In a few short weeks, fourth-year University of Saskatchewan (USask) College of Nursing student Dilraj Singh will graduate at Spring Convocation with his Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree and work alongside the nurses who inspired him and reinforced his passion for the profession during his clinical rotations.
“I am excited to join the front lines of health care in Saskatchewan where I can apply my knowledge and skills to make a difference in patients’ lives by helping them manage their health and promote healthy behaviours,” said Singh.
Eight years ago, Singh left India to come to Canada as an international student. After spending two years in British Columbia, he decided to move to Saskatchewan.
“I found a sense of belonging in Saskatchewan and have been happy to call Saskatoon home,” said Singh. “The friendly community, beautiful scenery, and strong support network have made it a great place for me to pursue my education and start my career in nursing.”
Looking back on his time in the College of Nursing, Singh is proud to be completing his degree, as he struggled to balance his work and academic life at the start of his program.
“The BSN program comes with high academic standards, so it is important to prioritize studies. The workload can be heavy at times and when trying to balance that with work, it’s challenging. However, I am grateful to have received multiple scholarships and bursaries, which helped to alleviate my financial stress and allowed me to focus on my studies. These scholarships were a motivator for me to keep pushing and striving for excellence in my program.”
Singh, along with approximately 270 USask Bachelor of Science in Nursing graduates across Saskatchewan, will complete their BSN degree requirements this spring and prepare to write the national licensure exam.
“I always wanted to do something valuable and meaningful, and when I met a few USask nursing alumni, I felt nursing was the right career path for me,” said Singh.
“My experience at USask has been enriching. The opportunity to learn from experienced faculty, who are experts in their field, and the amount of hands-on learning opportunities provided during labs and clinical, was invaluable in building my skills and competencies.”
When asked what advice he would give a new USask nursing student, he replied: “Get involved! Nursing students have a strong sense of community among themselves. The support and encouragement of fellow students can help during stressful times.”
Nursing convocation is not the only thing Singh is celebrating this year. In fall, he became a Canadian citizen.
“In September 2022, I was invited to attend my citizenship ceremony, but it fell during one of my last clinical placements. I am forever grateful to my preceptor for being understanding, so I could attend this important milestone in my life and celebrate with loved ones.”
Singh has grown fond of Saskatoon and has decided to make it home. He has accepted a position at Royal University Hospital in cardiology once he passes his national licensure examination and becomes a registered nurse.
“I find it rewarding to empower patients’ by providing education and advocating on their behalf, so they can reach their full potential for a healthy life,” said Singh.
The learning doesn’t stop there for Singh. He is considering returning to USask to complete nursing graduate studies in the future.
“While I haven’t decided on a specific program yet, I am interested in either a research-based program or becoming a nurse practitioner. Regardless of which path I choose, I am excited to continue my studies and develop my skills and knowledge as a registered nurse. I believe pursuing advanced nursing education will help me to become a better nurse and make a greater impact in the lives of my patients.”
May 8-14 is National Nursing Week in Canada. The Canadian Nurses Association 2023 National Nursing Week theme is: Our Nurses. Our Future. USask College of Nursing has more than 1,030 undergraduate students studying to become registered nurses. When Singh graduates this spring, he will join the family of more than 10,900 USask nursing alumni currently making a difference each and every day as registered nurses in Saskatchewan, across Canada, and around the world.