Graduating onto the frontlines
May 11, 2022

It’s National Nursing Week in Canada! Read how Guylaine Bullen’s experience connected her to lifelong friendships and a career on the frontline.

“My time at Georgian was an amazing experience, not only because I received excellent training and education,” says Guylaine Bullen, a 2014 graduate of Georgian’s Personal Support Worker program, and 2019 graduate of the Practical Nursing program, “but because of the close friendships and connections that I had the pleasure of making with fellow students and instructors.”

Guylaine completed both programs at Georgian’s Muskoka Campus, and first chose to study there because of proximity. Having grown up in Quebec, she moved to the Huntsville area when she was 14, and having a campus close to home ensured that postsecondary education was both accessible and affordable for her.

In addition to location, Guylaine acknowledges that when considering where to pursue her postsecondary education, she was looking for a different kind of student experience. “There are so many schools where the class sizes are so big that you’re just a number, and studying at the Muskoka Campus meant that I would be more than just another student,” she says. “The smaller class sizes allowed me to get to know my fellow students and instructors, and the faculty were really committed to ensuring that we had the support that we needed to be successful in our programs. Ultimately, the reason I came back to Georgian for my second program, is because I had such a great experience the first time.”

Being a nurse has provided me an opportunity to make a difference during the pandemic.

– Georgian graduate Guylaine Bullen

During her program, Guylaine had the opportunity to experience hands-on learning at a variety of health-care facilities across Simcoe County and the District of Muskoka, and says that this exposure really helped to prepare her for a career in health care – preparation that she soon realized would be more important than ever before. She now works at the Muskoka Shores Nursing Home.

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic, and Guylaine, less than a year after graduation, found herself working on the frontlines of a major international health crisis.

During her program, Guylaine had the opportunity to experience hands-on learning at a variety of health-care facilities across Simcoe County and the District of Muskoka, and says that this exposure really helped to prepare her for a career in health care – preparation that she soon realized would be more important than ever before. She now works at the Muskoka Shores Nursing Home.

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic, and Guylaine, less than a year after graduation, found herself working on the frontlines of a major international health crisis.

A young ffemale wearing blue nursing scrubs standing in a hallway beside a cart with a laptop and medical supplies
Guylaine (photo taken pre-Covid)

She recalls the fear and uncertainty that began to breach the health-care sector. Institutions began to close facilities to non-essential visitors, and heightened precaution and isolation measures were introduced across the board. But even as the pandemic raged on, Guylaine acknowledges one thing stayed the same: “For us, the protection of our patients was always a priority.”

As a student, Guylaine was able to work in a variety of specialized environments, including mental health, paediatrics, obstetrics and palliative care. She believes the comprehensive and changing learning environments that she was exposed to as a student, made her more adaptable to the change that she was now experiencing on the frontlines.

Like so many others, nursing has always been a calling for Guylaine, and staying home was never an option for her.

“Being a nurse has provided me an opportunity to make a difference during the pandemic,” she shares. “The world of health care changed a great deal as a result of the pandemic, but for me, what was most significant was that I was able to be part of that change and be there for my patients. I felt empowered and thankful to be there when our communities needed us the most.”


More about Georgian’s nursing degree

Study close to home and graduate with the advantage of more industry connections, hands-on practise and one-on-one training with small class sizes taught by expert faculty who care.

  • Four-year degree
  • Barrie and Owen Sound campuses
  • Six clinical placements
  • Starts fall 2022

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