College of the Rockies set to graduate first cohort of Nursing students

Of the 14 graduates of the program, several have already been offered jobs in the region.

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Fourteen College of the Rockies Bachelor of Science in Nursing students celebrated their upcoming graduation at the Royal Alexandra Hall, prior to taking part in the College’s June 7 commencement ceremony.

Fourteen College of the Rockies Bachelor of Science in Nursing students celebrated their upcoming graduation at the Royal Alexandra Hall, prior to taking part in the College’s June 7 commencement ceremony. — Photo courtesy COTR

College of the Rockies will celebrate a milestone at the 43rd annual commencement ceremony on June 7. The first cohort of students to complete the entire four years of their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree will be eligible to walk across the stage and be recognized for this significant achievement.

The College has been educating nurses for over 25 years and has been in partnership with the University of Victoria to offer the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) since September 2005. Prior to January 2018, students completed their first five semesters at College of the Rockies, before moving to Victoria to complete their final three semesters.

With an aging population and growing retirement rates, WorkBC forecasts a need for almost 24,000 registered nurses in the province in the next 10 years, 500 in the Kootenay region alone.

As students are now able to complete the entire degree at the College, graduates are in a better position to be able to fill the growing need for healthcare workers in the East Kootenay. Of the 14 graduates of the program, several have already been offered jobs in the region.

“Nurses who have been educated locally, then establish their careers here, have a better understanding of the health needs of our region and are well-prepared to provide health services to rural and remote communities,” says Dean of Health and Human Services, Norma Sherret. “Additionally, our campus is located on Ktunaxa territory and, through our partnerships with the Nation, our nursing students have had the benefit of learning from this local Indigenous perspective, expanding their world view and enriching their readiness to be practicing nurses.”

Cat MacLean, originally from Nelson, B.C., is one of the graduates of the program. She’s grateful to have been able to complete her degree while still enjoying the Kootenay lifestyle.

“It meant the world to me to be able to go to school in a place that allowed me to walk out the door after class and have immediate access to bike and hiking trails,” she said. “Being part of a smaller class also meant that I always felt like more than a number. I received so much support from the faculty and my classmates. It really helped me to thrive as a student.”

Immediately after completing the program, MacLean was hired to work on the medical floor at East Kootenay Regional Hospital.

Learn more about College of the Rockies’ Bachelor of Science in Nursing program: cotr.ca/RegNurse

About College of the Rockies

For more than 40 years, College of the Rockies has provided post-secondary education that meets the needs and aspirations of the people, industry and businesses of our region. Each year, we welcome more than 10,000 full-time and part-time students into a full range of programs, including: skilled trades, university studies, adult upgrading, early childhood education, health and human services, business, office administration, tourism, hospitality, recreation, fire services, continuing education and contract training. Through smaller class sizes, highly-personalized instruction and dedicated support services, our students are primed to succeed in the job market, or in the next stage of their academic journey.

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