Quinn, left, and Adrian Van de Mosselaer are going through UBCO’s nursing program together after Quinn encouraged his brother to go back to school. (UBC Okanagan/Contributed)

Quinn, left, and Adrian Van de Mosselaer are going through UBCO’s nursing program together after Quinn encouraged his brother to go back to school. (UBC Okanagan/Contributed)

UBC Okanagan student transitions from professional hockey to nursing

Adrian Van de Mosselaer credits his younger brother for the push to get him back to learning

A pair of Shuswap Nation brothers are going through UBC Okanagan’s nursing program together, thanks to some sibling inspiration.

Adrian Van de Mosselaer played professional hockey in the American Hockey League with the Ontario Reign, a team affiliated with the NHL’s L.A. Kings.

When his professional hockey career wrapped up in 2014, he didn’t quite know where to go next. For years, he had been thinking of going back to school, checking in every year with UBCO’s Aboriginal Programs and Services staff but never actually registered for classes.

For Christmas 2019, his younger brother Quinn gifted him with some textbooks so he could upgrade his high school qualifications and set him towards going to Okanagan College for some courses.

Quinn’s gift was the right push Adrian needed.

“I would always question myself but I hit a tipping point when my brother bought me the books and said, ‘That’s it, time to go to school,’” he said.

“I never thought I’d be relying on him to stand up and do that.”

Adrian got into his studies fully to show his little brother he could do it and thank Quinn for believing in him.

Now, the brothers are in their first year of UBCO’s nursing program.

“I know my brother pretty well; I know he was procrastinating. I knew if I bought him the books, it would push him to do it,” Quinn said.

“And once he puts his mind to something, he can do it.”

Now, the Shuswap Nation brothers live in Kelowna, taking part in clinical sessions at Kelowna General Hospital as part of their program.

Adrian says playing hockey sparked his interest in health and healing.

“When guys got hurt, I was curious about what was happening in the training room. I was curious about how they got put back together,” he said.

He says now that his advice for others thinking of switching careers or going back to school is to be patient with themselves.

“Don’t hold yourself to any thoughts of not being capable,” he said.

“You have to let go of who you think you are and the limits on what you think you can do.”

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