Oct 25, 2012

A student presents at the CSNA Confererence
A presenter at the CNSA Western/Prairie Regional Conference.

Vancouver, BC
 – Students from Langara’s School of Nursing hosted the Western and Prairie Regional Conference of the Canadian Nursing Students’ Association (CSNA) in Vancouver this weekend – the first time in the symposium’s 41-year history it has ever been held in BC. 

The three-day, student-led conference, which this year centred on models for harm reduction, was held at Vancouver’s iconic Library Square and welcomed 265 delegates from institutions across Canada as far afield as Dalhousie University in Halifax. Ten keynote guest speakers, including many who run innovative health programs in Vancouver, spoke about harm reduction principles, social justice, and the need for advocacy through the development of appropriate public health policies. They were joined by 14 student presenters from across Canada who were selected by a committee of nursing faculty members from Langara.

The event was organized by Kinnon Ross, Sandy Gum, and Marie Scott, students from Langara’s School of Nursing. “I wanted to bring the interactive and inspiring nature of a nursing student conference to Vancouver,” said Ross. “It is vital to our nursing education that we are able to interact with colleagues from other places, and to see how our communities are similar and how they differ. We can create change and work together to improve the health outcomes of our clients.”

The opening remarks at the conference were delivered by Dr. Bradley O’Hara, Langara’s Vice-President Academic and Provost. “Events such as these provide an opportunity to showcase student excellence, and connect healthcare experts with tomorrow's practitioners,” he said. “In doing so, the conference affords participants an inspiring look into the challenges and possibilities of the healthcare profession." 

CNSA, Canada’s national organization of nursing students, has over 25,000 members and is an affiliate member of the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA), as well as several other nursing organizations within Canada. The organization represents the interests of nursing students to federal, provincial, and international governments, and to other nursing and health care organizations.

“What I saw this weekend makes me feel confident that the nursing students who participated in this conference will become our nursing leaders of tomorrow,” said Janine Lennox, chair of Langara’s School of Nursing.

Her sentiments were echoed by Langara’s Vice-President Administration and Finance Roy Daykin, who spoke at the conference banquet on Saturday night. “These students showed from the beginning that they have the commitment and professionalism to organize this conference,” said Daykin. “Their leadership now as students is a building block for the development of leadership in their profession. It is gratifying to know that each School of Nursing within the province was represented here this weekend, and that each province within the region was able to send so many students.”  

"It was incredible to see 260 nursing students and CNSA members taking part in such a rich professional development experience," said Maggie Danko, the president of the CSNA. "As both the President of the national association, and as an Alberta nursing student, I am proud to see such interest and passion from my West/Prairie colleagues in being engaged in dissuasions on the poignant topic of harm reduction. The West/Prairie regions have grown tremendously in CNSA, and this conference exemplified cnsa's representation of nursing students from coast to coast."

The 2013 National CNSA conference will be held in Halifax on January 23-25, hosted by Dalhousie University.

Learn more.
Yvonne Ohara
Manager, Communications and Marketing
Communications and Marketing, Langara College
604.323.5014 | news@langara.bc.ca