Kerry Norman finds promising opportunities through work placement | UNB
University of New Brunswick est.1785

Global Site Navigation (use tab and down arrow)

Fall 2022

What's Happening at UNB

Kerry Norman finds promising opportunities through work placement


Kerry Norman wanted a career change, pivoting from environmental geoscience into nursing. After considering her options for accelerated bachelor of nursing programs, she chose UNB to follow her passion for helping others.

“I was working for an engineering firm in Edmonton but I wasn’t fulfilled,” Kerry says. “I was inspired to enter nursing after being exposed to the work health-care professionals do around safe injection sites for substance users.”

The two-year bachelor of nursing accelerated program at the Moncton site appealed to Kerry for two reasons: she could re-enter the workforce quickly with valuable field experience. The accelerated nursing program is open to those with at least 46 credit hours of university experience.

“Nursing clinical placements are some of the finest examples of experiential learning at UNB,” says Dr. Sarah King (BPhil’06, PhD’18), director of experiential education at UNB. “Giving students meaningful experiences helps them develop as professionals and creates a generation of caring, compassionate, community-oriented nurses.”

“Nursing clinical placements are some of the finest examples of experiential learning at UNB."

In her first year, Kerry has had three workplace placements across the Moncton area. These have included a rural placement at Sackville Memorial Hospital, the inpatient psychiatric unit and maternity unit at Moncton City Hospital, and a placement with Ensemble Moncton. She spent last summer at a Tim Horton’s camp for kids.

Ensemble Moncton provides many community-based health-care services, including harm reduction services such as a drug overdose prevention site. It allows people who use substances to inject uncontrolled substance(s) safely with trained staff supervision so that rapid intervention can be provided in the event of accidental overdose. Support and resources to seek counselling and drug rehabilitation are available on site.

Kerry explains why safe injection sites are essential.

“We can test the substances to check if it is laced with fentanyl, which is a leading cause of overdoses. We keep naloxone (a medication used to reverse the effects of opioid overdose) on site in the event of a medical emergency and provide naloxone kits for clients to take away.”

Working at Ensemble is rewarding, but it comes with challenges. Kerry sees people in distress, and she hears all their concerns. Ensemble provides a temporary haven and a beacon of hope for those seeking a stable life and offers a unique training opportunity in the health-care system for students like Kerry.

Kerry’s clinical instructor, Carolyn Baxter, teaches within the Community and Population Health Nursing course and supports learners in their community placements.

“Most nursing students end up working in the hospital or acute care system,” says Carolyn. “Ensemble gives our students a perspective of primary care outside the hospital. They get to see where patients come from and what situations they go home to. Ensemble provides a glimpse into preventative care and how we, as a society, can do more to keep people out of the hospital.”

“Ensemble gives our students a perspective of primary care outside the hospital."

As for Kerry’s future in nursing, she is open to whatever opportunities come her way in New Brunswick or elsewhere in Canada.