People of Georgian: Nursing student pays it forward after hospital experience

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The Georgian community is full of unique, inspiring perspectives —and we’re sharing them as part of an ongoing series.

People of Georgian: Meet Shannon Gordon

I was at SickKids as an inpatient for two months.

Honestly, the nurses there… I still remember every single one of their names, that’s how much they impacted me.

A selfie of a person with long, brown hair, glasses and an orange and yellow sweater.

They helped me understand that just because you’re sick, in the hospital and you don’t feel like yourself, that doesn’t mean that’s the end of the road for you.

There’s still so much more you can do, and there’s so much more you can be.

They really changed my entire experience in the hospital, and it made me really want to be that person for somebody else.

I wanted to pay it forward and give back by being a nurse because I felt they were so instrumental to my growth and development as a person.

Shannon Gordon, BScN student

That was when I was 16 years old, and it’s stayed with me. I’m 26 now.

Before that experience, I never really knew what I wanted to do as a career.

There were a lot of things I thought about doing – being a vet, engineer… Nothing really felt like I was connected to it.

When I had my experience in the hospital, I was like, “Wow, this is something I could see myself doing. I feel this connection to it.”

I try to tell as many people as I can about my story because nurses don’t get enough credit for just being human beings and trying to forge connections with people.

Second time’s a charm

Now, I’m studying to be a nurse – for the second time.

When I was fresh out of high school, I originally went into a nursing program at a different school.

After my first semester when I was 18, I was really burnt out. I wasn’t in the right headspace to try and do this job where you have so much responsibility, so I took a few years off.

Facing the COVID-19 pandemic head-on

In 2020, I remember watching the news and seeing all the health-care workers facing this big great unknown thing – the COVID-19 pandemic – and thinking, “This should have been me, I should have been one of those people.”

I’m a lot more confident now, a lot more mature and grown up. I felt like I was ready to take on the responsibility of being a nurse.

So, I started studying at Georgian in January 2021.

When I started I wanted to be a pediatric nurse, but the more I’ve gone through the program, the more I see other kinds of nursing I enjoy.

I’m looking to do public-health nursing potentially, even just working with more vulnerable communities.

A headshot of a person with long, brown hair, glasses and blue nursing scrubs with a nametag reading "Shannon Gordon, BScN nursing student, Georgian College."

My cohort at Georgian – we did the entire first two years of our nursing education pretty much online, and it was really difficult. We don’t give ourselves enough credit for going through it.

Even the teachers had to change the way they were teaching to stay connected with their students.

“There’s this sense of family and community in the program.”

Shannon Gordon, BScN student

I just want to give a shout-out to everybody in my program that got through it and made it to this point. We really deserve a good pat on the back.  

There’s this sense of family and community in the program, so hopefully that stays with Georgian’s new four-year BScN degree program.

Shannon Gordon, a student in Georgian’s BScN program.

Learn more about Georgian’s new four-year Honours Bachelor of Science – Nursing degree.

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