Stepping Up to Support: Meet Alexander MacRae

As CBU Nursing Student, Alexander MacRae, prepared for his third clinical placement, he thought he would be exploring a specialty such as obstetrics, pediatrics or mental health. But when the Province of Nova Scotia asked nursing students to step up to the plate and support staffing shortages in long-term care (LTC) facilities due to Omicron, Alexander knew it was the right thing to do. 

“At first the idea was a little unsettling because we didn’t have the full story,” Alexander admits. “We were worried about losing the opportunity to explore other specialties, but CBU has taken it upon themselves to make sure our education is not compromised while we have this chance to support the community.” CBU nursing students will complete this term’s clinical placement in LTC facilities, gaining valuable hands-on experience in the field while helping a vulnerable population through this stage of the pandemic. 

“I’m now very excited to get into LTC,” says Alexander. “I feel like it will provide a variety of skills that can help build my confidence as a nurse and I’ll have the opportunity to meet many new patients and staff members.” 

Originally from North River, Alexander completed his prerequisite courses at Dalhousie before enrolling in the Bachelor of Science, Nursing program at CBU. He says it was the idea of being able to connect with patients and provide compassionate care to people that drew him to the industry. “What I enjoy most about CBU is the smaller class sizes,” he says. “I feel I’m not just a number in this program. My professors know my name, I am comfortable asking for help and my class is very tight-knit and supportive.” 

With three semesters left to go, Alexander says he looks forward to his upcoming placement as an opportunity to gain confidence in physical assessments and patient care. He says his time at CBU is setting him up well for the nursing profession. “In my opinion, we have the perfect combination of class time to practice setting,” says Alexander. “Combine that with professors who truly care about our education and the safe space of CBU’s campus, it’s easy to feel prepared.”

In the future, Alexander would like to work in an emergency department, saying the thought of doing something different each day excites him. “If you never know what you’ll see, you will continuously expand your education,” he says. “And most importantly you have the ability to make someone’s tough situation a little bit better.” 

To learn more about CBU’s Bachelor of Science, Nursing program, visit