Nursing grads ready to jump onto front lines of Manitoba health care

Students at the University of Manitoba have graduated after spending four years at the school’s College of Nursing, but for many of the new grads, health-care shortages across the province mean they’ll be jumping right into their chosen profession.

College of Nursing dean Netha Dyck told Global News the experience of pursuing higher education during the COVID-19 pandemic means the new grads will be up to the challenge.

After all, many of them have spent time on the front lines already, helping with the fight against the coronavirus.

“I think these graduates have had different experiences than many other graduates would have had,” said Dyck.

“So they’ve certainly developed a lot of resilience in dealing with all the challenges amidst the pandemic … and many other challenges around it.

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“I think they’ve developed skills in terms of being adaptable, being flexible, looking at the situation and making assessments to see where the improvements need to be made.”

Read more: Nursing shortage leads to ‘open to emergencies only’ policy in northern Manitoba

The grads are jumping into an environment where staffing issues and burnout have been common of late, so they’re cautiously optimistic about the immediate future.

“There’s definitely some hesitation and, you know, some worry there,” said graduate Jennifer Trudel.

“Entering a workforce where there’s some strain or stress going on … it can be difficult to jump in at that particular time.”

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Trudel begins working as an oncology nurse at Winnipeg’s Health Science Centre this weekend, and said she feels the pandemic has helped her graduating class prepare for stressful working conditions.

“I’ve spent some time on different units and know that even the skill set I possess as a new student, as a new grad, is beneficial and will help,” she said.

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