Finding professional fulfillment and a warm welcome in rural health care

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Andrew Fudge, RN

Andrew Fudge found a welcoming community and a fulfilling career when he moved from Newfoundland to work as a registered nurse at Western Hospital in Alberton. After graduating from Memorial University last year, Fudge said he chose Prince Edward Island because it offered a stable full-time opportunity.

“I started looking for work in Newfoundland; it’s where I grew up and where I got my education,” Andrew said. “But when I looked further, I found full-time permanent work available in rural Prince Edward Island. That was really appealing to me.

“Just coming out of school, I needed something steady and reliable. In PEI, I could walk right into a permanent position. In other parts of the country what you end up with is unreliable work and no benefits.”

Fudge said he was impressed by the warm welcome he got from the people of West Prince.

“I knew that, on an Island I would come to a tight-knit community but I also found the people were open and welcoming to a newcomer. You constantly see that people here support each other.”

“My first year in West Prince, everyone knew I would be spending Christmas alone without family, so the people at work put together a gift basket for me. What a great experience!”

The quality and variety of work in Alberton was a pleasant surprise for Andrew as well.

“I knew a rural hospital might not have all the equipment of a big centre, but the Western Hospital is very well equipped. Support is just a phone call away with ready access to advice and help from the larger hospitals.”

Fudge also likes working in Alberton with its proximity to major centres.

“In a major urban hospital I’d be in one department and seeing a lot of the same family of medicine; here I have seen obstetrics, cancer patients, and many different kinds of medical conditions.

 “It may be rural PEI but actually, you’re never far away from bigger centres. Summerside and Charlottetown are close and convenient, and on the weekend I can go to Moncton or Halifax or even the States,” he said.

Fudge said he has become a part of the workplace and the community in a way he couldn’t have expected.

“I’ve got a girlfriend here and that definitely helps, but the whole experience, from my job to the community welcome, has been so positive.”

“I'm always upgrading my education and taking new training, so now I'm training in the ER. In one short year on PEI, my career and my experience have broadened in ways I never would have expected.”

The PEI Nursing Recruitment Incentive Program provides meaningful employment opportunities for recent graduates to fill vacant registered nurse position.

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