“When you know what you want and need to do, you go and get it done,” – A nursing grad and volleyball star finds balance on and off the court
Anna Licht a graduate of the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing’s accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, is not your typical student. While completing her nursing degree, much of which took place online at the height of the pandemic, she also made time to be an elite athlete, playing as a member of the Women’s Canadian National Beach Volleyball Next Generation Program.
“It was definitely a lot, it was challenging,” says Licht of balancing both a stressful academic schedule with daily training, workouts, and competitions. “But I love sport, I love competition, and when you know what you want and need to do, you go and get it done.”
As a nursing student, Licht became adept at balancing the physical and mental challenges of keeping a busy schedule with clinical placement shifts that could be anywhere from 8 to 12 hours long, some of which took place overnight. It was exhausting she admits, and not the only challenge she encountered during her time in the program.
Beginning a program entirely online was tough Licht recalls, with one of the many reasons being the lack of opportunity to socially interact and meet her peers. Licht says she and her classmates began to cherish their time spent together in-person during clinical placements. She made some very good friends and learned from her clinical instructors, about what kind of health care practitioner she wants to be in the future.
“In these pandemic stricken years when hospitals were overrun, our clinical instructors were always willing to take that extra step and use their energy to be supportive and willing to teach even when you knew they were exhausted,” says Licht.
The clinical opportunities that Licht and her peers had in spite of the pandemic, is something she commends Bloomberg Nursing for, knowing that placements were hard to come by for many nursing schools. Some of her most memorable experiences were in her community placement, where she learned about the impact that community nursing can have on the health care system and on the populations it serves.
“I went into the program thinking I only wanted to work in acute care, but during my community placement I met some really amazing people, and it shifted my thinking, it made me more open to the many possibilities within nursing,” says Licht.
In January of 2022, with just a few months left to complete her nursing degree, Licht’s mother passed away after a long illness journey. Licht remembers the incredible support she received from faculty, her clinical instructors, and her peers.
“There are no words to describe that time,” Licht says, “I try to think of the positive that because much of the program was online, I was able to be at home and spend a lot of time with her, but it was still extremely challenging. Everyone, faculty, my friends, peers, the CI’s were very supportive and accommodating and for that I am grateful.”
When asked what she is most looking forward to after graduation, Licht says she is eager to develop her nursing practice and discover her identity as a healthcare provider.
“I’ve always known I wanted to work in healthcare, but I wasn’t sure which direction I wanted to go in. I chose nursing, because it can open so many doors to different career paths within health care,” says Licht.