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India nursing students to spend two weeks on frontlines of N.B. health-care system


Growing up in India, Jessal Gladvin watched his older sister navigate a rare condition and how his mother helped treat her.

His mother was a nurse, so experiencing the world of health care through his family’s professional and personal lens led him to pursue the field, too.

Now, in his third year of nursing at Manipal College of Nurses, Gladvin finds himself in Fredericton, N.B., ready to experience health care through the Canadian lens.

“This gives us an opportunity to see if we really want to go to Canada,” he said. “This gives us that opportunity to come and explore and experience how it is, how the health-care system is compared to back in home.”

He’s on a two-week preceptorship through a new partnership between Manipal and the University of New Brunswick (UNB) Department of Nursing.

Seven students will be on the frontlines at the Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital and at a Shannex long-term care home, working alongside practicing nurses and seeing first-hand the differences between the two health-care systems.

In turn, UNB has created four courses for the students to take between their third and fourth years in India, centred on the Canadian health-care system, social justice and clinical judgement, as well as some Indigenous teachings.

The aim is for those students to graduate and return to Canada as fulltime nurses.

“If we didn't do that, they would come in as the internationally-educated nursing process allows, and it could be up to 13 months before they would be ready to practice here,” said UNB’s Dean of Nursing Lorna Butler. “So when they step off the plane, they are ready to go.”

The opportunity is new – last year was the first group of nine students – so they don’t know how successful it is yet at recruiting permanent nurses.

Gladvin says he can picture himself in Canada and so does Irine Ajay, another student involved in the preceptorship.

“Manipal and UNB have collaborated and actually gave us a really great opportunity to come to another country, experience how things work here. So I thought, why not? Come here, see how this thing goes. If it works for me, I'll come to Canada for my future endeavors,” she said.

The group toured the Chalmers Hospital on Sunday, already recognizing the differences in technology and treatment protocols, and called it a “peaceful” facility.

“Our hospitals are always busy and, you know, they have people running everywhere,” said Gladvin. “Over here, it was much more calm and composed.”

Butler says the partnership has been done ethically, not taking from India’s health-care system.

“Our seats with Manipal are supernumerary. The Indian Nursing Council gave permission for them to have those extra seats. And it was the first time they had done that in India,” she said.

They’ve been approved for up to 25 extra seats a year.

For more New Brunswick news visit our dedicated provincial page. Top Stories


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