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Bachelor of Nursing grad wants to provide care and support to patients during difficult times

Posted by Dal Health Communications on October 12, 2023 in News, School of Nursing, Students
Karley just started her degree at Dartmouth General Hospital on a medical-surgical floor.
Karley just started her degree at Dartmouth General Hospital on a medical-surgical floor.

Congratulations to the Dal Health Class of 2023! To celebrate Fall Convocation, we chatted with students from across Dal Health. Karley Fitzpatrick is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Convation Q&A: Karley Fitzpatrick

  • Pronouns: she/her
  • Degree: Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Where you’re from: Dartmouth, NS

How significant is it for you to receive this degree?

Receiving this degree is extremely significant and important to me as it marks the beginning of my career in healthcare – something I have always wanted to do!

What were the highlights of your degree?

The biggest highlight was the amazing, lifelong friendships I have created throughout this degree. Waking up at 5:00am for clinicals and coming home to study after a long day became much more bearable with a great support network of people who are going through the same thing! We all became very close very quickly and learned from each other every day.

Additionally, the professors, faculty members, and program as a whole really created a sense of family which is something that I really valued. I was never nervous to send an email or meet with a professor, they were always helpful and supportive.

What will you miss about your time at Dal?

I will certainly miss going to class every day with my friends and learning/studying about things we are passionate about. I will also definitely miss the events that the program had where we could all attend and take our minds off studying for some time – nursing ball, bingo night, etc. Lastly, this is my first September not returning to school and I will miss being a student at times but am also eager to begin my career in the real world.

I am also extremely grateful for the support that my professors, lab instructors, clinicals instructors, and faculty members have provided me with during this degree. I will miss being able to interact with and learn from them on a regular basis. They are all incredibly knowledgeable in different subjects and it was special to be able to learn from them and their experiences.

What was your journey to Dal and to this program?

I started at Dalhousie with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Psychology. After finishing highschool, there were so many options and different routes to take, and I was unsure of what direction to go. However, I was certain that I wanted to do something in healthcare and always had an interest in the human body, disease processes, and the associated care and treatments, so a science degree seemed fitting. After this was complete, I started thinking about why I wanted a career in healthcare. The decision ultimately came down to knowing that I wanted to make a difference and be with people at their worst times.

I believe this stemmed from my grandmother’s passing from cancer when I was younger. We were very close, and although I do not remember much about visiting her in the hospital, I do remember that the nurses were always the ones around answering questions, explaining things, and easing her pain. Looking back at this and from my own research, I realized that nurses had the most interaction with patients in some of their worst times, and if I could provide that type of care for people like my grandmother, it would be so rewarding and special to me.

What topics/research/work did you become passionate about during your education?

I completed a certificate in acute and critical care during this degree. Learning how to care for critically ill patients and having the knowledge and skills to help someone during an emergency really interests me and I am excited to one day be able to apply that knowledge to the real world.

What’s next for you?

I have just started my career at the Dartmouth General Hospital on a medical-surgical floor where I had one of my clinical rotations. Over my first few years as a nurse, I hope to gain a wealth of knowledge and skills while caring for patients. I also hope to find my passion, which as of right now, I could see myself in the emergency department or intensive care unit. Lastly, I would love to eventually utilize the knowledge I have gained over the years and teach new nurses – whether that is completing a master’s and teaching, being a clinical instructor, or a nurse educator.

There are so many different options which is something I really love about nursing and one of the many factors that drew me to this profession! I truly do not believe there are many other careers that are as rewarding as nursing is, and although extremely challenging at times, I know I made the right choice for myself. I believe Dalhousie has prepared me to be a successful nurse – congratulations to the class of 2023!