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Reflections and Revelations: The Nursing Student Journey

The Canadian Nursing Students’ Association (CNSA) believes strongly in advocating for the profession of nursing and for the provision of quality healthcare for all Canadians. As they pass through their educational program, nursing students grow personally and professionally, sometimes at a seemingly exponential rate, as they are exposed for the first time to the many experiences privy only to a nurse. As knowledge, skill, and attitudes are moulded into that of a competent nurse, students are challenged to explore their experiences through reflective essay and other projects. However, quite often these beautiful evidences of learning and development of the nursing spirit are read only by one’s instructor and/or close peers.


CNSA is calling on you send us your nursing student stories so they can be shared across Canada! We want your stories for two reasons: First, the stories will help nurses and nursing students feel more connected to the profession of nursing as we come to understand that, even though we provide care behind closed curtains, our experiences are often similar. Second, sharing our stories with the public will help the public to know a little bit more about what nurses do, why they are so essential to healthcare, and how they are educated. So, pull those valuable stories out of your minds and out of your reflections, get them onto the page, and send them in to CNSA!


We are looking for short stories and poems about your personal experiences as a nursing student as you make your way through the challenges and achievements of your program. For example, you can write about the first moment where you really felt like you made a difference in a patient’s life, a challenging learning experience that you overcame, or an exceptional experience with a preceptor or tutor. Submissions must be non-fictional and should have inspirational appeal (i.e. exciting, sad, funny). Written tactfully, stories of disillusionment with the profession and/or healthcare will also be considered for publication. Overall, your piece should aim to leave the reader more hopeful, connected, thankful, passionate, or even more motivated to open a dialogue about the state of the profession of nursing and/or nursing education.


All works selected will be compiled into a book and published for purchase by nursing students, healthcare professionals, and the public! Profits made by this endeavour will go directly to a Canadian group, charity, program, or cause that positively impacts the health of Canadians!

Please see below for the official criteria for submission of written pieces and if you have any questions, concerns, or require any assistance with respect to this project, please feel free to contact the Director of Communications. 

Criteria for Submission

  • Length should be no more than 1200 words.
  • Pieces may be written in English or in French.
  • All works must be submitted with a completed submission form.
  • Author must be a nursing student attending a CNSA chapter member school or a new graduate nurse who has been practicing for less than 5 years. Find out if your school is a chapter member.
  • No anonymous or author unknown submissions will be accepted.
  • Works that have been previously published will not be accepted.
  • Works can be stories or poems, but not essays, eulogies, sermons, or journal entries.
  • As submissions should be personal works and not technical essays, references should not commonly be necessary. However, if a reference must be included to avoid copyright infringement, please source it using current APA formatting.
  • Adhere to the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA). Please contact if you require assistance with disguising patient identity within your story/poem.

Submission Form



Form: Download

Instructions: Download

Poster: Download