June 13, 2024

Class of 2024: Nursing student plans on working in public health after graduation

Medicine Hat College/UCalgary Nursing graduate Sandy Hnedi reflects on her nursing school experience
Sandy Hnedi

Sandy Hnedi, BN’24, is originally from Calgary but chose to attend nursing school at Medicine Hat College (MHC) because it was a more affordable alternative to her hometown. It didn’t hurt that the nursing program at MHC is a collaborative program with the University of Calgary. This means the baccalaureate program is offered entirely in Medicine Hat, allowing students there to get their Bachelor of Nursing degree from UCalgary without having to relocate.

“It was a great opportunity for me to experience moving out without breaking the bank as Medicine Hat is a much more affordable option than Calgary,” says Hnedi. “I quickly learned in my clinical experiences that I was expected to be a jack of all trades since we were a rural hospital. There is a lack of speciality units in rural areas, therefore, health-care staff must be prepared for any case to come through the door.”

On June 14, MHC is holding their convocation ceremony at Co-op Place for the Class of 2024. We asked Hnedi to share some reflections on nursing as a new grad.

Q: What made you go into nursing school in the first place?
A: I went into nursing school because I wanted a profession where I was going to be continually challenged and have endless growth opportunities.

Q:  Best memory from nursing school at MHC?
A: My best memory from nursing school was the competitive Kahoot games we would play after our pathophysiology and pharmacology lectures. Thank you to our amazing faculty members for making our lectures fun, engaging, and beneficial to our learning.

Q: If you could go back in time, what would you say to your first-year self about nursing?
A: I would tell my first-year self that you are going to grow in ways that are unimaginable during this degree. Nursing goes so far beyond just a profession. I feel as though I have become a better person through the guidance of mentors, professors, patients, and peers. Ultimately, I would want my first-year self to know that she would be very proud of the person I am four years later.

Q: What's next for you after graduation?
A: I am hoping to work in a public health setting, specifically sexual and reproductive health.

Q: Any advice for new grads or current nursing students?
A: For new grads, it's okay if you don't have your post-grad plans lined up yet. This is a transitional period that no one prepares you for, nor is it talked about enough. Be kind to yourself and do not forget to celebrate your achievements! For current nursing students, you got this! The days are long but the years are short, enjoy the journey.

Read more inspiring stories about the accomplishments and journeys of the Class of 2024.

Graduates, as you transition away from student life, we'd like to also welcome you into the UCalgary alumni community. Learn about the programs, benefits and services available exclusively to UCalgary grads, and be sure to keep in touch.