An essential goal for Peterborough’s Trent/Fleming School of Nursing is to always prepare nursing students for real-world nursing through evidence-based practice. It’s one of the many reasons the school implemented RNAO’s best practice guidelines (e.g. Establishing therapeutic relationships, Assessment and Management of Pain, Strategies to Support Self-management in Chronic Conditions: Collaborations with clients) across most nursing courses. “Evidence-based practice is a central part of our thinking about what we’re educating nurses to do in addition to critical thinking and judgment skills,” says Kirsten Woodend, dean for the nursing program, and a registered nurse. The program is made up of collaborative, compressed and PN-to-BScN programs that emphasize a holistic approach to health care. In addition, it provides students with opportunities to join policy and research committees and to speak out on emerging nursing issues. Today, the program has close to 1,000 nursing students, and encourages each one to become a member of RNAO. “I think it’s important that future nurses maintain a connection with organizations that support them,” shares Woodend. “We have a relatively new graduate diploma in mental health nursing and, this summer, in collaboration with Ontario Tech University, we are launching a new master’s of nursing in professional practice leadership.”

The Promotion of a Nursing Program award goes to an Ontario nursing education program that successfully promotes RNAO within its program and/or nursing school campus. This organization demonstrates student engagement with RNAO initiatives and activities through political, media-related and public activities. Students also show active involvement in RNAO and initiate activities that enhance healthy public policy and the role of the nursing student/RN/NP in Ontario.