Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario

Student of Distinction: Gwendolyn French

Student of Distinction: Gwendolyn French

This 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.

Brock University nursing student Gwendolyn French has always been passionate about health care. Since joining RNAO in 2016, she has also become passionate about political advocacy. As the communications executive network officer for RNAO's Niagara chapter, Gwendolyn promotes important health-care issues on social media, such as national pharmacare, the minimum wage, and community health issues. She also helps to organize events. She most recently organized a panel discussion about the safe use and legislation around cannabis at the Niagara chapter's annual general meeting (AGM) last October. Gwendolyn does not shy away from speaking out at RNAO events – including the association's Queen's Park Day and spring AGM – about social determinants of health and health equity. "It's important that MPPs recognize the importance of making sure the policy that is being developing is in the best interests of Ontarians," she says. Now in her last year of her nursing undergrad, Gwendolyn would like to gain experience at the bedside and utilize her knowledge to enrich the future of nursing through education and eventually develop and influence healthy public policy.