Dec. 20, 2018
More than 4,000 students have graduated from McMaster's nursing programs. Here we meet Nicole Whitten, who works as a Public Health Nurse in Peel.
I currently work as a Public Health Nurse at the Region of Peel’s Health Department on the School Health Team.
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT MY WORK:
The essence of my work is health promotion in schools, including teaching children about healthy behaviours and encouraging schools to provide environments that support health. It’s so rewarding to see youth evolve. I strongly value the creative and interprofessional aspects of my work as well as the impact I get to have on communities, families, and individuals. Further, the research that informs the work I do is always evolving, which allows me to use evidence-based practice to inform my work, which is extremely important to me.
HOW I GOT HERE:
My fourth-year placement in the BScN program got me to where I am in my career today. I was placed on the School Years Program at Halton Region and found my niche in nursing immediately. From that point in time I knew what I wanted to do. After graduating from the BScN program, I applied and started my Master’s degree in Public Health and completed the program in 2017. Due to the strong relationships and skills I built while at Halton Region, I was able to secure my MPH practicum placement on the School Years Program, and worked as a project lead on a youth alcohol use literature review and report. Immediately after this placement, I was hired onto the team as an employee and completed a 12-month contract. From there, I moved on to secure permanent full-time employment with the Region of Peel.
WHY I CHOSE MCMASTER BSCN:
I chose McMaster’s program because of its positive reputation as well as its strong focus on research and evidence-based practice, the problem-based learning course structure, and the fact that McMaster is located in a hub of various healthcare facilities. I also chose McMaster as a school for its small, community-like feel. I also thought given McMaster’s location I would more easily find employment opportunities and would be able to network in an area where I lived, which proved to be beneficial.
HOW MY EXPERIENCE AT MCMASTER HELPED ME:
McMaster was able to shape me into the healthcare professional I am today because of my experiences and various exposures during the course of the program. I am thankful I was able to attend classes with world-class professors and be mentored by caring, knowledgeable individuals along the way. The program’s demanding and challenging nature also helped me to develop skills in research, detail-oriented assessments, inquiry and critical thinking, which are invaluable assets in the workplace.