Goldamier Alkasem | Halifax
During her 15-year nursing career in Saudi Arabia, Goldamier Alkasem never once examined a male patient.
Learning that it is okay for female health professionals to touch male patients was one of several career revelations Goldamier experienced when she immigrated to Nova Scotia. "I had many years of cultural conditioning to overcome."
Goldamier was certainly not alone. Only 29% of immigrant nurses who took the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Nova Scotia (CLPNNS) licensing exam were passing, despite having all of the required credentials.
INVESTED INNS NURSINGSTRATEGY
“I invited all my friends...
...to take the IEN course, too. I loved it.”
A solution was needed that would help remove the barriers keeping qualified people from filling vital roles; a program that would introduce nurses like Goldamier to cultural aspects of the profession while preparing them for the licensing exam. NSCC and CLPNNS approached the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration for funding to address this need, and NSCC designed the Internationally Educated Nurses (IEN) program.
Goldamier was in the very first IEN five-day workshop. She completed the program and immediately passed the CLPNNS licensing exam. So did all of her classmates. That 100% pass rate has been maintained in each of the 6 IEN programs that have followed. Goldamier now works as a practical nurse at 2 long-term care facilities and is pursuing the credentials she needs to work as a Registered Nurse. She is hoping her family, still living in Saudi Arabia, will be able to join her soon, and build on the life she's started for them here in Nova Scotia.
"The whole process is very supportive, which makes it much easier, especially since I didn't have my family with me," says Goldamier. "I tell every nurse I know who is new to Nova Scotia to take the course too."Tags:
William Nicholas & Zack Nicholas | Pictou
When William Nicholas of the Pictou Landing First Nation saw his son Zack's homework from NSCC, he thought, "I could do that."
Zack had been out of high school for a couple of years and had gone west to find work in the oil industry. But when the oil economy dipped, Zack made his way back home to be a fisherman.
His dad had another idea for him. "He kept pushing me to go back to school and get a good trade," says Zack. "I always really liked engines and mechanics, so I thought I'd give it a try."
In 2008, Zack enrolled in NSCC's Diesel Repair – Industrial & Marine program at the Lunenburg Campus. Since his father was a lobster fisherman, Zack decided to specialize in marine diesel engines. He graduated from the program in 2009.
LAID THEFOUNDATIONFOR CLASSICALMECHANICS
“I'm really glad my Dad pushed me to go back to school...
...I probably wouldn't have without his support.”
But Zack's studies had an unforeseen effect. While he was taking the program, the engine in William's fishing boat needed an overhaul. Zack took the lead, with his father helping. William remembers, "We worked well together, so one day Zack looked at me and said, 'You should take the course, Dad.'"
The circle is complete. The father urges the son to go back to school, which inspires the father to do the same.
At age 49, William graduated and received an award for demonstrated excellence in the practical application of his trade.
Who had the best marks, father or son? "I think I did a little better than the young fella."
Today, they are hopeful for the future. "It would be great if we could start a business together," says Zack. "Maybe even hire some people from the community."Tags:
Zenon Pilipowicz | Port Joli
For 10 weeks this summer, Zenon Pilipowicz's office was a boat on a Kejimkujik Seaside Park estuary. The NSCC Natural Resources Environmental Technology graduate estimates he removed 25,000 green crabs - a small but vital victory in restoring natural habitat compromised by this invasive species.
"They eat eel grass, which is a vital spawning ground for small aquatic fish," says Zenon, who worked with Parks Canada and the Friends of Keji Cooperating Association on this project. "We're seeing grass return where there was no growth for 10 years."
RECOGNIZESTHE UNIQUESKILLS OFENVIRONMENTALPROFESSIONALS
RESTORINGLAND TO ITSNATURAL STATE
AN INLETOF THE SEA
“Not only did Zenon have a knack for the restoration estuary work...
...he also demonstrated that he could do it more efficiently.”
Zenon, now ECO Canada certified, is continuing his studies at Cape Breton University and hopes to one day work full-time in site reclamation and clean up. "It's exciting to help reverse the damage we've done to our environment. NSCC provided me with the skills to excel in this sector and make a positive change in the world."Tags:
Matt MacDougall + Cora MacDonald | Middleton
A camera may seem like unconventional building site equipment, but not for Matt MacDougall. He and Cora MacDonald – both students in the Energy Sustainability Engineering Technology (ESET) Program at NSCC's Annapolis Valley campus – were hired to document the construction of Pilikan House, a bold new concept in residential construction.
"The house is a living lab," explains Matt. "Students can go in and work with energy sustainability, but they can't see how the house came together. Our photographs and videos captured that, giving NSCC instructors a unique opportunity to show students the processes and decisions behind the scenes."
PILIKANis derived fromTHE MI'KMAWWORDS FORNEW HOUSE
WHICHREFLECT THEINNOVATIVEIDEAS BEHIND IT
“The great thing about Pilikan is that it uses construction material we have today...
...to achieve greater energy efficiency. People can visit and discover how to save money.”
Cora characterizes the experience as eye-opening. "It was amazing to see this grow from an idea to an actual house, but also to see how contractors adopted methods for reducing non-renewable energy use that were new to them."
Matt, Cora and the Pilikan House team will be visiting NSCC campuses and meeting with public groups across the province to talk about this innovative project. "We want to demonstrate that energy efficiency really is in everyone's grasp," says Matt.Tags:
Catherine Myers + Ryan Taylor | Dartmouth
In 2009, the Moirs factory in Dartmouth closed, and single mother Catherine Myers was out of a job. She decided to go back to school to improve her employability, choosing the Graphic & Print Production program at NSCC's Waterfront Campus. That prompted her son, Ryan Taylor, to join her.
"He said, 'If you can do it, Mom, I can.' Thank goodness he did. I was constantly asking him, 'Ryan, what does this mean?' in class. But he was very patient, and helped me a lot with using computers."
THEY DIDN'TMISS A DAYDURING THE 2YEAR PROGRAM
CATHY & RYANSAT BESIDEEACH OTHEREVERY DAY
INTRODUCED CATHYTO TRADES
REPRODUCINGTEXT & IMAGE
“I met with one of the instructors and said, 'I can't do this. I don't know anything about computers.'...
...He said, 'We'll get you through this one way or another, so don't give up.' And I didn't.”
Since graduating together in June, Ryan found employment at Transcontinental, while Catherine says her diploma is opening new doors for her.
"I'm qualified for more jobs at a higher rate of pay. NSCC made that possible and so did Ryan just by encouraging me all through the program."Tags: