UBC Okanagan’s MSN option provides life-time learning opportunities
Nursing is in Adam Fulton’s blood. Both of his parents (now retired) were registered nurses and when Fulton started thinking about career choices, it was easy to follow in their footsteps.
Now a graduate from UBC Okanagan’s undergraduate School of Nursing program, Fulton is a rural emergency room nurse in Napanee, Ontario.
While Napanee is a starting place for his career — and a place to work while his fiancée completes her medical residency training — Fulton has already hit the books, working towards his Master’s Degree in Nursing (MSN).
Fulton, who grew up in Kelowna, jumped at the chance to begin his graduate studies when he learned that UBC Okanagan’s School of Nursing had revamped its master’s program, with newly introduced curriculum options for distance and self-directed learning.
“The flexibility offered by this comprehensive delivery method is unique to UBC Okanagan and allows me to maintain a balanced approach to learning,” he says. “The MSN program teaches students how to critically examine the art of nursing from unique perspectives.”
The revised MSN program invites graduate students to map a degree path through full- or part-time studies, allowing baccalaureate prepared nurses to continue with their professional and educational goals, explains graduate program coordinator Kathy Rush. The revised program includes options to complete a capstone project in leadership, education, or advanced practice, or to conduct research with a UBC researcher.
For Fulton, however, it’s more about advancing his knowledge and skills to become the best critical care nurse he can be, partly by looking at the way he works with patients and other caregivers.
“The program has taught me to better reflect upon attitudes influencing our profession and has enhanced my ability to evaluate my own practice habits and work environment,” he says. “My capacity to question these factors has increased my confidence in advocating for patients and peers.”
A true believer in life-time learning, Fulton, who hopes his career brings him back to the Okanagan, may eventually work towards his PhD. For now, he’s busy with his master’s study and the job of caring for his patients, something he says he feels honoured to do.
“As nurses, we possess an ability to be with patients and their families in times of acute need, sharing their stories through our hands and our hearts,” he says. “I was given an opportunity to understand the beauty of nursing from an early age, and I feel privileged to continue what my parents started.”