B.C Nursing students losing practical experience due to Covid

Maria Vinca/ May 7, 2020

Yudy Rodriguez is a nursing student at KPU and now has to adapt to online learning
(Yudy Rodriguez)

Yudy Rodriguez hasn’t been using her hands enough these days. Rodriguez is a third year nursing student at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, she is one of the many nursing students in B.C that have lost their practical experience as part of their program, since B.C education has moved online.

In February, before the virus hit the province, Rodriguez was preparing for her clinical practices that would of took place this Spring.  She said that it’s been a challenge transitioning from hands on learning to online.

“We had to transition from a hands on practical program to an online virtual system for a hands on career mind you”-Yudy Rodriguez, KPU Nursing.

Rodriguez said her clinical practices in school are exceptionally important in preparation for her nursing career.

“Being in a hospital setting teaches you practical nursing skills, textbooks don’t.”-Yudy Rodriguez, KPU Nursing

Not only have nursing students been struggling to learn hands on during this pandemic, the province is also going through an ongoing nursing shortage.

According to the B.C’s Nurses Union, the province is in desperate need of more nurses in order to staff B.C’s health care system.

An estimate of 25,000 nurses are needed over the next 10 years to combat the ongoing nursing shortage.

“We do know the numbers that are graduating do not allow us to replace the number of nurses that are retiring and the additional that have been identified that are needed to meet the patient population.”-Christine Sorensen, President of BCNU.

Sorensen says an estimate of only 1500 students graduate each year, making it difficult to meet the goal of 25,000 over the next decade.

The loss of practicum for current nursing students is a worry about whether this year’s graduating class will be prepared to go to work.

According to the BCNU, an estimate of 25,000 nurses are needed in the next 10 years to staff BC’s Health care system

Some students feel concerned on whether they will obtain enough education during these unprecedented times.

Third year nursing student at KPU, Danielle Cloutier also is currently finishing her practicum online. Cloutier said she is nervous to start working since she isn’t getting enough education through online classes.

“If we do miss out completely and end up doing lab simulations instead I will definitely feel unprepared.”-Danielle Cloutier, KPU Nursing.

Despite the impact the global pandemic has had on nursing students, BCNU President Christine Sorensen said, BC has such a shortage the hospitals will make every effort to catch these grads up on work experience.

There is an ongoing nursing shortage in BC.

“I think every employer will understand the unique situation that the Covid pandemic had on nursing graduate students”-Christine Sorensen, President of BCNU.

Despite the outcome that Covid-19 had on current nursing students, there is no need to worry about finding real jobs after graduation.