A Helping Hand: Meet Eloise Allen-Barron

Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science, Nursing (BScN), at Cape Breton University, Eloise Allen-Barron says she is thankful to be in a small cohort where she and her classmates feel like a tight knit family. “It is very special to be a part of something like that in a school environment where you have support not only from your professors, but also from the people going through this tough experience beside you,” says Eloise.

Originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Eloise chose to relocate to Cape Breton during the pandemic. Now in her fifth semester of studies, Eloise remains confident about her decision to pursue a career in nursing. “I really wanted to go into nursing to be able to help people,” she says. “I hope to provide support to patients during difficult times and offer them a familiar face of compassion and care.”

Despite her passion, Eloise says being a student during lockdowns and restrictions  has still had its challenges. “I started the program in the middle of a big wave of the pandemic, moving from Halifax all by myself to start a program with 20 strangers,” says Eloise. “At first it was scary and hard to have the motivation and self-control to focus on school. But what kept me going throughout all of the challenges was focusing on the overall safety of our community.”

Eloise hopes to work in a palliative care setting in the future, but says her expectations of clinical practice were turned upside down when the government asked nursing students to complete their clinical placements in long-term care (LTC) facilities to help with staffing shortages. “I was extremely scared to see what CBU would choose to do and how it would affect us, our professors and the environment we were going into,” she says. However, after learning more about the plan, Eloise says she is excited to help where she can. “I am extremely proud of how CBU has handled the situation by involving and informing us from the beginning,” she explains.. “This is a huge ask from the government and I am proud that we are able to help when it’s needed.”

Eloise is looking forward to seeing how LTC facilities run. “I know it is a completely different system than acute care and it will be amazing to see how an everyday shift would go from the nursing perspective,” she shares. She is also looking forward to making relationships with the staff and residents at the facilities. “I am so excited to be able to help the staff and hopefully take a portion of the workload off of them at this time, all while putting a smile on residents faces and making this difficult time a little lighter if I can!”

To learn more about CBU’s Bachelor of Science, Nursing program, visit cbu.ca/nursing