The Northern Collaborative Baccalaureate Nursing Program afforded recent graduate Brooke Clarabut and her mom Amanda Weir the unique opportunity to support each other on their educational journeys towards nursing degrees. They appreciated being able to pursue degrees in their hometown of Terrace and are now working in the community at Mills Memorial Hospital.
When Brooke Clarabut was finishing high school in Terrace and considering a career in nursing, she didn’t have to look very far for inspiration.
“I’ve always had a passion for helping people and for working with people,” Clarabut says. “Pursuing a career in health care was a big priority for me. It was my mum who convinced me to go in the nursing program.”
In fact, completing their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees became a family affair for Clarabut and her mother Amanda Weir. When Clarabut was in high school, Weir decided to go back to school to get a nursing degree. Clarabut followed suit a year later and they shared the post-secondary education journey together.
“It was empowering, special and rewarding to be able to spend time with you while doing my studies and go through life together,” Weir said, turning to Clarabut after the graduation celebration in Terrace earlier this spring. “You also drove me forward; I knew you were right behind me the whole way.”
With Weir one year ahead of her daughter, the two were able to swap stories and help each other through the four-year Northern Collaborative Baccalaureate Nursing Program.
“I was able to come home and talk about how I was doing what you did last year and talking about my classes and my practicum experiences,” Clarabut says. “It was a real cool experience and I wouldn’t have been able to do it with anyone else.”
Both mother and daughter benefited from having a nursing program in their hometown. They were able to complete their first two years at Coast Mountain College and then transition to UNBC’s Terrace campus for the final two years of study.
“Having a nursing program in Terrace was a huge blessing,” Clarabut says. “It allowed me to work in and build my practice in the community where I grew up.”
During a practicum in the maternity ward, Clarabut even got to work with one of the nurses who helped to deliver her when she was born.
Clarabut and Weir also shared the experience of studying for a career in health care in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. It meant a shift to online classes, but the pair were grateful for the support they received from each other, their classmates and the UNBC community.
“For us to be able to continue on in our studies and for the University to understand and know what we were going through was incredible,” Weir says. “All of the faculty were super supportive and accommodating.”
With their degrees complete, both Clarabut and Weir are excited to start their careers as nurses working in Terrace. Weir is working in the intensive care unit and emergency room at Mills Memorial Hospital. Clarabut is working in the psychiatry unit is looking forward to joining her mother in the emergency room at the same facility.
“Not only did we go to school together we’ll be working together.”