Conquering her fears

Grad profile: Shanice Bennett, Faculty of Health Professions

- May 27, 2013

Nursing grad Shanice Bennett. (Danny Abriel photo)
Nursing grad Shanice Bennett. (Danny Abriel photo)

Every spring and fall, we profile just a few of our amazing graduates in our convocation handout. We proudly feature these stories here on Dal News. Congrats to all our new graduates!

For Shanice Bennett, much of her four-year journey as a Dal nursing student has been about conquering fears.

“I truly just enjoyed conquering my fears of my ‘firsts’: first exams, first papers, first clinical, first needle administration,” says Bennett, a native of Jamaica and long-time resident of Halifax who will be the first member of her family to become a health professional.

Bennett’s interest in nursing was influenced by school nurses and public health nurses she encountered during her secondary school years. In grade nine, she attended Dalhousie University School of Nursing’s Summer Camp for Junior High Youth of African Descent and was inspired by the campus tour and her interactions with the nursing students.

“I enjoyed having camp leaders who were current Dalhousie nursing students that looked like me,” she recalls.

Now eager to give back to the community, Bennett is a part of Students Inspiring Change, a society that sends university students to local high schools to promote post-secondary education to youth of African Nova Scotian descent. She enjoys encouraging younger students with stories of her own struggles and how she overcame them.

“Often times we are our own worst enemies,” says Bennett, who found herself second-guessing her career path when she discovered the emotional strength required to be a nurse. “I’m obviously nervous for the next steps, but I’m glad I didn’t give up.”

As for her next steps, she wants to gain as much experience as possible. She previously completed a summer co-op term in the cardiology unit of the Halifax Infirmary and now works as a continuing care assistant for Bayshore Home Health. With interests in cardiology, pediatrics and maternity, Bennett hopes to find work in Halifax or Calgary, where she can be close to family.

“I will be happy to accept my degree on behalf of my late grandfather,” she says, crediting her family as one of her greatest sources of motivation.


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