British Columbia

Pro hockey player swaps jersey for scrubs, joins younger brother in nursing school

A pair of Shuswap Nation brothers aged eight years apart are attending UBC Okanagan's nursing program at the same time. For elder brother Adrian Van de Mosselaer, 30, it was a career in professional hockey that sparked a curiosity for helping others.

8 years in age separate Adrian and Quinn Van de Mosselaer, but they're studying in same year at UBC Okanagan

Quinn, left, and Adrian Van de Mosselaer ended up in the same nursing program. (Submitted by UBCO)

By a twist of fate, a pair of Shuswap Nation brothers aged eight years apart are now attending UBC Okanagan's nursing program at the same time.

For elder brother Adrian Van de Mosselaer, 30, it was a career in professional hockey that sparked a curiosity for helping others.

"When guys got hurt, I was curious about what was happening in the training room. I was curious on how they got put back together," says Van de Mosselaer, formerly with the Ontario Reign, an American Hockey League team affiliated with the NHL's Los Angeles Kings. 

But after leaving hockey behind in 2014, Van de Mosselaer didn't know what was next for him career wise.

He had wanted to go back to school for years, even checking in annually with UBCO's Aboriginal Programs and Services staff, but he never committed to registering for classes. 

That was until his 22-year-old brother Quinn Van de Mosselaer gave him a set of textbooks for Christmas one year  — inspiring Adrian to join the nursing program alongside him.

"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,'" said Adrian.

'I just kind of pushed him in that direction'

Quinn says he knew his brother's potential and wanted to encourage him to go out and discover his passion through education.

"He was questioning himself and he wasn't sure if he should go to school because he didn't have a great experience in high school. So I just kind of pushed him in the direction," Quinn told CBC Radio West host Sarah Penton.

Quinn says he got into nursing because of his love of taking care of people. 

He says seeing his brother share that passion has connected them more than ever before.

"When we first applied, we didn't think both of us would get into the nursing program. We live at home and it helps being so close with someone in the same program," Quinn said.

The pair says that studying nursing during the pandemic has been challenging but having each other to rely on has helped. They say they would even love to work together one day, if given the chance.

"It would be very cool to share some time together on the floor and see where it takes us. And what a time to be going to school and to be learning this, during a pandemic," Adrian said.

With files from Radio West

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