OMNI College is proud to launch a new Mentorship Program for students. Similar to a Big Brothers or Big Sisters program, the OMNI mentorship program comprises OMNI alumni who are volunteering their time to ‘pay it forward’ to help other internationally-educated nurses, just like them, become successful in Canada. All mentors who have signed up for the program are OMNI graduates who have current jobs as nurses in Canada and who have transitioned well into the Canadian workplace. The program will allow new incoming students to be matched up with an OMNI mentor, as a source of inspiration to help support them through their journey.
An internationally-educated nurse who has uprooted their lives overseas to come fulfill the dream in Canada can often find the journey to be very tough. Not just with regard to training and studies, but also with the registration process, the stringent requirements, and maintaining the focus and determination needed to reach their goal. For the last 19 years since OMNI first started training IENs, the process to gain nurse registration in Canada has become progressively even more and more complex. But students who are matched up with a mentor, with someone who has walked in their exact shoes before and who has made it, can be greatly inspiring and help the student gain the insight and motivation they need to stay focused on their end goal to become a success. “That’s the main goal at OMNI College – helping our students become successful as nurses in the Canadian workplace”, says Jade Burke, President of OMNI College.
Louise Levinson, Program Director at OMNI College reports that “Every month, usually at least 1 OMNI alumni comes back to visit the College. I can see the instant reaction from our students in class. The hope and encouragement they feel after meeting someone who got through the challenges and the hurdles is a powerful message that they can make it too. It is deeply impactful and motivating. We are very proud of our alumni who have volunteered for this, and of having the opportunity to create this type of mentorship”.
The mentorship program was a joint effort created together with one of OMNI’s graduates, Aki Tanaka, an IEN originally from Japan. Aki was a student at OMNI College in 2011. Ever since, she has been working as a Registered Nurse in the Emergency Room of downtown Vancouver’s largest hospital, St. Paul’s. Similar to many OMNI graduates, she has remained in touch with the College following graduation. “New nurses from Japan would always ask me how I did it, and whether I could advise them on what they need to do. I would always tell them about OMNI College which is where I did my studies. I started thinking about mentoring them as well, so I emailed my old college and connected with Jade, who told me that although they had considered a mentorship program in the past, they were unsure how many of us graduates would have the time or would be willing. So when I approached her, it was the reassurance she needed, and everything quickly fell into place. I’m so proud to be a part of this, and help other IENs just like me”.
The response from graduates has been very promising. When the message first went out to graduates, alumni quickly came forward to offer their participation in becoming a mentor. Burke says “Our students have always told us that one of the most special things about being here is that every student is in the same boat together, and so the instant friendships, the support and the family comradery formed here are priceless. Connecting each student to a mentor will further that support for them and help them realize their highest potential”.
The launch of OMNI’s new mentorship program kicked off today with the start of the June 2018 class.
About OMNI College
OMNI College specializes in health care programs that prepare foreign-trained health care professionals for work in Canada. The College is an accredited, private post-secondary education institution located in Richmond, a bustling suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Visit www.omnicollege.com.