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Unlocking the heart of healthcare: Nursing as a rewarding and dynamic career journey

Hands-on learning for a high demand career starts at Sault College

In the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare, the role of nurses stands as a beacon of compassion, adaptability, and continuous learning.

This sentiment was echoed in a recent discussion featuring a retired nurse with 40 years of experience, a nurse in the middle of her career with over 15 years’ experience, and a current nursing student studying Bachelor of Science – Nursing (Honours) at Sault College, shedding light on the diverse and fulfilling aspects of a nursing career.

Carol, who is now retired, graduated in 1983 and her nursing career has spanned various roles. With the majority of her career spent in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Sault Area Hospital (SAH), Carol emphasized the flexibility within nursing. From surgical to emergency and nursing education, nursing offers a broad spectrum of specialties that enable professionals to explore and adapt their careers. Carol completed her career in clinical informatics which showcases the diverse roles available to experienced nurses and the ability to develop your skills and expertise throughout your career.

Rayna, a nurse in the middle of her career, has been experiencing a unique journey in her career since graduating in 2007. She worked in a variety of settings in northern Ontario, including Pediatrics, ICU, and on medical float. Most of her career was as a nurse at Sault Area Hospital working in ICU and the emergency department. From there, Rayna moved to homecare as a care coordinator and then a rapid response nurse, helping people newly discharged from the hospital and transitioning back home. She is currently working as a mental health and addiction nurse within local schools with her path demonstrating the versatility and adaptability required in the nursing profession.

Ava, a first-year nursing student at Sault College, is excited about entering the nursing profession. Growing up in the Sault area with many nurses in her family, Ava's passion for nursing was ignited during high school when she explored different career options and continued to turn her interests back to nursing. She really wanted a career where she could promote care and impact lives. Ava had the opportunity for a co-op experience in a Long-Term Care setting which played a pivotal role, influencing her interest in gerontology and shaping her future career goals. 

Continuous Learning 

All three emphasized the importance of continuous learning in nursing. The profession offers a dynamic environment where nurses are not only caregivers at the bedside but also educators, mentors, and experts in various healthcare fields. The ability to adapt, think critically, and communicate effectively are crucial skills that nursing students develop throughout their education and careers.

Carol, Rayna, and Ava’s discussion showed their love for the profession and the impact nurses can make on patients' lives shines through for them. They highlighted the significance of having a strong support system and mentors throughout school and your career, especially during the early stages of working as a nurse. As a new nurse, a mentor can help foster your growth and development in the field and expose you to different skills and responsibilities.

There is so much unknown about nursing and the possible areas your career can take you. Carol suggested early education in high schools should be strengthened to familiarize students with the array of healthcare careers. Rayna and Ava echoed this sentiment, emphasizing that nursing is not only a fulfilling career but also a stable and rewarding one. Graduating from high school, entering nursing school, and securing a full-time job at an early age sets nurses on a path toward stability, growth, and the opportunity to make a positive impact on individuals and communities.

Sault College’s Bachelor of Science – Nursing (Honours) program will help lead you to a fulfilling career with nurses in high demand throughout the world. Students will experience hands-on learning in a variety of on-campus simulation labs, learn from instructors with extensive nursing backgrounds and get real-world experience with field placements starting in the first year of the four-year degree program. 

With a dynamic career path, nursing offers diverse opportunities for personal and professional growth. Aspiring nurses are encouraged to embrace the challenges, relish the learning journey, and embark on a fulfilling career that goes beyond the bedside, ultimately shaping the future of healthcare.

To see the full discussion, visit