Text: Bertrand Tappy
Photo: Philippe Gétaz

Joachim Rapin

Joachim Rapin went to Canada for a year and a half to study at the University of Montreal’s Faculty of Nursing. A few weeks after his return, he met with us to discuss his experience.

Why did you want to pursue your master’s degree in nursing in Montreal?

Danielle D’Amour, professor at the Faculty of Nursing [at the University of Montreal], gave a presentation at one of our conferences at the Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV). I was impressed with the quality of her research. So I decided that if I wanted to continue my training, I had to go to Montreal!

How did you go about organising your trip?

It took me about a year to prepare. I wasn’t travelling alone. There were four of us, with my wife and two children. In terms of my budget, the CHUV covered about one-third of the costs. For housing, we happened to have a chance encounter with someone in Switzerland who helped us find a house to rent. And once there, we were amazed by the support of our neighbours, who really helped us get settled.

What about the programme?

I did a master’s in nursing mainly for its administration option, which is specifically designed for nursing departments. I was able to condense the coursework and completed the programme in 16 months instead of 24 months. The number of classes offered – some of which are now also taught at Lausanne – was impressive. After all, the Faculty of Nursing at Montreal dates back to 1926!

You’ve just returned home. What conclusions have you drawn from your experience in Montreal?

If I could do it all over again, I would in a heartbeat. Whether you’re a caregiver, doctor, etc., you always gain by opening up to new horizons and other professional cultures. I couldn’t imagine being trained in only one place. My experience in Montreal will leave a lasting mark on how I practise nursing. And I hope that my hospital can also benefit from it!



With the chuv since 2000


Senior staff nurse at the Department of Paediatric Care and Surgery