Browsing through College of the Rockies’ program calendar, Chelsea Fiorentino was drawn to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program offered in partnership with the University of Victoria.
Being able to take the first two and a half years of the program in her hometown with affordable tuition and small class sizes without compromising the quality of her education convinced her that College of the Rockies was the right choice for her.
After completing her first 5 semesters at the College, Chelsea continued on to UVIC to complete her degree. (NOTE: Students can now take the entire program at the Cranbrook campus). After graduation she began working as a registered nurse on the renal unit at the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, providing dialysis to people with end-stage kidney disease.
Though she found the work rewarding, she realized her true passion lies in public health and enrolled in a Masters of Public Health (MPH) program, also at UVIC.
“With my MPH, I hoped to be a part of an organization that works toward preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting optimal health for all Canadians,” she says. “I focused on social policy within my program so that someday I can develop and implement policies that address the social and environmental determinants of health while improving health inequities in Canada and other countries.”
While this path is different than where she first imagined her career taking her, Chelsea was first introduced to the concept of public health at the College and was able to get a first-hand glimpse into the social factors that impact health during her practicums on the St. Mary’s First Nation’s Reserve and at Operation Street Angel.
Now done her Masters, Chelsea continues to work as a Registered Nurse at Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria as well as a Community-Based Researcher, on contract, for the Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria.
“I am so grateful for these amazing experiences that College of the Rockies provided me,” Chelsea adds. “They have led me to pursue my dream of becoming a public health professional so I can contribute to the health and well-being of my community, and maybe someday – the world.”
“College of the Rockies was a great place to start my education journey,” she concludes. “I strongly encourage anyone who has recently graduated high school, no matter what your career of choice is or how ambitious you are, to start your post-secondary education at this great college.”
Learn more about College of the Rockies’ Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.