College Gallery

From Bookkeeping to Nursing

Posted on Jun 17, 2021

Photo: Rolanda Goertz

Northern Lakes College Practical Nurse alumni, Rolanda Goertz, didn’t always know she wanted to go into nursing, but she did know she needed a change. “I was working as a bookkeeper and bored out of my ever-loving mind,” Rolanda laughs. “I thought nursing would be a good option, as it’s such a vast field. You can go into the ER, you can go into home care, or you can do public health. There are just so many different options.”

A busy, single mother to two children, flexibility and versatility have always been important to Rolanda. In her nursing career, Rolanda enjoys being able to easily trade shifts, when needed, with her supportive teammates. As a first-time post-secondary student, NLC won out over other schools when Rolanda was considering her options. She appreciated that NLC offered the flexibility to attend some of her classes online, and she often found herself attending online classes with her youngest child sitting in her lap.

Rolanda works in the acute care unit of the Westlock Healthcare Centre. She so enjoys her job, she chose to build upon the foundational education provided to her at Northern Lakes College. Rolanda registered in a bridging program through Athabasca University and, in the summer of 2021, she will complete a degree in Nursing Science, allowing her to work as a Registered Nurse.

The transition from school setting to work environment can, at times, be overwhelming and uncertain, but Rolanda felt as prepared as possible when she first started on the hospital floor. “I think there is always a learning curve with any new nursing unit, but even at the start, I felt my knowledge base was good. To be honest, sometimes I meet students from other colleges, and it’s obvious that Northern Lakes College really did give me a strong foundation,” she explains.

Having transitioned from a quiet office environment to a busy healthcare unit, where she thrives on the fast-paced, ever-changing scope of work, Rolanda encourages potential NLC students to go for what they want, no matter where they start. “I think, if you want to pursue something that you’re interested in, you should do it. Maybe go follow a nurse around for a day, if that’s an option, just to see what you think. But it’s a great career, and, if you don’t like one part of nursing, there are so many different places you can go!”