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From Certificate to Degree – Pre-Health Programs Provide a Pathway to Rewarding Careers


Setting a goal to obtain a nursing degree wasn’t something Emily Dickinson thought possible before taking Fleming’s preparatory health sciences program.

“My next step after completing the Pre-Health Pathways to Certificates and Diplomas program is the Practical Nursing program. I have plans from there to bridge into Trent University and attain my Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree – something I never dreamed possible. I am looking forward to all of the opportunities that nursing will provide and it’s all thanks to the Pre-health program.” Initially unable to meet the academic requirements for the Practical Nursing program, Emily opted to take the two-semester Pre-health certificate, which offers a pathway into the nursing diploma. A select number of seats are reserved for graduates of Pre-health in Fleming’s Paramedic and Practical Nursing programs.

“Pre-health has exceeded my expectations. I’ve never been a math or science-brained person, but this program has given me a whole new level of confidence and understanding that I’m able to apply everything to real life. Also, the fact that there are reserved spots in our chosen programs for those with a high average gives you the extra drive to keep going when the work gets tough. The teachers want us to succeed, and they consistently show us that they will support us in any way they can.”

Emily Dickinson

While learning through the pandemic has been challenging, Emily has taken it in stride.

“I have enjoyed the consistency of the program. All of the courses are intertwined: when we learn about one subject in math, for example, we can apply those skills in chemistry and biology. The teachers are accommodating and have a knack for breaking down complicated subjects into terms that we can thoroughly understand,” she said.

“I’ve made some great friends in the course even though it’s been strictly online. Even chemistry has been straightforward from home. Our labs are adapted to be able to use accessible ingredients, but they are still fun!”

Currently working as a part-time firefighter with Selwyn Township, Emily is excited about adding nursing to her skill set and furthering her role as a first responder helping the public.

“I would recommend this program to anybody looking to enter the health sciences field – even if they already have the academic requirements. This program gives you a leg up in learning the math, chemistry, biology and bioethics knowledge and skills we will apply in our future programs and careers,” she said.

“I knew that I wanted to be as prepared as I possibly could and this program has absolutely delivered!”

Fleming’s Pre-Health Sciences Pathways to Certificates and Diplomas program provides a variety of pathways to competitive health sciences programs such as Practical Nursing, Paramedic, Pharmacy Technician and Health Information Management. For more information: askus@flemingcollege.ca