Saskatchewan is a long way from Nigeria, but when Ucheoma Oji’s mom recommended the University of Saskatchewan (USask) College of Nursing, Ucheoma figured why not.
“My mom and I were looking for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program in Canada that welcomed international students, had a good reputation, and affordable tuition when we discovered USask,” said Oji.
Ucheoma recently completed her BSN degree and is a part of USask’s College of Nursing Class of 2023.
“I finished high school in 2017 in Nigeria, took two years off, and came to Saskatoon in 2019,” said Oji.
“I took my pre-professional year of nursing at the University of Saskatchewan, applied to the College of Nursing, and was accepted at the Saskatoon campus.”
“I have had a really great experience at USask. Throughout my program, I acquired so much knowledge about health care and how to care for patients in different settings. My favourite part of the program was the hands-on experience during clinical, where I got to care for patients by transferring the knowledge learnt in class into the clinical setting.”
Ucheoma admits the USask nursing program is challenging, but worth it.
“The workload is intense. Having three semesters in one academic year and not getting much of a summer break between years is wearing. That being said, I absolutely encourage anyone who is interested to apply. The workload is tiresome, but we’re dealing with human lives and the learning process is worth it in the end.”
Ucheoma has made many friends while at USask and said that besides the weather, coming to Canada has been an amazing journey.
“It was really hard acclimatizing to the weather in Saskatoon given I come from a country that is warm all year round,” Oji said, with a laugh.
“Saskatchewan, as a whole, has been wonderful. There are so many job and volunteer opportunities here.”
Ucheoma has now decided to call Saskatoon home.
Upon graduation, she is going to work as a graduate nurse on the renal medicine unit at St. Paul’s Hospital, then plans to write the national licensure exam at the end of June. Upon passing her exam, she plans to continue to work on the renal unit.
“I am very excited to become a registered nurse,” said Oji.
“I look forward to taking care of patients, and being a part of their health journey.”
Ucheoma knows becoming a registered nurse requires a commitment to lifelong learning.
“I look forward to working with the health care team, growing professionally, and adding to my skills and competencies. In the future, I am considering returning to school to become a nurse practitioner.”
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