It’s been a while since i’ve had a chance to update my blog. I’m excited to write about my experience getting to attend a nursing meeting in order to advocate on behalf of Ontario’s nursing students back in June. Such a cool experience getting to speak at the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) provincial coordinators meeting in June as the representative from the Canadian Nursing Students’ Association as the Research and Education Committee Chair.
Currently ONA represents 65,000 nurses and 18,000 nursing students in Ontario. In a time where the term “fiscal responsibility” is constantly thrown around (albeit questionably), it is even more imperative that our voices as not only nurses, but citizens are heard. There are strength in numbers and I’m fortunate to be entering a caring profession where I get to hear so many stories and be an advocate for my patients and their families.
Entering the federal election season, it’s crazy to see the impacts governance has had on our healthcare system but also on the nursing profession and nursing students.
As a young nurse, I am entering the profession in a precarious and unsettling time, not only from the standpoint of job security but also seeing the impacts cuts have had on offering safe and optimal patient care. Hearing the concerns of nurses at the bedside has been concerning and it’s evident why burnout is prevalent in a career where so much is expected of us despite budget cuts impacting staffing and physical resources.
People often say they don’t vote because “their vote doesn’t matter”, but whether you choose to vote or not vote has an impact on who the leader of our country will be. It’s slightly alarming to see the early poll trends for the upcoming 2019 federal election and to think of the consequences the lack of voter turnout will have. It is crucial as young people, that we continue to advocate and encourage those who can vote to do so. Every vote counts.
ONA’s long standing support has been a crucial component in helping the CNSA support our Ontario chapter members. Speaking on behalf of ONA’s student affiliate members, I must say many of us are leaving nursing school and entering the nursing workforce in a precarious and unsettling time. As a student graduating in the next year, it has been unnerving to see the many policy changes that have impacted students whether from cuts to ancillary fees or to changes in the grace period for OSAP repayment.
Under the new policies for ancillary fees, the updated tuition fee framework that has been implement province wide covers 11 different categories of fees that are now deemed as essential. Under the new framework, CNSA fees don’t have a spot, which is an issue for not only the Ontario chapter members but the association at large. Everything outside the compulsory categories, the schools must give students the option to our students to opt-out, which in turn leaves many students who rely on these services in a vulnerable position.
I’m so appreciative to Vicki McKenna (president of ONA) for the invite to attend the PCM and Ken and the many others for ensuring I was welcomed and comfortable throughout the two days. My experience was also made immensely better because of my nursing student counterpart Cody. Having great company made the two days of meetings productive and helping me get out a position statement regarding OSAP cuts at the last minute (seen below). Of course having a visit from Johnson the dog was also a pleasant surprise to lessen the blows of reality for a few minutes 🐶. #priortiesnotcuts