Meet a Student

Glen Morris, Ontario


Healthcare challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic inspired Joel to leave his family business and enter the field of nursing. Today, his goal is to support patients throughout their healthcare journey and make a meaningful impact on their lives.


Why did you pursue a degree in nursing?

I was inspired in the spring of 2020 to change careers and transition from operating the daily activities of our family business into a role in healthcare. Seeing how the staff and patients in our hospitals and throughout the health care system were really hurting inspired me, even provoked me. It felt like signing up to serve in the battle against COVID, and after I applied the government provided funding to universities to allow for additional nurses to be trained. The CTF program at Western is the most accelerated program in Canada and it was exactly what I needed. In 19 months I have been able to learn what I need to start my career in nursing. I was inspired to do more with my hands, to help others more; a degree in nursing is helping me to become more.

Why did you decide to study at Western?

I chose Western 17 years ago, straight out of high school, along with my partner who completed Westerns nursing program. It was a fantastic coming of age experience for us and I was thrilled to be able to return. Western also supported me during my master’s research and again when I updated my prerequisites to apply for the CTF program. I knew I could trust Western to teach me hands on skills and medical science; this program also developed my gifts of compassion and empathy and taught me how to be a better caregiver. Western has continued to nurture me with academic instructors, clinical supervisors, and preceptors that formed meaningful connections with me. Some of the same high-quality instructors who trained my wife, are still here, and they still recognized her. Western has been excellent for me and my family and I’ll continue to choose Western in the future.

What is your most memorable experience in the program?

I really enjoyed everyday I came to campus for simulation lab. It was fantastic to be able to apply and test my new knowledge immediately with live actors or computerized mannequins. I was overly enthusiastic in my assessments so much that even other students’ mannequins started answering my questions. It was really fun and everyone involved in the experience gave me helpful and meaningful support at pivotal times in my learning.

That didn’t compare to what I experienced in surgery, maternity, mental health, and the emergency department during my placements at Woodstock hospital. I will always remember the day I had the privilege to use my hands to help to bring a newborn baby into the world and care for him and his mother for his first hours of life. I’ll also remember the man whose life left him while my hands rhythmically compressed his chest. Or the man whose knee I watched being replaced, and then I helped him walk again. Every shift felt like it had a once in a lifetime experience in store for me. I got to participate in so many different patients’ journeys and see how they interact with the health care system. It was truly amazing working shoulder to shoulder with doctors and nurses at Woodstock hospital.

How will your work change the world?

I’m excited to explore the paths that nursing has made available to me. I loved working in the emergency department for the hands-on care and medicine. It was a revolving door of new people and new perspectives that truly appreciated my caregiving in their moment of crisis. My experiences as an informal caregiver have also given me a passion for community care. I know and appreciate the value of being able to maintain health and well being at home while managing a chronic condition. I want to support patients throughout their health care journey and give them the guidance, tools, and resources to thrive at home. I am also a researcher, trained by the nursing faculty at Western. I would love to partner with Western again to further research home care client’s roles and how to best develop them as active members on their care teams. No matter which context I’m practicing in I appreciate how a career in nursing has given me the privilege to support individuals in a meaningful way and a platform to change the world, one moment and one person at a time.