Columbia in the Accelerated Nursing program. I also completed my Honours Bachelor of Arts in Health Studies with a certificate in Interdisciplinary Studies in Global Health and Disability at Queen’s University. I am originally from Toronto, Ontario and currently living in Vancouver, British Columbia to complete my nursing degree. I have many areas of interest for nursing including women’s health, postpartum and labour and delivery. However, I am also very passionate about advocating for better quality of life for older adults in long-term care and breaking down Ageist views in our healthcare system and our communities. In my free time I like to spend time with my friends, kayak, swim, take dance classes, and one of my biggest passions is travel! If you have any questions about Queen’s or UBC Nursing please feel free to contact me through Instagram or LinkedIn.