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Maranda Pert-Hoyt was working with the elderly when she started thinking about leaning in even more to her career in healthcare.
“I actually did work at the nursing home in my hometown. So, I got introduced into healthcare in that sense,” she says.
Her initial plan was to study to become a resident attendant, but when the opportunity to learn more about her career path options through WorkingNB came up, she took it.
Her parents saw a post on Facebook about financial supports to healthcare workers who wanted to upgrade their skills and passed it on to her.
She reached out to WorkingNB and decided to upgrade her skills to become a personal support worker.
“WorkingNB can provide funding support to students with a labour force connection to upgrade their nursing skills and take on a new role along the nursing continuum. This includes people who want to upgrade from PSW (personal support worker) to LPN (licensed practical nurse), LPN to RN (registered nurse) or RNs to nurse practitioners,” says Farrah LeBlanc, a consultant at WorkingNB.
Leblanc says anyone can come visit one of the 19 WorkingNB offices throughout the province and learn about all the programs that are available to match people up with the right job for them.
An important requirement in order to move along the nursing continuum,, along with many supports offered by WorkingNB, is working with an employment counsellor to create an employment action plan. That will act as a guide to show the way forward for people looking to upgrade or change their skill sets.
For all nursing related professions, educational opportunities can start throughout the year. Nursing is a priority area for the province and it’s providing even more incentives for those interested in entering the field.
“We’ve provided additional funding for the PSWs where a personal support worker can receive 100 per cent tuition costs instead of the 50 per cent that we usually provide if the employer match and plan is right,” says LeBlanc.
Working with a counsellor and developing that employment action plan is key.
“I did a labour market assessment, where I interviewed an employer of personal support workers. And then I also did an occupation assessment as well, so I got to interview a couple of different employees,” Pert-Hoyt explains of her process to enter the program.
“Then I did like a mini employment action plan as well, to put myself in the shoes of the care provider that I was aspiring to become.”
Pert-Hoyt says the evaluation to see if she was a good fit solidified her resolve that she was on the right path. And acceptance into the program meant she would get the funding that would allow her to follow that path and achieve success.
“This has been so incredibly helpful throughout my education, unbelievably helpful. And throughout the process, I had my employment counsellor who helps me manage all of this change.”
While in the program, Pert-Hoyt discovered that she had even more potential than she had initially realized. She decided to upgrade her skills even further and shift to study to become a practical nursing student.
After several months of study, Pert-Hoyt is looking forward to her graduation in June.
“Right now I’m really focused on clinical experiences,” she says. “Once my clinicals are up I’ll be going straight into preceptorship – which is basically me working with a preceptor at a placement [at a healthcare facility].”
The preceptorship is where she works with an LPN, getting to know the job and get used to the schedule of shift work.
“It really immerses you in exactly what you’re going to expect as a future employee, or as a healthcare worker, which is super beneficial.”
Now that she’s on track to upgrade her skills even further, Pert-Hoyt is seeing even more opportunity for future job prospects.
“Horizon is actually offering a program for student nurses. It’s called the SNAP program, the Student Nurse Advancement Pledge,” she says. “We’re provided with opportunities from employers that will help guarantee you employment in the field.”
Pert-Hoyt says the entire experience has led her down a path she wouldn’t have navigated otherwise.
“This has just been astronomical in providing me with support.”
This story is sponsored by WorkingNB