Sibling rivalry? Not in this case. It’s all about sibling support for University of Saskatchewan (USask) College of Nursing alums Madison (BSN’18) and Ethan Dusseault (BSN’21), who both work as registered nurses in Prince Albert and northern Saskatchewan.
Madison and Ethan completed their USask Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees with Honours in Prince Albert. Since becoming a registered nurse (RN) in 2018, Madison has worked in mental health, addictions, corrections, and community health.
“I always heard once you become a nurse, you will practice in an area completely different than where you first imagined and they are correct,” said Madison. “I thought I would work in obstetrics or pediatrics, but it has not played out like that….yet!” She enjoys working casual, as it allows her to control her schedule and try different areas of nursing practice.
Ethan became a registered nurse in 2021 and has worked casually in acute care, psychiatric nursing, and community health so far. Both Ethan and Madison have a passion for northern nursing and have worked in a number of northern Saskatchewan communities including Fond-du-Lac, Uranium City, Southend, Stanley Mission, Montreal Lake, and Pelican Narrows.
“Northern nursing is great,” said Ethan. “If someone is considering it, they should do it. It’s rewarding working in smaller communities and it’s nice to be away from the city. I would definitely consider northern nursing if you have treaty status, as you can work without paying taxes on your income.”
Although they haven’t had the opportunity to work an actual shift together yet, Madison and Ethan feel having a sibling working in the same field is very beneficial. “Even though we didn’t go to school together and we’re not on shift together, we’ve used each other for guidance during nursing school and during our careers,” said Madison. “I enjoy having a sibling working in the same career – we talk and understand each other and my sister guides me at times,” adds Ethan.
Madison and Ethan are currently administering COVID-19 vaccinations in the community. “We were both able to immunize our mom, which was a really cool and unique opportunity,” said Madison. “Ethan gave her the first dose and I gave her the second dose. Being part of this together is something none of us will forget.”
Family influenced Madison in her decision to become a nurse. “When I was 16 years old, my grandpa was sick in the hospital for about six weeks. I told him before he passed that I wanted to become a registered nurse and he was so proud of my decision that I followed through with it.”
One thing Madison and Ethan agree on is that nurses play many roles or wear many different hats as they say. “When the public thinks of nursing, they think of nurses giving medication and assessing patients, but nurses do so much more,” said Ethan. “When I do northern nursing, there are days I am helping with COVID-19 testing, giving COVID-19 immunizations, doing school presentations for public health, giving routine immunizations to babies, and administering all sorts of medication to patients all in one day,” said Madison. “You never really know how your day is going to unfold. A day in the life of a RN includes a whole lot of coffee and sleep!”
Staying close to home to complete their education was important to both Madison and Ethan. They chose the USask College of Nursing because they could stay in Prince Albert, live at home, and save money. “It is so beneficial to take nursing in or near your hometown and in Prince Albert, the smaller classes helped a lot when it came to building closer bonds with your classmates and your instructors,” said Madison.
“The nursing program in Prince Albert was a good experience,” said Ethan. “The in-person labs where you practice scenarios that test the skills you will need in real life nursing practice were so helpful for learning. Although it was challenging to take classes remotely due to the pandemic, I was happy to continue my program. I studied a lot and made school my main priority, but it was worth it because I love working in a field where I help people and feel good about the work I am doing.”
“The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at USask prepares you with the knowledge you need to write the NCLEX-RN and become licensed as a registered nurse,” adds Ethan. “As a RN, you have the opportunity to work anywhere. Nursing is a secure and stable career with great benefits.”
Applications for the USask Bachelor of Science in Nursing program are currently being accepted until March 31st.
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