The second year NWCC nursing students after finishing their month-long practicum at the Prince Rupert Hospital. Kristen Bomben

The second year NWCC nursing students after finishing their month-long practicum at the Prince Rupert Hospital. Kristen Bomben

Prince Rupert hospital looking ahead to hiring more nurses locally

Eight second-year registered nursing students from Northwest Community College finished their practicum on the third floor of the hospital last week, where they have been working along side the hospital’s permanent staff for the past month to gain real-world experience.

Eight second-year registered nursing students from Northwest Community  College finished their practicum on the third floor of the hospital last week, where they have been working along side the hospital’s permanent staff for the past month to gain real-world experience.

The third floor of the hospital is for acute care and houses patients with a wide variety of conditions, some of them chronic that require long-term care.

“We assess patients, make them comfortable and give them medication,” said one of the students, Freda Edgars.

“There’s lots of teamwork as well with the doctors, referrals, managing nutrition and we even spent some time in an operating room,” said another of the students, Katherine Pim.

According to Northern Health, the Prince Rupert Regional Hospital employs 66 nurses and only nine are from Prince Rupert. Of eight second year nursing students at NWCC, five are from the City.

The Director of Care for Northern Health, Jane Wilde, says that she’s glad to see more potential new employees actually coming from the region instead of candidates that have to be attracted to Rupert from bigger, more urban areas.

“They are my recruitment of 2014…That’s the advantage of having nurses that grew up here, they don’t come here and go ‘ugh, it rains a lot here.’ Or say ‘aw, there’s no fancy shopping here’. That culture shock is hard for people who are used to working in big urban areas,” said Wilde.

Wilde says that only a few years ago she went around to local schools asking students if they wanted to be nurses, and got almost no interest from local students. She says that appears to be changing.

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