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For Jesse Fraser, a first-year Nursing student at Camosun College, a career in nursing was almost a given.

“Both my parents had health care careers,” says Jesse. “They were always very passionate about their jobs and really loved their careers.” He was always fascinated with science, especially biology, and, as he got older and started learning about the world around him, social issues and social justice work. For many years Jesse’s been involved with the LGBTQ and Harm Reduction community in Victoria and wanted a career that brings all those interests together.

“It was really important to me that I have a career that respects the uniqueness of people and that honours their dignity,” says Jesse. “I think Nursing is a really great way to do that. It pulls together science with social justice issues. It’s founded on the science of caring and then you’re also pulling in all this really cool science, biology and medical knowledge. I love the idea of just being in a caring discipline.”

The experiences Jesse’s had at Camosun have been incredibly positive. “I can honestly say that from day 1 from starting the Nursing program at Camosun I haven’t had a moment of doubt,” says Jesse. The greatest benefit for him is the instructors. From the very first classes instructors tell students “you are nurses” and layout the professional standards practices that they will be held accountable to. “It instilled an immediate sense of pride, it was really cool,” says Jesse. “It was this instant camaraderie and bond amongst the students that we were in this together that made me excited about finishing the program and becoming a registered nurse and excited about everything I was going to learn.”

Along with the amazing instructors, Camosun offers Jesse hands-on, applied learning. Camosun has some of the highest clinical hours of any of the nursing schools. “This has been really cool because from the first semester we were in clinical placements, interacting with clients, says Jesse. “Right from the get go we’ve started learning those hands on skills and the relational practice of how to relate to somebody in a nursing context.”

Jesse’s opportunities to combine his interests becomes much easier with the building of Camosun’s new Health Building. With the emphasis on a more interdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning that also mesh with the goal’s of the Ministry of Health’s “Service Plan”, students like Jesse will be able to meet the health care needs of the province.

“I think health care, in general, is moving towards more collaborative and interdisciplinary model,” says Jesse. “It is recognized that this is how you get the best health outcomes; by having all the disciplines working together as part of a team creating a continuity of care for your client. I think it’s really cool that Camosun is wanting to put all the health care programs under one roof. That’s how we’re going to be expected to work, to be collaborative.”

As for after graduation, Jesse hasn’t made a decision but is excited about the options that his chosen career gives him. “It’s something I really liked about nursing, that I could have a career that is very varied,” says Jesse. He does admit to being drawn to ER and street nursing because of the volunteer work he’s done with people experiencing mental health issues or addictions and poverty.

“I could really see myself thriving in a career where I’m getting to work with those folks again but in a nursing capacity,” says Jesse. “In general, I find you get to relate to people on a very genuine and authentic level.”

Jesse Fraser in the Nursing lab.

“I can honestly say that from day 1 from starting the Nursing program at Camosun, I haven’t had a moment of doubt.”

Jesse Fraser, Nursing student

Last updated: November 1, 2017 10:33 am

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