The Steele sisters, from left, Eizabeth, Christina and Charlotte, say completing the four-year nursing program together at UPEI created a tighter bond. Guardian photo by Jim Day
The Steele sisters are following in mom’s footsteps as a tight trio.
With five years separating the oldest sister Charlotte, 27, and Elizabeth, 22, with Christina, 24, in between, the prospect of the Souris gals enrolling together at the same university in the same program at the same time would have seemed unlikely at best.
Yet in 2009, the siblings all successfully applied to the four-year nursing program at UPEI.
“It was completely unplanned,’’ said Christina.
Charlotte did get a jump on her sisters by taking the licensed practical nurse (LPN) program at Holland College in 2005. She went on to work in nursing homes for a couple years.
All three say they were strongly influenced by their mother, Muriel, who is an LPN at Colville Manor in Souris to pursue a career in nursing.
“Mom is a kind and caring person,’’ said Christina.
“I think we are all like that. We have this need to help people.’’
The siblings both battled and bonded during their university run that saw them taking many classes together, living together in Charlottetown and socializing together.
“There were some fights, but it was good at the same time because we could help each other,’’ said Elizabeth.
“We wouldn’t leave anyone hanging.
Christina says she and her sisters provided good support to one another. Each had her weaknesses and strengths at university.
“I wouldn’t do it any other way,’’ she said.
All three completed the four-year nursing program finishing within a percentage or two of each other.
Saturday was a time for the sisters to bring great joy to their parents Muriel and Gerard Steele, who gathered along with 16 other family members to watch the trio graduate.
Christina says her mother is simply thrilled to have all three daughters become nurses.
“She just like tells everyone,’’ said Christina.
“She cries every day.’’
Charlotte, Christina and Elizabeth all signed the provincial nursing sponsorship program that entitles them to work on P.E.I. for at least two years. They all hope to work here much longer than that.
Charlotte will begin her career as a nurse at Kings County Memorial Hospital while Elizabeth and Christina start work at the Souris Hospital.
Christina wants to get into mental health and addiction care. Elizabeth is eyeing public health and geriatrics. Charlotte is set on working in a hospital and providing primary care.
So holding such diverse interests in what areas of nursing they wish to pursue, the trio will likely end up going their separate ways in the work force.
“That’s alright,’’ observed Charlotte.
“We need our own identity.’’