Nursing at Western
By: Jasleen Sidhu
Hello! My name is Jasleen Sidhu and I am an incoming second-year Nursing student at Western University’s main campus site in London.
What separates Western Nursing from other nursing programs across Ontario?
Due to its small size, Western nursing allows for a tight-knit community to form between its faculty and students. Strong professional relationships are easier to form that aids one in developing collaborative skills that are applicable to the teamwork nature of nursing. Additionally, students are provided with specialized upper-year nursing courses that allow one to explore their areas of interest whether it be emergency medicine, psychiatry, or pediatrics. This aids in choosing clinical placements as the outcomes of these experiences often translate into future full-time positions after graduation. Moreover, there is an accelerated year 4 option that allows one to graduate a semester earlier to get a head start on their career. With this additional time, someone could fulfill full-time practicum requirements that are needed to apply to post-baccalaureate programs to further one’s nursing career.
What made you choose nursing over other programs within the healthcare industry?
Nursing is focused on the holistic treatment of patients which encompasses psychological and social aspects of healthcare which are often ignored in similar professions. I find that as the focus is to treat beyond the disease, the impact of being a nurse can have a lifelong effect on patients. Nursing is typically pictured as working at the bedside along with other health professionals in hospitals. However, this is not the case. Nursing careers extend into public health, informatics, education, and healthcare leadership roles which makes a diverse job market quite exciting. Last but not least, the impact of being a front-line worker is unimaginable. When one enters the hospital whether it be for emergency labour, broken arm, or anaphylaxis shock, it is the nurse on duty that first sees the patient. It is quite a privilege to provide aid in someone’s most vulnerable moment.
What courses did you enjoy the most?
I found first-year nursing courses to be quite enjoyable as they analyzed the philosophical, theoretical, and ethical foundations of nursing practice. 1080 Holistic Health Assessment stood out the most for me as it required the application of theoretical medical/nursing knowledge in a lab with standardized patients during assessments. Teaching in the lab provides a positive learning environment through a problem-based learning approach where critical skills are developed. This was the most interesting method of teaching as it is highly applicable to the hands-on knowledge nurses required to know on the job.
What was your experience with first-year like overall?
Western University can often feel like its own city. At least that was my perspective when I first stepped foot on campus. The community, however, is entirely supportive and I found the orientation leaders and sophs eased my transition into university life. Fortunately, living away from home was never as daunting as I found my residence to be very welcoming. That’s the beauty of Western University as they continue their energy during O-week throughout the year.
Which extracurriculars have you been involved in and how did they help to shape your university experience?
Participating in student leadership extracurricular programs was significant for me as I was able to connect with upper-year students and form long-lasting relationships. By acting as the Year 1 representative on the Student Affairs committee with WFNSA, I collaborated with a diverse group of nursing students to develop activities that focus on student well-being such as the SNAPS mentorship program. Furthermore, being on the competitive NACS dance team was an incredible experience as we got to perform at various cultural events on campus. It can be intimidating to apply for the hundreds of club positions at Western, however, the memories are worthwhile!