Jessica Roberts has always been passionate about helping others and knew from a young age that nursing was her calling.
With the goal of earning a Bachelor of Nursing degree and becoming a Registered Nurse (RN), Roberts enrolled at Athabasca University (AU).
When she began her AU journey in 2014, Roberts was actively practicing as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) in medicine, surgery and long term care and later transitioned into a Community Health position in continuing care in Newfoundland, Canada.
Roberts explained that there were two main reasons she chose the program at AU. Firstly, because she was able to complete her degree at her pace, while staying in her home province. And secondly, because of the flexibility it offered.
“I suffer from generalized anxiety disorder and depression. I like to think I manage my illness very well but there are times when the illness unfortunately knocks me down,” she said.
“I was completing a course at AU and was going through a rough patch with my illness. I was nearing the last month of the course and knew there was no way I would finish in time, especially when I could barely get out of bed. AU was extremely accommodating. My instructor granted me a three-month extension so I could finish the course when I was back to myself. I’m very happy to say I did complete this course with an A despite my struggles.”
And, while Roberts has persevered and proven to be a strong-willed and devoted learner, she emphasized that she has her wonderful support system to thank for helping her throughout her studies.
“I would not be where I am today without the unwavering support from my parents, my boyfriend Kendan, my family in Newfoundland and Alberta, and my friends and colleagues at Central Health—they have all been constant support and cheerleaders throughout each course I took at AU.”– Jessica Roberts, 2020 Bachelor of Nursing Graduate
“Throughout my life (and through this degree) I have wanted to quit, but my parents would remind me that I can do anything I put my mind to. They were the constant shoulder to cry on, the push I needed to get going and my biggest cheerleaders. I can never thank them enough. I would not be the success I am today without the support from everyone who has shown me constant love and support through each hurdle I encountered,” she said.
Since finishing her studies, Roberts has already written her National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) exam and passed with the minimum amount of questions and is officially a Registered Nurse (RN). Excitingly, she recently signed a two-year contract at her local hospital with a $10,000 financial bursary before even officially graduating from AU!
She is presently working as a Registered Nurse (RN) in General Surgery at the James Paton Memorial Regional Health Care Centre in Gander, Newfoundland.
“Nurses leave a lasting impact on their patients, residents and clients. We are there during the most sensitive and often vulnerable times of their lives. We are there when life begins and when life ends. I wanted a career where I knew I could go home each day knowing that I made a positive difference in someone’s life and I am so happy to be doing that as a Registered Nurse.”
Jessica plans on continuing her education and completing her Master of Nursing with focus areas of Leadership and Teaching (Editor’s Note: she hasn’t decided where yet, but we have our fingers crossed for AU!).
“Nurses leave a lasting impact on their patients, residents and clients. We are there during the most sensitive and often vulnerable times of their lives. We are there when life begins and when life ends. I wanted a career where I knew I could go home each day knowing that I made a positive difference in someone's life and I am so happy to be doing that as a Registered Nurse.”– Jessica Roberts, 2020 Bachelor of Nursing Graduate
My personal journey landed me here, at AU, but it certainly doesn’t stop now. My future is ...
“Most definitely in nursing. I have a passion for this career and a fire that burns in me to help others. I foresee myself completing my Master of Nursing degree and advancing my career to an educator or leadership role in the field.”