In June, CNSA sponsored a student to attend the Canadian Nurses’ Association 2018 annual meeting and biennial convention in Ottawa. As part of our Leadership Development Program, we selected one student from the applications. Sonia Bouchard was the lucky student chosen to attend. Below is her summary and report of the event:
“It was such a privilege to attend the CNA Board of Directors meeting (BOD), 2018 Annual General Meeting (AGM) and the Biennial Convention in Ottawa. The BOD was filled with important discussions but also laughter and even a few tears. This was the last meeting for a few of CNA’s long-time members and listening to each of them talk about their experience with CNA in such a positive manner- calling it their home and the best part of their career- was truly heartwarming.
This year’s Annual General Meeting had a jam-packed agenda. There were about a dozen resolutions that addressed many important and current topics in healthcare such as the opioid crisis, increasing support for rural and remote nurses, reducing health inequities, empowering Indigenous nurses and facilitating the transition from student nurse to RN. A new president-elect was also voted in and history was made when CNA’s bylaws were amended to include Licensed Practical Nurses, Registered Psychiatric Nurses and Nurse Practitioners under the same association. To feel the energy in the room as everyone stood up, clapped and cheered after the amendment passed was very powerful and I am glad to have been present for this big moment in Canadian nursing history.
Following a memorable AGM, the 2018 Biennial Convention took off with some great presentations and keynote speakers such as Timothy Caulfield, who debunked some misinformed health trends, Stu Schwartz, who shared his experience battling leukemia, Carolyn Jones, a photographer who captured nursing in ways we have never seen before, and many more! There was also an exceptional panel presentation composed of five early career nurses, most of whom had been involved with CNSA as students, who now continue to inspire others and advocate for nurses across the world.
I was very pleased to be informed that students have 5 votes at the AGM and that CNSA has a voting member on the CNA Board of Directors. As a nursing student myself, I believe CNSA’s implications with CNA are of great importance because we are the future of nursing in Canada. As the saying goes “Nothing for us without us.” Students’ voices deserve to be heard and involving CNSA does just that! I met some wonderful people from both CNA and CNSA and my interest in getting involved with various nursing associations has grown. All in all, I am very proud to be a nursing student and this enriching experience confirmed that this is the right path for me!”
-Sonia Bouchard, 2018 LDP winner
(CNSA alumni and current BOD members at CNA)