St. Lawrence College celebrates 50 years of nursing program

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St. Lawrence College celebrates 50 years of nursing program
After first launching the program in 1973, St. Lawrence College celebrated 50 years of its Nursing program on Saturday with over 100 alumni in attendance – Apr 29, 2023

It was in 1973 that St. Lawrence College began offering a nursing education program.

On Saturday, alumni from the class of 1975 all the way up to now gathered to celebrate 50 years of nursing at SLC.

“I lived in residence. It’s not used as that now, right on King Street, we had a lot of fun,” said Judy Woods, reminiscing on her time as part of the inaugural cohort of nursing students at the college.


While they celebrated the nurses that have passed through the college, the celebration came at a time during which the industry is in a precarious place.

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Nurses have faced immense pressure since the onset of the covid-19 pandemic.

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This, compounded by a long standing shortage of nurses, as well as political battles on wages and health care privatization have left many nurses leaving the field early due to the stress.

“You’re trying to provide the best care with many restrictions, you’re being stretched very thin. There’s a lot of overtime work which people are taking for financial reasons.”

It’s not just the older nurses who feel this way, either.

“We’ve had a lot of really talented, amazing nurses leave, not only ICU but the profession altogether because of the these things that the government is putting on us,” said Stephanie Sorensen, who graduated from the program in 2010.


With it being such a daunting time to enter the field, executives on the education side have taken note, and are trying their best to prepare their students for the real world.

“For us, making sure that the students have strategies to be able to deal with some of that adversity and conflict they’re probably going to experience, because the last thing we want is for them to leave,” said associate dean of nursing, Laralea Stalkie.

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Despite the rough past couple of years, Sorensen said she believes that the passion that nurses feel for their duty will shine through the challenges they face as an industry.

“Nothing’s going to change unless we have passionate people involved in the profession who are willing to fight for, and make, change,”

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