Having been accepted into the Licensed Practical Nurse Program at Norquest College, I am writing this educational plan letter for you to illustrate my future goals. My name is Brianna Shae. I am a North Slave Dene woman from Fort Good Hope, NT. I know that backgrounds are not always needed but, in my case, I think it would be important for you to know this part of me.
To shed some light on my educational background, this is my first time being accepted into an accredited college program because I am finally in a place in life where I can fully focus on my career. Growing up, I was constantly running on survival mode, taking care of my sisters when I was in high school while living in poverty. I was either moving between foster homes or parenting my 3 younger sisters because I had no choice. I moved out at 17 as soon as I saw an opportunity. In doing so, I had to work 3 jobs to survive. I’ve grown a lot since these days. Eventually, I went back to do the free Adult Basic Literacy and Education program at Aurora College and was granted funding from my band because it was a non-funded program. I was receiving the highest marks I had ever gotten. A year later, the college sent me an award for the highest academic achievement. In someone else’s perspective, that likely isn’t a big deal. To me, that was the first time I had ever won an award for working hard in school and I am still incredibly grateful for going back and doing that. I don’t plan on stopping there. Now, I’m married with 3 stepsons, and I am driven to progress for the life I want by breaking the cycle; educating myself; and being a positive role model to other young indigenous people, including my children and younger siblings.
In October 2020, the thought of pursuing a career in the health field did not even cross my mind. My high school transcripts showed my pitiful marks, which had a detrimental effect on how I saw myself. I never thought I could be ‘good’ enough or smart enough to get into the healthcare field despite my desire to help others. The pandemic really showed me that I have the choice to be that essential person and just try for LPN. So, I enrolled in Prep for Practical Nursing, a math and chemistry refresher. A student Navigator advised me to apply for the January 2022 LPN program early, so I did, and I was accepted a month later, on my birthday. It was a gift that I had earned for myself. I passed the prep course and now I am currently enrolled in Open Studies for Fall 2021 while also having been accepted in LPN for January 2022. I planned this fall to take the initial courses that one would in their first year of LPN and this is to lighten my course load so that I can still have some time for my family. I am balancing school, work, and home life with my 3 boys. I have a wonderful support system to help me along the way. With this plan in mind, I will be graduating with a diploma in Licensed Practical Nurse in August 2023. My job is with Alberta Health Services as casual administrative support in Royal Alexandra Hospital. The plan that I have with my future degree is to be working in palliative care because I have seen firsthand how understaffed they are in that unit. I aim to give the best care I can, where it’s needed most. There are so many different paths I can take with being a practical nurse and I have many opportunities to find the area I am meant to be in. I already know that once I am an LPN for over a year, I want to take either a condensed RN program or a bridge-to-RN program. I know that this is an attainable goal.
Now, to finance my education, I have applied to many different education funding outlets. This summer, I thought I would be able to balance my work and school life; unfortunately, I was wrong. I cannot fully focus on schoolwork if I am stressed about home life. This past month, I have been struggling financially because I am also working as much as I can to make ends meet. The cost of tuition for my first term this January is estimated to be $3000.36. I will be enrolled full-time taking these courses: Anatomy & Physiology; Health Education 1000; Health Assessment 1000; and Nursing Foundations 1001. If I win this award, every penny of it will go towards buying my textbooks, lab kits, and towards my budget for making a living. I keep a tight budget because at this time, I can only afford necessities to support myself, and my family. I’ve done the math for my job at home. To help with mortgage, utilities, gas, and food, I will need to work 38.75 hours including weekends. My job is located 45 minutes away thus requiring me to fill my car with gas every 3-4 days. Unfortunately, taking transit isn’t an option where I live. Not only is that a lot of money spent on gas, but it is a lot of time that could be spent doing my readings. My current studies are also full-time. It’s a balancing act.
I am going to conclude this plan by telling you that I know my potential. I have come a long, long way to get this far. I know for a fact that I am an incredibly hard worker, especially because of where I’ve come from. For now, I just need to get through these current courses that are challenging me. On a lighter note, I have adapted to listening to the annotation feature on my e-textbook because of how much time I spend driving to and from school, work, and my children’s sports. But I digress. I just need to get through my Open Studies this fall and try my hardest for January and with your support, I will continue to work hard and be transparent about my educational plan. With the drive I have now, I will achieve the marks I know I can get. This is just the beginning of my journey. I know that in time, all my hard work will pay off.