The Student of Distinction award honours a current undergraduate nursing student who has made significant contributions acting as a change agent, resource and mentor within his/her undergraduate nursing program. This student also shows active involvement in RNAO regions/chapters/interest groups.
Mitchell Martel has always had a strong belief that nurses can make a huge difference with their voices. “I’ve come to learn nurses have a strong evidence-based voice that has the power to affect real positive change and help transform the lives of all Canadians and people around the world,” he says. Now a graduate of nursing from Toronto’s York University, Martel has gone out of his way to advocate for issues he feels passionate about. He has participated in student placements at RNAO, including a placement during Queen’s Park Day, where he spoke with political leaders about the opioid crisis and improving access to consumption and treatment services. As the nursing student executive network officer (ENO) for Peel Chapter, Martel also helps organize workshops for colleagues to learn more about pressing issues that impact the nursing community and health system. Most recently, he helped organize a workshop on Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID), allowing Peel Chapter members and the public to learn more about the legislation and the challenges that MAID presents. Martel works as a registered nurse for Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care in Penetanguishene, Ontario, and hopes to work on the clinical side of mental health nursing in an Indigenous community.