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Kolina Tavares, Alumni Profile

Nov 9, 2020

Kolina Tavares

MCMASTER DEGREE:

Bachelor of Science in Nursing 2020

CURRENT POSITION:

Public Health Nurse - ​COVID-19 Outbreak team

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT MY WORK:

I love that I can make an active contribution to the cumulative effort towards managing and overcoming COVID-19. I work with an incredibly dedicated team of individuals who have worked so hard to benefit our communities during these strange times. Due to the nature of COVID-19, much of the work that takes place on the outbreak team is continuously evolving. I feel that this work has increased my capacity for critical thinking, adapting, and opened up opportunities I wouldn't necessarily have elsewhere. 

 HOW I GOT HERE:

I began my academic journey in the Life Sciences program at McMaster but decided I was deeply interested in the health sciences. In 2nd year, I made the choice to switch to a registered practical nursing program to pursue this passion.  I then began the McMaster RPN to RN bridging program in 2017 after completing the RPN program. In total, it took me 7 years to reach my end goal of becoming an RN but I wouldn't trade the experiences I have had throughout for the world. In March of this year, I was 90% through a public health placement when COVID-19 reached Ontario in full capacity. I wrote my NCLEX and applied to work with the COVID-19 response. Now my role changes frequently to adapt to the latest needs of our communities. 

WHY I CHOSE MCMASTER BSCN:

I chose McMaster for the unique placement opportunities their BSCN program offers. I have always been interested in global and public health work - both of which are offerings for 4th year placements. Additionally, the partnerships in the community for placements along with the research taking place at McMaster were of particular interest. And lastly, I simply love the Hamilton community. 

HOW MY EXPERIENCE AT MCMASTER HELPED ME:

I was very fortunate to complete a global health placement in Nepal, and a public health placement in Hamilton for my fourth-year placements. I believe both opportunities have offered me an incredible foundation for my future in the nursing world.  Nepal was a very real introduction into what global health work entails. The four months spent abroad was also a time of personal growth that truly changed my life. My experience in public health allowed me to gain so many important skills that prepared me for my current position today. Lastly, I was able to take an introduction to research course and global health courses, both of which changed my perspective and broadened my critical thinking in ways that continue to benefit me and propel me forward. 

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