Margaret Scaia attends Aurora College 2017 Convocation

Aurora College Margarets comments on her visit to Yellowknife:

This past week I had the pleasure of attending convocation events at Aurora College in Yellowknife.  The school opened in 1994, and joined the Collaborative Nursing Partnership in 2002. The Aurora College Nursing Program is one of three college transfer partners granting a UVic BSN degree.  All four years of the program are delivered on site.  The total number of students across the four years was 66 this past year – and eleven students graduated.

There were a number of celebratory events, including a candle lighting ceremony and prayer, and the extinguishing of the original CNP candle, first lit by Lucia Gamroth – a long time instructor in the Collaborative Nursing Program.  Myself and Dr. Purtis Moffat extinguished the old flame and lit a new candle in honour of the graduates and in appreciation of the school’s association with UVic. That same day, I led a facilitated discussion about some research that I am doing with Anne Bruce and Rosanne Beuthin on nursing and Medical Assistance in Dying. The talk engendered lively discussion and the group was pleased to hear about the role nursing is playing in the delivery of this new end-of-life care.

The following day, the school of nursing participated in a college wide convocation ceremony at a local hotel where graduates of the Personal Care Attendant, Social Work, and Nursing programs enjoyed the entertainment of Dene drummers and the Aurora Choirialus choir. That evening, faculty were invited to attend the graduation dance and social organized by the graduating class. For the eleven students who graduated, there were close to 100 guests not including faculty!

Attention to the value of relational practice and the core values of the original CNP program were evident in the many hugs, tears and congratulations exchanged between faculty, staff, students and families. This ideal curriculum configuration is operationalized by twelve full time nursing faculty, with a student to instructor ratio of 15/1 (maximum) in theory classes, and 6/1 in clinical courses. First and second year clinical practice is instructor led, while third and four year are all preceptored. All students received offers of employment in local institutions. Students receive individual attention not just from faculty, but also from numerous student service support groups and agencies. Consideration of the student’s unique learning needs and a focus on student success was forefront in every conversation over the four days I was fortunate enough to be representing the UVic SoN. Such hospitality, good will and good food made this a very special event for me.