Nov. 29, 2023
National student nursing conference coming to Alberta in January
Second year UCalgary Nursing student Yuanjie (Bill) Zheng could not be more excited to be the 2024 National Conference Coordinator for the Canadian Nursing Student Association (CNSA). “This is the first national nursing student conference since the pandemic,” he says about the in-person conference in January 2024.
“It truly unifies nursing students across the country and empowers us, as students, to advocate for ourselves, our education and our profession, however that looks.”
The National Conference is the CNSA’s most anticipated annual event and one that brings together nursing students from across Canada to advance their nursing knowledge and leadership skills. Edmonton is the site for the conference, from January 17 to 20, making it easier for UCalgary Nursing students to attend.
“This year’s theme of Nursing Without Limits: Exploring the Endless Opportunities nicely aligns with the UCalgary strategic plan [Ahead of Tomorrow] goals of increasing access to future-focused education and centering community in what we do,” Zheng further explains. “Nursing naturally is very community-focused, but nursing ‘without limits’ will broaden nursing students' ideas about the nursing profession – careers as a nurse practitioner, for example or working in research - and imagining what the future of nursing is beyond the hospital bedside.”
Zheng, also a member of the Undergraduate Nursing Society (UNS) at UCalgary Nursing, is hopeful there may be some funding from UCalgary Students’ Union for students to attend.
UNS president, Faith Moghaddami, agrees that the conference will be incredibly valuable to students regardless of their year in the program.
“The chance to network with Canadian nursing students is a real opportunity,” she says, “Unfortunately, UCalgary nursing students have not been able to attend the conference since 2020, but we’re so excited to return and learn from others across the country.”
So far, Zheng is the only member of the CNSA Board of Directors from Calgary and says that other Calgary nursing students, including those from Mount Royal University and Bow Valley College, would benefit from attendance. “The registration cost is significantly subsidized to ensure the conference will be as accessible as possible and we have a great rate at the hotel,” he says. “If students wanted to buddy up in rooms, that further reduces the costs and carpooling up north is the way to go.”
In addition to social events and the interactive educational sessions, registrants can participate in the national assembly where position statements will be debated and adopted by the CNSA, as well as to run for positions on the Board of Directors. There will be exhibitors as well as recruiters from across the country to promote employment opportunities available after graduating.
The CNSA is the official voice for Canadian nursing students and has been advocating for their needs and interests for over 50 years. Founded in 1971, the CNSA became the first national organization for nursing students from all provinces and territories to convene and discuss nursing education, initiatives, research and liaise with other professional nursing organizations.