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Nursing students Jenna North and Bio Irabor are summer research interns in the Manitoba Centre for Nursing and Health Research

Fuelling passion for research

Nursing internship program brings out the best

August 1, 2017 — 

It’s summer time and the living is easy, but for nursing students in the Summer Research Internship Program it’s also an exciting time to gain research experience that will further their development as future nursing professionals.

Since 2010, the College of Nursing in the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences has been running the internship program through the Manitoba Centre for Nursing Health Research. Starting in May and running until the end of August, the program takes in a total of eight undergraduate and graduate students who work one-on-one with faculty researchers and acquire hands-on research experience.

Interns in the program perform a wide variety of research duties including: assisting with research projects; maintaining records; collecting data; and recruiting and interviewing research study participants.

For interns Jenna North and Bio Irabor – both soon to be entering their fourth year of nursing – the diversity of the program is a definite bonus.

“I’m currently working on three different projects with three different faculty mentors. I can have two days a week dedicated to one project and then the other three days on the other two projects,” Irabor says. “Today, for example, I worked on writing a community grant report based on a project we evaluated and then I’m going to complete an ethics application for a different project.”

The internship program also provides opportunities to learn new skills.

“First, this job teaches you how to stay organized and how to collaborate with others: staff, faculty, researchers and participants,” North says. “You really have to strive for something and put yourself out there which I think is very important. You do gain a lot of skills that can be used in my career and also in grad school.”

Irabor agrees that the program brings out the best in the interns.

“In the internship they actually put you out there. You’re not just on the back bench,” she says. “You’re in meetings and you’re speaking and you’re writing the papers so you’re being trained into being a leader and to being that professional voice for nursing and that’s the part I really enjoy.”

Both students see the internship as a valuable training ground for their futures. North sees herself in primary care working with vulnerable populations while Irabor hopes to work towards advocacy and policies related to immigrant populations.

Diane Cepanec, Associate Director in the College of Nursing, sees the interns gaining new perspectives on the role of research in nursing through the program.

“I hope they will gain research experience and a better understanding of how research informs nursing and health practice,” Cepanec says. “I hope it fuels a lifelong passion for research.”

Both students agree that the internship is improving their research skills and rate the program highly.

“If it was possible for every student to go through the internship I would recommend it,” Irabor says.

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