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“Everywhere I go, I hear, ‘We need nurses!’”

Celebrating nursing week by highlighting two Nursing students

May 6, 2024 - To celebrate National Nursing Week (May 6-12) we don’t have to look far to see that the future of the profession is in skilled hands.

Two future nurses are on parallel trajectories at Laurentian University. Joseph “Joe” Colasimone is from Sudbury, a graduate of St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School. Caleb Smith is from Azilda, a graduate of École secondaire Macdonald-Cartier. Both are proudly from Northern Ontario and appreciate the northern lifestyle. Both are going into their fourth year in nursing. Both spend much of their spare time outside of their school work volunteering and gaining experience in nursing and healthcare.

“Everywhere I go, I hear, ‘We need nurses! You won’t have any trouble finding work,’” says Joe, Bachelor of Science in Nursing student. With the high demand for nurses in Ontario, Joe is hopeful about his future in the healthcare sector. Caleb is also entering his final year of studies next fall in the Sciences infirmières program and is equally optimistic. “There are so many opportunities as a nurse. I’m especially interested in access to French healthcare services in Ontario and I can see opportunities for growth in that area. I’m passionate about this work and I think the biggest challenge is just going to be picking one direction to take my career.”

Between the two of them, Joe and Caleb have had placements in cardiac inpatient, orthopedics, neurology, general surgery, acute inpatient psychiatry, maternity, and internal medicine. They both feel that this clinical experience is precisely what drew them to Laurentian and it has been integral in their development.

For Joe and Caleb, a love of science was the starting point in choosing a program but the added bonus that nurses get to interact with patients and improve lives daily was ultimately the deciding factor. “Laurentian is one of few universities in Ontario that offer clinical experience in your first year,” says Joe. “This meant a lot to me because I didn’t have any clinical experience prior. I was excited to get that patient-facing experience right away.”

Caleb agrees saying, “I love that from year one we have the chance to go into placement and interact with patients. Exposure to various healthcare settings like long term care, community, and hospital, help us build on our skills and knowledge from general to specialized care.”

Joe and Caleb have served several terms on their program's student associations, the Laurentian University Nursing Student Association and l’Association des étudiants et étudiantes en science infirmière, respectively. In their final undergraduate year, Joe will serve as the vice president of academics and Caleb will serve as the co-president in their respective associations.

Not only do they devote their time to the student associations but they also sit on steering committees, volunteer with local not-for-profits, work as student ambassadors, and work as externs with Health Sciences North.

Caleb already sees the positive impact and personal growth from his efforts. “I’ve built confidence and developed my scope of understanding of the process and procedure within an organization, and I am always meeting and interacting with people who inspire me.”

Joe echoes this, saying that he hopes that involvement in these activities will make him a more well-rounded health care provider. “I’m on the student association, I’m working as an extern in the stroke prevention clinic, and I’m part of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee with Health Sciences North. I want to gain as much experience as I can and develop my knowledge and skills so that I can provide the best patient care possible. I always ask a lot of questions and make the most out of every opportunity I get.”

Now looking ahead to their final year of study, Joe and Caleb realize it is time to start thinking about what the future holds for them. The pair agree that the opportunities open to them as future nurses in Sudbury are abundant. They don’t plan to limit themselves to just one path forward but will continue to pursue new opportunities and grow as individuals and nurses.

Whether you can thank Joe, Caleb, or anyone in nursing, National Nursing Week is as good of a time as ever to take a moment and recognize the important role of these selfless healthcare workers.

School of Nursing Programs

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN)

Nurse Practitioner (M.Sc.N./G.Dip)

Nursing (MScN)

Master of Health Administration (MHA)

French Bachelor of Science in Nursing BScInf

Sciences infirmières - Passerelle pour infirmiers et infirmières auxiliaires autorisées

Sciences infirmières - Pour infirmiers et infirmières autorisées

Infirmières et infirmiers praticiens en soins de santé primaire (M.Sc.N./G.Dip)

Maîtrise en sciences infirmières (M.Sc.Inf.)

Maîtrise en Administration de la santé (MAS)