By: Sydney Lockhart

Some nursing students at RRC are preparing for the last stretch of their program and entering the workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Rebecca Ward is finishing up her third year in the program.

“It’s a weird time to become a nurse. I started because I wanted to help people and now, I feel different,” said the 27-year-old. “It’s a bit scary.” 

Ward said there has been a lack of support for health care workers during the pandemic.

She says she is interested in being an emergency room nurse, but was advised to not do her last practicum in the ER due to the pandemic. 

Some nursing students said they were worried their clinical would once again be cancelled when case numbers rose. But instead, the college went ahead with their plans and allowed students in hospital. 

“I’m happy to be in the hospital… in reality, this is what I’m going to be doing,” said Ward, “If you keep yourself safe it’s okay.”

Ward said she is ready to graduate and still excited, although her graduation was delayed due to the pandemic.

“Just in general becoming a nurse is scary, you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into,” said the 27-year-old, “But it hasn’t changed my decision to be a nurse. It’s actually empowering to know the skills to do this.”

Manny Singh, a third-year nursing student, said she feels like online school has been more challenging and fast paced than in-person classes but is still managing well. She said she finds observing the health care system in Manitoba has been more difficult. 

 “It’s been very difficult to watch, especially with our government. I wish the younger people in health care could make the decisions for people working,” said Singh. 

She said she looked into policy-making because of the pandemic, and now hopes to one day be able to work in policy-making and infectious disease control. 

“I know what I signed up for. We deal with other infectious conditions anyway,” she said. “I want to help anyone just if it’s one person.”

Singh said she isn’t afraid to graduate and work in the health care system during the pandemic.

“I’m more concerned about bringing it home…what would be most concerning to me would be me transmitting it to my family.”