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Nursing students make mark at national conference

School of Nursing students Traci Trimm and Robyn Wrice presented the resolutions at the national conference.

By Michelle Osmond

Several nursing students are feeling pretty proud of themselves and rightfully so. Twenty-four senior students in Dr. Sandra MacDonald’s Nursing Leadership class have helped decide the future of nursing education in Canada.

As part of a term paper, the students developed five resolutions that they presented to their national nursing student association, the Canadian Nursing Students Association (CNSA). And of the five, three of those resolutions were adopted.

The resolutions encourage the CNSA to implement interprofessional education as mandatory accreditation criteria in nursing education; promote health equity through harm reduction strategies in nursing practice and education; and promote complementary therapies in nursing care.

Students Robyn Wrice and Traci Trimm acted as Memorial’s national delegates, presenting the resolutions at the 40th annual CNSA national conference recently. Ms. Wrice admitted it was a very intimidating process.

“Traci and I had to stand up at a microphone for about an hour and present five statements to over 100 people and answer any questions that the national assembly had about them. There were some great debates during the presentation as well.

“The first one we presented was our own group’s statement and that one was passed with no real issues. So, it got us excited about the others. It was a great feeling to see three out of five passed. The board of directors was so pleased with all the hard work from Memorial and we had other delegates approach us to commend us on a job well done.”

The resolutions will be posted on the CNSA website and will become part of the association and what they advocate for.

“It is great to see nursing students contribute so much to a national organization,” added Ms. Wrice. “We could not have done this work without the help, and guidance from Dr. Sandra MacDonald. The board of directors was even impressed to see such a supportive faculty member.”

"It is the dream of every teacher to work with students who are so dedicated and motivated. It is good to know that the future of nursing is in their hands. I expect great and wonderful things from them, especially now that they know the strength of their own voices,” commented Dr. MacDonald.

This was the largest number of resolutions ever presented by Memorial, which was the only university to present position statements at the conference. The event was attended by more than 600 nursing students from across Canada.