Centres of Excellence – Student Success Story
May 23, 2023

Centres of Excellence – Overarching Health Success Story

Wynn is one year removed from completing high school in her hometown of Fredericton. She works as a personal support worker and plans to pursue further education to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). After exploring her post-secondary education options, Wynn was set to move out of province for school. However, through a co-op placement supported through the Centre of Excellence for Health’s partnership with Shannex, she found a full-time job within the Long-Term Care (LTC) industry in New Brunswick. This allowed her to take a year away from school to explore of her passion for healthcare, while also giving her an opportunity to pursue a career as an LPN, all in her hometown. 

The Centre of Excellence (COE) for Health promotes mental health literacy and career pathways in health and social care to New Brunswick students from K-12. This includes access to panel discussions, site visits, webinars, speaker series videos, mentorship, coaching, career fairs, industry training, and co-op placements. 

Towards the end of high school, Wynn enrolled in the co-op program, selecting a position in the long-term care field with hopes of post-term employment. She was placed at Shannex Fredericton in a position facilitated by the COE partnership, shadowing long-term caregivers and nurses. The personal connections she made with the residents sparked a passion for her, which opened the door to career opportunities here in the province.  

The Centre of Excellence for Health prioritizes providing students with these sorts of hands-on, interactive learning opportunities and supporting schools through a growing body of provincial partners committed to growing key sectors in New Brunswick.     

Wynn often lacked confidence in the classroom setting, and felt as though she struggled academically even when she put all of her effort in. When she was placed in an environment with a hands-on learning experience, tutorial instruction, and mentorship, it changed everything. Wynn felt like she could excel in her work and use her skills to benefit others. It made her feel like her hard work was paying off and the difference was being noticed by her employer, teachers, and peers. 

Wynn believes that Centres of Excellence can change the way that New Brunswick approaches learning in the public education system, implementing experiential learning supports that will help diverse learners to excel.    During her co-op placement, Wynn completed her Resident’s Attendance Course. This provided experience and training that helped her land a job right out of high school. Since her co-op placement, she is working full time in a private long-term care facility. She loves what she’s doing and has extended her learning by finishing her Personal Care Worker training while employed. Her current employer is helping her with the cost of her LPN schooling in Fredericton. Because of her job experience she can enter the LPN course as a second-year student.