Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario


Student of Distinction

This award honours a nursing student who is a role model for professionalism and contributes to the advancement of RNAO/NSO within his/her nursing program. This student also acts as a resource for other nursing students.

If Susan Chan had her way, every nursing student would recognize the crucial role of leadership development in shaping their career, starting early in nursing school. The third-year Ryerson student consistently tells peers at every opportunity just how leadership makes you a more rounded person, gives you transferrable skills, and prepares you for life as an RN. She is grateful for these opportunities to support and inspire other students, and admits that mentoring provides her with the get-up-and-go she needs to propel her own career forward. “If I’m feeling down, and I know I have the capability to help others, it energizes me instantly,” she says. Considering how much Susan has accomplished as a student, her energy levels must be off the charts. Susan, who is currently the Region 7 student assistant lead (she will become executive student lead next year), has led several initiatives to support her peers, including producing a booklet with tips for first-year students on how to succeed, and facilitating labs for first-year students to practise their nursing skills in a supportive environment. She also successfully recruited 170 students from Ryerson to join RNAO, and spearheaded a fundraising campaign for the Ryerson chapter of the Canadian Nursing Students Association (CNSA) that raised approximately $23,000 to fund 33 students to attend CNSA conferences in 2013 and 2014.