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Campus Life - Okanagan

Local mom chooses College’s Practical Nursing program to launch a new career

Okanagan College Media Release

For one mom, Okanagan College’s Practical Nursing program was the best way to get back into the workforce after raising her kids.

“I always wanted to be a nurse and I chose to go to Okanagan College because it has an amazing reputation for nursing,” said Marie Walker, a 2013 graduate of the Practical Nursing program in Penticton who now works as a Licensed Practical Nurse at Queen Victoria Hospital in Revelstoke.  

“Whenever I spoke to people in the field, Okanagan College was always highly recommended,” she says.

To help prospective students learn more about Okanagan College’s Practical Nursing program, an information night is being held at the Penticton campus on April 9. 

Once Practical Nurses have completed the program and passed their licensing exam, they are qualified to work on interdisciplinary teams and provide nursing services in a number of settings, including residential, acute care and palliative care. 

“I finished the program in May, got my licence the end of June and started a full-time job as a charge nurse in August,” she says.

Walker, who went back to school at age 36 after raising her kids, isn’t alone in choosing the College’s nursing program to launch a new career.

A 2012-2013 BC Student Outcomes survey found that 96 per cent of the Okanagan College Practical Nursing graduates surveyed were employed and 72 per cent had found full-time work. 

“The 17-month program builds leadership, communication, inter-professional practice, critical thinking and technical skills, which makes graduates highly employable in multiple health care environments,” says Dana Susheski RN, instructor in Okanagan College’s Practical Nursing Program.

A new January intake of the Practical Nursing program at Okanagan College’s Penticton campus is now accepting applications. All qualified applicants must complete a 14-week anatomy and physiology course via Distance Education prior to the program’s start in January. Applications for the program close on July 31.

Admission requirement details will be available, as well as the opportunity to meet graduates of the program, learn about career prospects and see the practical nursing laboratory, at the open house on Wednesday, April 9 from 5-6:30 p.m. at the Penticton campus, Sunoka building, Room C6. 

“Going back to school and becoming a nurse is the best thing I ever did. I couldn’t be happier,” says Walker.


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