Hello, hello WhyRyerson future Nursing students! Ryerson is home to three Nursing programs with two options in collaboration with George Brown College (GBC) and Centennial College, and today’s blog post is an interview with a current Ryerson-GBC third-year Nursing student. Prepare yourselves for some insider Nursing information!
What is the Nursing program?
Ryerson’s Nursing programs are for those who want to become a registered nurse (RN) and receive a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
In the first year, you mainly learn about how to interact with your patients and other nurses. You learn about professional communication, interpersonal communication and the basic skills you need as a nurse, such as bed baths and positioning the patient. In the second year, you focus more on acute care. So, you learn a lot about diseases and how to treat patients with certain medications, and you learn more complicated skills, such as inserting catheters and IV lines. In the third year, you focus on community nursing, which involves a lot of health education and women’s health, so maternity and stuff like that. In the fourth year, it goes back into acute care, and that’s where you specialize in the places you want to work in the future. You have to do interviews to get into your placements instead of just being placed in them like the first three years.
Why did you choose the Nursing program?
I originally wanted to become a doctor, but when I talked to some friends, who are nurses, they explained what their jobs really entailed and I realized that nursing was what I wanted to do. I had thought doctors did the things my friends were explaining, but I was actually confusing the roles of nurses with doctors. Nursing is more about talking with your patients, and taking care of them on a more personal level, while doctors mostly diagnose and prescribe medications. That realization was why I decided to go into nursing.
What is placement like?
It really depends on where you’re placed – you don’t get to choose in your first two years. In first year, you are in placement for a total of five five-hour shifts. It’s more of an introduction to how to interact with your patients. In second year, you start placement immediately on your 2nd week of school. For the first semester you are given eight hour shifts, and in second semester it changes to 12 hour shifts. I enjoyed second-year placements more since you are given more responsibilities (giving medications, catheterization, IVs, etc.), which allows you to learn so much more. I had a really good experience in my placements.
What kind of experiences did you have outside of your program?
I was a peer-leader (a tutor) at George Brown College for the Nursing program. I was teaching anatomy and physiology to lower years. After doing peer-tutoring, it really showed me that I actually enjoy teaching, or education in general, and it helped me structure my future career path. I’m planning on going into education after I do some nursing. I made good connections with a lot of the professors through this job.
I recommend doing volunteer work outside of school. I volunteered at SickKids Hospital because I want to work there in the future. There’s a lot of volunteer experiences out there and they look really good on your resumé.
Do you have any study tips?
- For GBC students, I recommend using [the provided] learning objectives as an outline for your notes and just following that, as you will most likely not be tested on material outside of the learning objectives.
- Don’t be afraid of your professors. They are there to make your learning experience as smooth as possible, and the majority of them want to get to know their students. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions before, during or after class, and if you can’t, just send an email.
- Find a good study group, it’s better if you learn concepts with your friends or study partners because when you teach one another concepts, it’ll become more ingrained in your memory. If you and your study group have the same studying methods, you can even make notes together on Google Drive. I have seen some study groups do it successfully, so give that a shot too!
- Join clubs because you can make friends there, and it takes you out of that nursing zone because once you’re in the Nursing program you only think about nursing, so getting out of that zone and thinking and talking about other things can be a way to destress.
And that’s it! Hopefully, this gave you a better insight into Ryerson’s Nursing programs, whether you’re thinking about applying or have already applied for the program. We appreciate you, our future health-care workers, especially in times like this. Stay safe and take care.