This article is part of a series highlighting the Dalhousie Class of 2018 — the graduates of Dal's 200th year. Read more of our Spring Convocation grad profiles.
When you consider everything nursing student Alicia Jacquard has accomplished over the last four years, her tenacity and dedication are undeniable.
As a full-time student raising two children, Alicia has not only excelled in the classroom — she was also a student leader in the School of Nursing. This week as she graduates with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, Alicia is that much closer to her goal of becoming a registered nurse, something she pursued to give her children a brighter future.
And Alicia notes she couldn’t have done it with the incredible support she’s received from her family and friends and the incredibly generous J & W Murphy Scholarship, which she truly credits with enabling her to study at Dal.
“I cannot understate the impact of the J & W Murphy Scholarship; I couldn’t have done everything I’ve been able to do without it. Personally, it’s meant so much to me and my family, and it’s also made my experience at Dal very positive.”
Success in and out of the classroom
While many of those positive experiences have been in the classroom, Alicia also had extracurricular activities that have been invaluable. It was during her second year that she first got involved with the Dalhousie Undergraduate Nursing Association (DUNS), which ultimately opened more leadership opportunities.
This past year, she served as the vice president (student support) of DUNS and helped implement funding to support students in need. “I understand how important financial support is, whether it’s to buy a text book or assist with unforeseen circumstances.”
While these experiences have been rewarding, they’ve also helped Alicia to discover her passion for advocacy — a trait that will do her well as a nurse.
“I want to advocate for my clients and enable them to live the best life they can. It’s one of the aspects of nursing that I find extremely fulfilling.”
With her sights set on community nursing following graduation and her licensing exam, Alicia hopes to continue her education to become a nurse practitioner. The fact that it’s attainable in the future is just one more reason Alicia is grateful for her scholarship.
“If I’m being honest, my grades wouldn’t be as good as they are if I were balancing a full-time job while raising my children. Because I was able to focus on my academics, I’m in a position to pursue a master’s degree at some point in the future.”
But above all, everything Alicia has worked towards these past four years has been for her children. While she says at times it’s been difficult for them to adjust to her school commitments, she knows they will come to appreciate her decision to work hard to give them all a better future. In fact, a recent comment from her daughter shows they’re fully aware.
“I picked my children up from school one day and told them that I had just finished my last exam and my daughter said, ‘Mom I am so proud of you. You should be so proud of yourself, too, for how hard you’ve worked.’”
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