COVID-19 solidifies nursing career for Ardrossan Grade 12 student

Ardrossan Junior Senior High School Grade 12 student Kallen Boe has been accepted to Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta for the fall semester, a long-time goal of the teen. Photo Supplied

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As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt our lives across the country, the situation has cemented one local Grade 12 student’s decision to go into nursing.

Kallen Boe, who is graduating from Ardrossan Junior Senior High School, has been accepted to the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta for the fall semester — a long-time goal of the teen.

“Inside my head, I’ve always thought about becoming a nurse but since Grade 10 I’ve really thought about it,” explained Boe, a grade 12 grad at Ardrossan Junior Senior. “My mom is a nurse as well, which contributed to the idea and opened the door for me.”

Boe said he’s always thought about careers that help people but it took a little while to zero-in on nursing.

“My dad is a police officer and I was really interested in becoming a police officer but I worked at a long-term care centre last year and a lot of my time was spent around nurses and I would watch them. It was really interesting and made me want to do it,” he said. “Spending the amount of time I did with those nurses really made me want to pursue it.”

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck and started making thousands of people in the country ill, Boe said it further solidified his decision to pursue nursing.

“It makes me want to be a nurse even more,” Boe said. “Seeing how much good they are able to do really makes me want to get involved and help out.”

A big worry Boe has about going into nursing is the current government, which had been pushing cuts to health care before the pandemic started.

“That definitely does concern me. I know they are cutting a lot of health care funding and nurses are losing their jobs but I think I’ll be able to find a job as a nurse,” he said. “The Alberta government does make me a little nervous to become a nurse though.”

The soon-to-be post-secondary student is also worried about increased education costs due to decisions by the UCP government.

“I’m definitely concerned with how much more expensive university is in Alberta now,” he said.

Boe said he tries not to worry about those concerns and focuses on the upcoming school year, which will be very different for post-secondary students.

“It is starting with online classes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The first semester will now be mostly online with some labs and clinical in person,” Boe said. “It makes me nervous because it was hard enough learning high school classes online and university might be a rude awakening to get my university experience though my computer.”

Boe is scheduled to finish the nursing program in 2024. His goal is to become a flight nurse on the STARS Air Ambulance.

“I’ll have to gain some experience first in different settings before that, but that is definitely my goal,” Boe said. “I might also become a nurse practitioner, which is another couple of years of university.”

tdosser@postmedia.com

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