Nurses - The Unsung Heroes of Healthcare

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    Oct 02, 2013
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Nurses - The Unsung Heroes of Healthcare Photo by Jason White

If you had the chance, what superpower would you like to have? Teleportation – so you don't have any more late entrances to 8:30 am classes? Telepathy – For straight A’s on quizzes? Or maybe speed --- so you can complete your assignments faster? Let’s have a reality check. Superpowers literally are not real but they are a metaphor for what we can do. A nursing program college in Toronto challenges this idea with its student nurses as they embark on a journey for social good. Centennial College trains these future warriors in different programs, maximizing their capabilities to help others in need.

Similar to superheroes who have double lives, students take on a number of tough courses each semester, which may not fit their schedule in balancing their work and personal priorities. Some will opt for the regular Practical Nursing (9350) program which trains students for four semesters within two years. Others will require more flexibility so they enroll in the Practical Nursing (Flexible) (9351) program which is similar to the other nursing program mentioned, except that the course load is lighter each semester since there are six semesters. Not to worry because similar to the regular nursing program, the flex program produces Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs) within two years so they can fight the villains in healthcare --- bacteria, viruses, you name it!

In some cases, there are superheroes who exist in another country, area, or dimension. This goes the same with nurses who have some training abroad. It is essential for internationally-trained nurses to have academic training in Canada, so Centennial offers the Practical Nursing Bridging Program for Internationally-Educated Nurses (9352) program to newcomers. Since these students already held superhero status as nurses in the field in their home countries, they require some re-training to gain up-to-date knowledge and to follow protocols and standards that is required of them in Canada. The one-year program consists of three semesters, with the final one being a field placement to help them assimilate with the culture and workplace in Canada.

As advanced as some superheroes may be, there are new ones born and discovered. And in the nursing world, these students are in the children and teenagers in the superhero family. Students of the Health Foundations (9310) program are at the beginning of their journey, learning the foundations which will help build capable healthcare professionals. Next in line in the food chain are the Personal Support Worker (9111) program students who learn distinct clinical practice to assist nurses on duty. While both types of students are not yet full-fledged superhero nurses, they are part of the nursing programs and part of team of superheroes.

Superhero status can be easily achieved with practical training as is with nursing. Colleges provide extensive course materials and clinicals for a more hands-on approach to learn the fighting skills or nursing techniques required in the field. However, students may want to pursue a degree program to advance a level from a registered practical nurse to a registered nurse. Centennial offers the Nursing (BScN) (9250) program for students wishing earn a Bachelor’s degree. They are comparable with university students as they study for four years but with more practical application in the field, and therefore greater job prospects upon graduation.

It is never too late to upgrade your skills. Superheroes develop new abilities and acquire new gadgets. In comparison, graduates of the Practical Nursing programs, both regular and flex mode and international RPNs, can upgrade their skills. Graduates of the Practical Nursing program can enroll in the RPN Bridging to University Nursing (9251); graduates of the Practical Nursing (Flexible) program can enroll in the RPN Bridging to University Nursing - Flexible (9253) program; and graduates of the Practical Nursing Bridging Program for Internationally-Educated Nurses can enroll in the Bridging to University Nursing - IEN (9252) program. These graduate certificate programs take one year of completion, with two semesters of studies except for the flex program which is three semesters to help students allocate their time more freely.

Nurses are the unsung heroes of today’s world. Centennial College, the nursing program college, offers variety and flexibility for the diverse student population to help them develop their careers. The seven nursing programs, plus two in flexible course model routes, produce skilled and competent heroes of the healthcare industry.

Author's Profile

Through superheroes, author Jason White describes the challenges and skills of the nursing profession as it relates to the college programs at Centennial College. For More Information Visit

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