The development of a nationwide social platform designed to support nurses entering the healthcare profession during the COVID-19 pandemic is being spearheaded by an associate professor of the TRU School of Nursing.
Created and led by Dr. Judy Duchscher, the Nursing the Future project builds on the foundation of the federal non-profit organization started by Duchscher in 2004, a program she ran until 2014 before leaving, promising to reinvent the project when it was needed again.
This reimagining of Nursing the Future will connect experienced practitioners from various medical backgrounds across the country with recent graduates currently navigating the strenuous transition period from school to employment.
Speaking to the vast categories and disciplines within the health care system, Duchscher stated that, “we all had to come together around the introduction of the new nurse into this very tumultuous and highly stressful, unpredictable environment that we’re finding ourselves in [COVID-19].”
The project has received funding from the Canadian Nurses Foundation’s COVID-19 Fund for Nurses grant in addition to administrative support from the Canadian Nurses Association.
Funding will continue until July 31, 2021.
“Nursing The Future is a key initiative of CNF’s COVID-19 fund as this global public-health crisis has placed tremendous tension on the nursing workforce, particularly new practitioners who are transitioning from school to work,” said Christine Rieck Buckley, chief executive officer of the CNF.
With an initial launch planned for the end of September, the project will centre around an online networking community of nurses and practitioners in various fields across the country. Speaker series, panels from experienced leaders in nursing and other interactive social opportunities will be some of the highlights of the social media-like platform as it unfolds.
Educational, workplace innovation and research resources will also be made available alongside information on current nursing issues, leadership within the field and workplace culture to further support healthcare educators, administrators and nurses.
Allowing newer nurses to receive mentorship from those more experienced in their field, explained by Duchscher, will be a driving force behind the project so graduates can successfully navigate the unfamiliar stages of transition in this time of COVID-19 and in years to come.
Duchscher also encouraged the public to check out the website to learn more about the project, information surrounding COVID-19 and how nurses are reacting to an ever-changing landscape.
“While this may seem like a challenging time, there’s never a better time to enter a profession than when it needs leadership, and when it is able to have such an impact on the lives of our nation,” Duchscher spoke to those currently in and entering the nursing field. “Hang on tight, because it’s an amazing ride.”