The Hub Carolyn Hayes: Defending her master’s thesis amidst a pandemic
National Nursing Week

Carolyn Hayes: Defending her master’s thesis amidst a pandemic

Nothing can stand in the way of a passionate Athabasca University (AU) learner completing her Master of Nursing (MN)—not even a busy job in healthcare, which is especially challenging during a global pandemic.

Carolyn Hayes is the North Zone Communicable Disease Clinical Lead with Alberta Health Services (AHS) and recently defended her thesis, completing all requirements to earn her MN from AU’s Faculty of Health Disciplines.

Mid-April, she took to Adobe Connect to defend her thesis, Healthcare Workers’ Perceptions of an Influenza Immunization Campaign, after working on it for over a year. This was not how she envisioned her thesis defence when she started her educational journey in 2015, but she passed with flying colours.

In her role with the Provincial Communicable Disease Control (CDC) Program with AHS, Hayes and her team are responsible for the prevention and control of communicable diseases. Needless to say, she has been exceptionally busy since the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Working full time, extra hours and then having to switch gears back into the research has been challenging. The research is fun and you learn a lot, but working full time is also a lot.”

– Carolyn Hayes

Now that her studies have completed, Hayes has time to reflect positively on her experience at AU.

“What I liked about AU was that you got good feedback from your instructors. It seems like they had time to dedicate to their learners, which I appreciated,” she said.

“You got to talk to people from other countries and other provinces, such as nurses from Ontario and Nova Scotia, who had a different take on other nursing activities.”

When asked if she had any advice for learners who are also working, Hayes said that the key to balancing both is to be disciplined and to set aside allotted time to study.

You can learn more on the Master of Nursing program web page.

Let’s rally together to show appreciation to the nurses who have impacted our lives

If you’ve had a nurse who has impacted your life, please share your story with us so we can show how much the AU community appreciates them.

Tag us on social media or send us an e-mail and share a short story, or few sentences about a time a nurse has had an impact on your life.

Maybe you or a loved one were hospitalized, and you had a nurse who went the extra mile. Or, maybe you had a nurse who just showed you compassion when you needed it most. Whatever your story—we want to hear it!

If you have pictures, please send them along too. Together we can show nurses how much we appreciate all that they do!

And to AU’s learners, alumni, and faculty who work, teach, and support the nursing community, we thank you.

  • May 13, 2020