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Université Sainte-Anne: Making the Difference

Tracy Roach took a chance on a new program so that she could become a memorable nurse

Université  Sainte-Anne: Making the Difference

When Tracy Roach was completing high school, she didn't think she would ever pursue a career in health care. Even though she always knew she wanted to help people, nursing was never on the table.

"After a few years of being home, my family had been affected by many cases of cancer. I spent so much time in the hospital and saw some of these nurses caring for my family members. It somehow made me think that maybe I could be that person. I wanted to make a difference for people during these hard times – I wanted to be that nurse that they remembered," says Tracy.

Tracy was already enrolled at Université Sainte-Anne when she heard about the school's plans to offer a Licensed Practical Nurse program (Soins infirmiers auxiliaires), a nursing program offered in French. Once Tracy had graduated from her degree as a Continuing Care Assistant and the LPN program came to fruition, she just had to continue her education with Sainte-Anne. Her CCA experience had been so amazing, and she knew the LPN program would be the same.

Since the program was so new to the university, there were a few kinks that needed to be ironed out, Tracy says. "We all had to learn as a group to move past the bumps, such as changes in teachers and schedules." This experience taught Tracy she always had to be able to stand up for what she believed in, and that teamwork could go a long way.

"I always try to keep an open mind and I believe that this program teaches you that. Once you're out in the health care field, having an open mind is a great asset to have," she adds, because in working as a CCA, Tracy learned that everything can change at any given moment – whether it be dealing with families or simply with other members of the health care team.

Tracy says that this program has taught her so much more than just being able to provide adequate care for the patients who she will come into contact with. She also speaks to the importance of self-care within the health care industry.

"You're often faced with challenging situations, some good and some not. You need to be able to let go and move on, and to leave work life at work and home life at home," Tracy advises. Even with her busy schedule, she still tries to do things she enjoys, such as reading and spending time with friends and family.

"This program has been quite challenging but so rewarding at the same time. I definitely feel that I have grown, not only as a health care worker, but as a person," Tracy says about how this program has advanced her life. With the developments that Sainte-Anne has made to her capabilities as a nurse, she hopes to fulfil her dream of working at the hospital or nursing home in her hometown of Cheticamp.

There is a critical shortage of LPNs, and most of Sainte-Anne's students enrolled in the program have a job offer upon graduating.