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Working with our academic partners

Posted Nov 20th, 2017

Working with our academic partners

Kirsty Moreau has come full circle with Niagara Health.

Ms. Moreau completed several student placements at Niagara Health while she was enrolled in the Practical Nursing Program at Niagara College between 2008 and 2010.

After graduating from Niagara College, she got a job with Niagara Health as a Registered Practical Nurse (RPN).

A few years later, she enrolled in an RPN to Registered Nursing (RN) bridging program at Athabasca University. She completed her final placement for the program at the Welland Emergency Department in May 2016, and she landed a position as an RN in the same department after graduation.

Ms. Moreau is grateful for her many placements at Niagara Health while she was a student.

“It was great working with the staff,” she says. “They were friendly, helpful and approachable.”

She says the placements, which included working in Women’s and Babies, Complex Care and Surgical, show nurses how many “different experiences” are available at Niagara Health.

“It opened up our eyes to all of the possibilities in nursing at Niagara Health. There were a lot of options.”

Every year, Niagara Health supports hundreds of student placements like Ms. Moreau’s across our sites.

Last year alone, there were more than 1,900 student placements in clinical and clinical-support positions. We have more than 80 academic partners with the largest number of students coming from Niagara College, Brock University and McMaster University.

“Collaboration is vital in healthcare and we are delighted to work closely with our academic partners to provide learning and education opportunities in a number of healthcare-related fields,” says Zeau Ismail, Niagara Health’s Director of Interprofessional Practice, Ethics and Research. “In addition to the students learning from our teams, we also learn from them and their experiences.”

As a learning organization, Niagara Health also has medical students in residence, which means better care for our patients by raising the standard across the whole interprofessional team.

Clinical placements for medical students are offered at our Greater Niagara General, St. Catharines and Welland sites through our partnership with McMaster University's School of Medicine – Niagara Campus.

We’re also very proud of our I-EQUIP (Interprofessional Education for Quality Improvement) partnership with Brock University and McMaster University.

I-EQUIP is an extension of the classroom, providing an opportunity for Brock and McMaster students and Niagara Health’s front-line staff to work together on a variety of quality initiatives that improve patient care. The program provides participants with an opportunity to design and implement a quality improvement project in an interprofessional team, developing skills in leadership, and influencing change in the healthcare setting.

Medical students at Niagara Health sites

We’re extremely proud of our partnership with the Niagara Regional Campus of McMaster University’s Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine. The campus opened in 2008 at the former St. Catharines General Hospital site, and expanded to Brock University in 2012 and the new St. Catharines Hospital in 2014.

Each year, the Niagara Regional Campus accepts 28 new students into the three-year undergraduate program, where they will complete their clerkship at various Niagara Health sites, working alongside and learning from our healthcare teams.

The campus also has approximately 25 post-graduate residents each year, who complete their residency at Niagara Health sites in such areas as family medicine, general surgery, emergency and mental health.

Upon completion of their Post-graduate studies, many of the physicians have returned to practice medicine in Niagara.

Niagara Health System