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Celebrating 75 Years of Innovation in Nursing Education and Research

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An interview with Tracey Jewiss

Jul 29, 2020

Tracey Jewiss

Photo above: Tracey Jewiss  

Tracey Jewiss, an assistant professor in the School of Nursing, has been the level 1 lead for the BScN program for the past 10 years. She stepped down from this role on July 1.  The level 1 lead develops and adapts curriculum for level 1 of the Basic Stream (or first year) and provides support and direction for all students and tutors in level 1. Amy Palma has now taken on the role. We asked Tracey Jewiss to reflect on her decade in this important role.


Who is the nurse of the future?

A nurse of the future should have the following attributes:

Collaborative and cooperative team-building skills

Manage and cope effectively with change

A global perspective or mindset

Adeptness with technology

Be concerned and considerate of others

How have students changed or stayed the same coming in to year one?

The students from 10 years ago were less inclined to have smart phones and laptops. Nowadays, it is the norm for each and every student to have some type of technology available to them. Students used to have hard-copy textbooks, highlighters, and paper to write on and now it is usually e-texts and all documents are written on a computer.

The first year of the program is an important transition for students – from high school to a professional program. Can you comment on students’ transition to a professional program/nursing and what strategies you integrated for student success?

From the first few weeks in class, nursing students are introduced to the role of the nurse and what being a professional nurse means. Each nursing class drafts out group norms for the behaviours and expectations required of every student to develop a collaborative group environment for learning. Cooperation among students is encouraged and support for teamwork is fostered.

 Do you have recommendations for teachers in year 1?  

Students in year 1 are going through multiple changes, including being away from home, taking on more self-responsibility, increased workloads, homesickness, making new friends, and trying to fit in. All of these changes can be stressful for students. Teachers who teach in level 1 need to be aware that these students are managing a lot of different stressors along with the school work in first year university. Being mindful of and attentive to what students are going through in their first year of the program can help teachers be more accommodating and considerate of the factors that affect student mental and physical health.

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