First coming to CBU in 2009, when he enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts and Community Studies (BACS) program, Matthew Andrea was unsure where his educational journey would take him. Fast-forward to today; seven years, some work experience and one diploma later, Matthew has found his true passion, and will soon add a Bachelor of Science, Nursing (BScN) to his resume.
“I was very unsure in which direction I wanted to pursue a career,” says Matthew. “After completing the first year of BACS, I decided to join the family business as a lobster fisherman. During my seasons on the boat I also completed an electrical certificate from NSCC.”
Not satisfied in either of these fields, Matthew began looking for a more challenging and rewarding career and decided nursing would be the perfect fit. Although finding the correct career path may have taken some time, choosing a university did not.
“When I decided I wanted to look into a career as a Registered Nurse (RN), I knew I wanted to go to CBU for a multitude of reasons,” says Matthew. “Being so close to home, CBU made sense financially. CBU’s Nursing program has also achieved such high regard nationwide during my studies.”
During his time in the BSc, Nursing program, Matthew participated in the annual Nursing Exchange trip. In February 2017, he joined 23 of his fellow Nursing students on a trip to Quito, Ecuador, to volunteer their nursing skills while learning local practices.
“The international nursing experience in Ecuador has opened my eyes to the many differences between health care systems, determinants of health and everyday challenges faced by the people of Ecuador,” says Matthew. “Not only did we go to Ecuador to educate about the practices we use in Canada, but we were fortunate enough to learn and take back many of the Ecuadorean practices that surpass Canadian practice.”
Ready to put his skills into action, Matthew has already accepted a full-time position as an RN in the Emergency Department at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital.
“I am extremely nervous about starting my career in such a challenging atmosphere but at the same time, very excited,” says Matthew. “I have recently completed my final hours of practicum and let me tell you; it is an exciting, fast-paced and challenging place to work. No two days are alike and everyday you must think on your feet! This is what draws me to nursing.”
Although jumping from university to the work force can often be nerve wracking, Matthew feels that the support he received from the Nursing faculty at CBU has helped to prepare him for this day.
“CBU nursing offers a unique support system that enables student success. The faculty had great interest in my personal success and growth,” says Matthew. “I have developed great critical thinking skills and was fortunate to have had experience in almost every aspect of nursing as a student. I am very thankful for my years spent at CBU, with a special thank you to the nursing faculty, and look forward to my future challenges.”