Suzanne Fredericks has been teaching nursing students since 2003. After receiving her BScN from Ryerson University, she immediately started working on her master’s degree at the University of Toronto, followed by her PhD studies. During her first year of the PhD program, she was hired as a tenure track faculty member at Ryerson University. Fredericks says teaching is rewarding because it allows her to help students develop, and also to see information transform into action. Teaching is “…not just (about) impacting the students, but it also impacts the profession,” she says. Fredericks teaches research methods, leadership, health and wellness, and health policy. For her health policy course in Fall 2019, she took her students to Queen’s Park to become familiar with the legislative process. She also arranged for her students to meet with a number of municipal and provincial politicians. As a result, many of her students have begun engaging with policy creation committees and political advocacy organizations within their local communities. Additionally, several students have attended two committee meetings and are currently looking for ways to engage in political action in order to assist in shaping health priorities and goals with a particular focus on the impact of health policy on the nursing profession.
The Leadership Award in Student Mentorship is awarded to the RN or NP who demonstrates outstanding practice as a nurse educator, mentor or preceptor in health care. This individual enhances the role of the RN and/or NP by encouraging critical thinking and evidence-informed practice, and initiates discussion about important nursing issues that encourage action and change. This individual is resourceful, adapting teaching to maximize learning opportunities that will contribute to student engagement and action.