Making a difference in North Central Regina

By Dale Johnson Posted: May 13, 2015 6:00 a.m.

Nursing students Tamara Gunther (left) and  Brooke Burton (right) spend time at the North Central Family Centre with children like Carletta.
Nursing students Tamara Gunther (left) and Brooke Burton (right) spend time at the North Central Family Centre with children like Carletta. Photo courtesy of the North Central Family Centre.

Some nursing students recently completed their community service learning at the North Central Family Centre in Regina which provides safety, education resources, and life skills for about 70 school-aged children.

The students are in the Saskatchewan Collaborative Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, offered jointly by the University of Regina and Saskatchewan Polytechnic.

“Students are challenged to enter a community-based agency, work with staff and clients, and contribute to service delivery. The impact of this collective contribution is significant both in terms of the agencies where students are placed and to their respective clients,” explains the Dean of Nursing at the University of Regina, Dr. david Gregory.

Six nursing students – from CNUR 401 Population Health and Community Partnerships – were at the North Central Family Centre twice a week for seven to nine hours, over a twelve-week period.

“When the students asked what they could do to help, the community members shared that they wanted them to help change the image of North Central and to focus on the positive resources,” explains instructor Cindy Kuster Orban.

“The students arranged for many inspirational role models to visit the children, and their message was consistent: ‘You can be anything you want in life. You can live a happy life and can make positive choices and celebrate your neighbourhood.’ ”

Guest speakers included members of the University of Regina Rams, Warren McCall (MLA), members of the Saskatchewan Roughriders and a rapper.  On the final day, the nursing students shared their experiences with an audience that included the Mayor, City Councillors, MLAs, respected elders and community members.  

“The presentation made it clear that these students were deeply affected by this project,” says Mayor Michael Fougere. “They told us quite clearly that they’ll continue to volunteer and advocate for the neighbourhood and the kids at the Centre. North Central welcomed them with open arms, and it clearly won them over.”

As Kuster Orban says: “This clinical experience was a career highlight for me and I can guarantee that we now have six new graduates who will be more compassionate working with community members.”

These community connections benefit both Saskatchewan Polytechnic and the University of Regina.

This is yet another example of how the University of Regina has a commitment to our communities, as outlined in the Strategic Plan,  peyak aski kikawinaw.

Cindy Kuster Orban will be making a presentation on this community service learning experience on Wednesday, May 13, in RIC Room 208 at the University of Regina from noon to 1:00 p.m.