Mohawk nursing students forced to work into summer to meet grad requirements

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Mohawk College nursing students working into the summer to meet graduation requirements
Wed, Nov 22: Students enrolled in a collaborative nursing program between Mohawk College and McMaster University, were left scrambling to meet their requirements because of the strike. As Shallima Maharaj reports, they'll now have to work into the summer to get what they need to graduate – Nov 22, 2017

Students enrolled in a collaborative nursing program between Mohawk College and McMaster University will have to work into the summer to meet their graduation requirements.

Bryan Smith, 34, is in his final year. This semester is highly reliant on clinical placement hours, which have been scarce.

The strike left college students out of the classroom for weeks. It also left Smith unable to continue accumulating hours at his placement.

“Our requirements for the course for this particular semester is to complete 288 hours of practical placement time,” he explained. “So that’s approximately 24 twelve-hour shifts.”

READ MORE: Ontario students offered tuition refund as college strike ends

That on-the-job training would have been spread out more evenly during a typical semester.

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Classes resumed Nov. 21. While the Liberal government announced tuition refunds for students who decide not to continue on with their semester, Smith told Global News, it is not an option for him.

On Wednesday, he met with a placement coordinator from Mohawk College, to attempt to sort out the remainder of the school year.

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The college’s website includes some information for returning students.

For students in collaborative programs, it states in part:

“Customized plans are being developed … with consideration for McMaster University sessional dates. These plans will be communicated directly to collaborative program students by their professors.”

“To get into it for five weeks and then to be stalled for five weeks, really threw a lot of us into a tizzy,” Smith said.

READ MORE: Bill passed to end five-week long Ontario college strike

“You’re getting your wheels in motion, you’re really feeling like you’re getting your feet wet and then you’re told you have to come back on shore for awhile.”

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Global News reached out to Mohawk College to find out how students would be assisted in meeting their course requirements.

A statement from the school’s spokesperson Jay Robb said:

“Unfortunately there were a number of students in our collaborative nursing program who will be unable to complete their required hours for their faculty-supervised clinical placements due to the strike.

READ MORE: Ontario college students return to class after strike ends

“Mohawk College will be working with each student to arrange placements and have them complete their remaining clinical hours this summer.  The students will still be able to complete their current semester and continue into the next semester.

“We recognize this is an inconvenience for students however the required clinical hours are non-negotiable.”

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