Nursing student strives to help fight COVID-19 on the frontlines

Motivated student Tyler Pretty driven to help our community in a time of need

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When Tyler Pretty isn’t on the front lines screening Glencore employees, you will likely find him volunteering with Greater Sudbury Community COVID-19 Response & Relief, where he is  delivering groceries to people unable to leave their homes to buy essential items. 

“We have just recently served our 100th family!” Pretty proudly states, on the cusp of entering his fourth year of the Honours Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSc. Inf.) program. Pretty chose this program because it would help him achieve one of his major life goals: help others while improving French-language healthcare services in his community.

Looking for a platform to advocate for French-language services, communications, and events for francophone students at Laurentian University, Pretty successfully ran for 2020 to 2021 Vice-President of l'Association des étudiants et des étudiantes en Sciences infirmières de l’Université Laurentienne as a representative on their French nursing student council. In addition, he joined Reach Accès Zhibbi (RAZ) which provides health promotion workshops with community partners such as the Corner Clinic, for which he is an ambassador. As if his plate weren’t already full enough, Pretty is also an ambassador for Consortium national de formation en santé (CNFS), whose aim is keeping francophone students connected.

While the current health crisis would have been difficult to predict, Professor Nicole Lafreniere believes Laurentian students, like Mr. Pretty, are well prepared to take an active role in combating it. The university has tailored its teaching methods to prepare students to respond and adapt to crises such as the one we are currently facing. This is made possible because of dedicated professors, lab technicians, and clinical educators. 

“Mr. Pretty has demonstrated great leadership/helpership qualities over the years in our program,” says Prof. Lafreniere.

During these unprecedented times, determination and leadership are key to successfully overcoming the pandemic. Pretty has taken it upon himself to actively aid in that fight. Glencore, a division of Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations (INO), is faced with the task of continuing operations as an essential business. Their first priority is the health and wellbeing of their workforce and the broader community. Pretty jumped at Glencore’s opportunity to keep others safe by becoming an Active Screener for the company, even though he had not yet completed his exams.

“Mr. Pretty provides a valuable resource to help prevent the spread of COVID-19,” says Valerie Rorison, Supervisor of Accounting and Human Resources at Glencore INO. “[This] ensure[s] the safety of all employees and [the] ability of our organization to operate in these challenging times.”

Driven by his dream of building on the progress he’s made, Pretty plans to attend medical school after completing his BSc. Inf. Laurentian University recognizes Pretty in his efforts to keep the community safe.