Email this articleE-mail this story  Discuss this articleWrite letter to editor  Discuss this articleOrder a classified ad  Print this page

Kivalliq students claim nursing awards

Kent Driscoll
Northern News Services

Rankin Inlet (Nov 08/06) -It was a banner day for nursing students from the Kivalliq.

Two nursing students from the region were awarded the Queen Elizabeth II scholarship for academic excellence on Nov. 1 in Iqaluit.

NNSL Photo/graphic

Sharon Owlijoot, left, and Charlotte Zawadski are both planning to return to the Kivalliq region to practice as nurses. The two students received $2,500 for placing first in their nursing class at Nunavut Arctic College. - Kent Driscoll/NNSL photo

Aside from being recognized for their first place standing in their nursing classes, Charlotte Zawadski, from Rankin Inlet, and Sharon Owlijoot, from Arviat, both received something students crave: cold hard cash.

Each received $2,500, and both have plenty of places to spend it.

"It's going to get me from here to Arviat for Christmas," said Owiljoot.

"I can think of too many things to spend it on, not anything specific," said Zawadski.

Both plan on working in the Kivalliq when they graduate, and based on their first rate performance, the Kivalliq will be getting some good nurses.

"I want to work in Arviat, my hometown," said Owlijoot. "I want to be at home and work to help my community."

"I'm from Rankin, and I want to help the people at home," said Zawadski. "I enjoy it in Rankin and I enjoy the people."

Speaking Inuktitut is an advantage these future nurses share, and one they don't take lightly.

"It is very very important," said Owlijoot. "There are a lot of elders who speak Inuktitut, and we can help them."

"They are very shocked when they hear me speak Inuktitut," said Zawadski. "Their faces light up, and they can tell me how they are really feeling."

Nunavut Arctic College offers the four-year nursing program with Dalhousie University. There are 29 students enroled and half of them are land claims beneficiaries.

To date, nine nurses have graduated from the program.