Nursing applicants scrambling after admission change
Courtney Bannatyne, BEAT REPORTER
People already accepted into nursing at Red River College may have to retake courses or choose a new career path after the pro- gram changed its requirements.
“Now I’m totally lost and have to figure out something completely different,” Eva Hanson said.
Hanson, 23, was accepted into nursing and was registered to begin in the fall of 2017. The college’s new requirements apply to people already scheduled
to begin the nursing program, including Hanson.
One of the changes in the post-secondary requirements is that students need a minimum of a C+ grade in anatomy instead of a C. Hanson had a C in this class, and the program accepted her with the previous requirements. She has until January 2018 to meet the new requirements, or she will have to withdraw her application.
“I was excited for Red River, because all I had to do was fulfill their requirements, and I did, and I got in,” said Hanson. “Now they raised all the marks, and it’s like okay, now I have to try harder. I’m just kind of done at this point, and I have to reassess what I want to do going forward.”
Hanson said she understands nursing wants to stay competitive but thinks people already accepted should have been grandfathered into the program.
Catherine Baxter, the RRC nursing chair, said the program applied these new requirements to people already accepted because the requirements didn’t properly prepare students for the nursing program.
“To increase student success in both the program and in practice, it was necessary to raise the requirements and have all future students meet these requirements,” Baxter wrote in an email.
She said the program made this decision in April 2016.
Hanson said the college notified her in an email on Sept. 2. She said she wishes the email had come earlier, so she could meet the requirements on time to start school in the fall of 2017.
“There wasn’t enough time to plan a second option,” she said. University classes started the week after Hanson got the email. She looked into taking anatomy at the University of Manitoba, where she previously attended. The university offers anatomy only in first semester, and Hanson said the classes were full.
“Right there it writes me off, because I can’t get into that class, so I can’t fulfill the requirement to keep my application active,” Hanson said.
Baxter said the college gave enough notice to students by notifying them in September.
“By notifying the applicants in the waitlist in September we have provided at least one to two years’ notice as all applicants were on a waitlist for either fall 2017 or 2018,” she wrote. “The time between April and September was required to review the qualifications of all the applicants on the waitlist according to the new requirements.”
The program originally gave students until May 2017 to fulfill the requirements but has since changed the deadline to January 2018 to give students more time.
But Hanson said this doesn’t change much for her.
“I am still considering [meeting the requirements], but I was anticipating to start [in 2017], not wait another year,” Hanson wrote in a text message.
She said she thinks the process wasn’t handled well, and students should have had more notice and more time to complete the requirements.
“Because now it just totally turned me off,” she said. “It’s like the worst, because everyone knows I got in and now the hardest part is telling people, ‘Just kidding. I’m not in nursing anymore.’”
Baxter said the program will help applicants as much as possible to find the best option for them.