Returning to the classrooms where they received the foundation of their education, a trio of Selkirk College Nursing Program alumnae are now helping foster the next generation of health care professionals.
Alyssa Franklin, Katrina Verschoor and Jocelyn Schroeder are three recent additions to the faculty in the Nursing Program based out of the Castlegar Campus. Students who study in the program take all four years of their education at Selkirk College and through a vital partnership ultimately earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from the University of Victoria.
All three were raised in the West Kootenay and chose Selkirk College as the educational entry into the profession. After extensive and varied career experience, the new instructors are eager to enter the classroom and help learners explore the fascinating career.
“Sometimes it takes one special teacher to change a life, but for me it was several,” says Verschoor, who grew up just outside of Salmo and graduated from Selkirk College’s RN Diploma Program in 1992. “I am thankful that my career has allowed me to discover my passion for teaching and learning. My greatest hope is that I can give another person the encouragement and guidance they need to find their passion too.”
Like her new colleague, Schroeder realized the importance of inspiring mentors early in her education and is motivated to provide the same guidance to learners currently working towards their goal of graduating into a field full of diverse career opportunities.
“My nursing instructors have been some of the most influential people in my life,” says Schroeder, who grew up in Rossland and graduated with her BSN in 2011. “I enjoyed the personalized experience Selkirk College offers, as well as the small class sizes. The general vibe of Selkirk was always friendly and upbeat. I felt that my instructors took my education and success as a nurse very seriously, and encouraged and inspired me as a learner. I never felt a hierarchy here at the college, learning was always an equal partnership.”
The three instructors arrived to Selkirk College with a wealth of experience and knowledge.
Right after graduation, Schroeder went to work at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital (KBRH) in Trail as a nurse on the surgical ward. She spent most of her career in that area, but also worked in long term care and general medicine. She recently began education in critical care through Mount Royal University and is currently working on her Masters of Science in Nursing at Athabasca University.
After graduating from the Selkirk College diploma program (which has since been replaced by the BSN program), Verschoor moved to Vancouver where she discovered the world of pediatrics and worked at the B.C. Children’s Hospital. Over her career, she has worked in various community positions in both sub-acute and acute pediatrics. As a clinical instructor Verschoor spent several years honing her skills in acute medical surgery, orthopedics and geriatrics. Having earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees in nursing, she has also previously taught at Vancouver Community College.
Franklin was raised in Castlegar and after graduating from Stanley Humphries Secondary attended Selkirk College where she graduated from the program in 2007. She worked full-time at KBRH in the medical and surgical units before focusing on the latter. Between 2015 and 2018, Franklin took on a leadership role as the Patient Care Coordinator for the surgical unit at KBRH.
Though new to the formal classroom setting at Selkirk College, all three women have provided important educational guidance in the hospital setting.
“Over the years I was a clinical preceptor for many students and was always excited to be a part of their learning as they progressed through the Nursing Program,” says Franklin. “Helping students develop the attitudes, knowledge, skills and abilities to become caring and skilled practitioners has always been a very rewarding experience for me. Because of this, teaching more formally in the Nursing Program feels like a natural transition for me to make. I feel honored and very excited to join the nursing faculty at Selkirk College. It feels very much like coming home.”
Joining an already dynamic and experienced faculty, the three new instructors have been able to make a quick transition to teaching in familiar surroundings.
“We are very pleased to have the knowledge, experience and enthusiasm of these three instructors,” says Dean of the School of Health & Human Services Teresa Petrick, herself a former instructor in the Nursing Program. “With such varied backgrounds and understanding of the program itself, our students will benefit from their commitment to excellence in nursing care.”
Learn more about the Selkirk College Nursing Program at selkirk.ca/nursing.