Alberta Licensing Board Reconsideration for Nursing Students in Final Practicum

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I am a nursing student at Bow Valley College, I am in my final month of my education working as a student practical nurse at Airdrie Urgent Care with only 3.5 weeks of my final preceptorship remaining. Yesterday I found out my preceptorship is cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. I had 148 hours (3.5 weeks) remaining until my preceptorship would be complete and I would qualify to work as a Licensed Practical Nurse in Alberta. Instead, I am now sitting at home helplessly watching as this pandemic sweeps across the nation. It is in these great times of crisis that Alberta needs nurses and other healthcare workers in the front lines more than ever. As of today, students across Alberta were informed that our preceptorship hours would continue after COVID-19 resolves, leaving an untapped workforce during the pandemic.
 
When I signed up to be a nurse it was without exception and without hesitation, to help people during their deepest times of need. Right now, during the world’s worst pandemic in 100 years the world needs more nurses and medical staff. I do not want to sit at home and watch as people get sick when my skills and training could be utilized out in the medical field.
 
NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens stated on March 11 that they would be inviting third year nursing students into practice., potentially offering them a license 6 months early in order to combat this pandemic head on. Canada’s nursing pool will shrink as many nurses will fall victim to COVID-19, it is in those times that we will need nurses to step up and fill the spots of nurses who are on sick leave. The Honourable Jason Kenney declared yesterday that we are expected to see a peak in this virus in 4-5 weeks.  If I was able to complete my preceptorship I would be qualified to work as a nurse by the time of the COVID-19 peak. I have current hands on training where as if you were to call retired nurses back, their skills would be dated.
 
On behalf of every nursing student and any other medical student who are weeks away from graduating and are now forced to sit at home, I implore you to consider to either allow us to complete our hours for graduation, fast track the medical staff who are weeks away, or exempt us from the final criteria in this time of medical crisis.

Please sign this petition, and help us put our skills to use!