SickKids Indigenous and Black Nursing Student Awards aim to support greater equity, diversity and inclusion in nursing
The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) is pleased to announce the winners of two nursing student awards aimed at supporting greater equity, diversity and inclusion in the nursing community.
This year, the Award for Indigenous and Black Nursing Students was expanded into two distinct awards: the Award for Indigenous Nursing Students and the Award for Black Nursing Students. Each award includes a $5,000 bursary and a clinical placement for up to two nursing students interested in becoming a paediatric acute care nurse at SickKids upon graduation.
The recipients of the Award for Indigenous Nursing Students are Anna Saunders and Marissa Kahgee, and the recipients for the Award for Black Nursing Students are Rebecca Konadu-Bruce and Orchid-Olivia James. These awardees were selected based on their commitment to paediatric acute care nursing and health equity, as well as their exemplary leadership and determination.
Launched in 2021, these awards are one action SickKids is taking to address anti-Indigenous and anti-Black racism and to help ensure SickKids is a place where everyone can feel acknowledged, valued and respected as part of our commitment to Indigenous health equity and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.
The 2022 recipients are:
Award for Indigenous Nursing Students
"I feel truly honoured for this opportunity to work with such an innovative and family-oriented hospital as SickKids during my consolidation placement. I look forward to both sharing my ideas as an Indigenous nursing student and learning from the nurses I will work with to become a well-rounded nurse myself. Working with children has always been a goal of mine and a motivator that compelled me to become a nurse. Since I started my program, a placement with SickKids has always been my goal. The values SickKids holds align greatly with my own. This placement is a great privilege, and I look forward to the challenges and opportunities it presents for my final year in my program."
"As an Anishinaabe kwe, my passion for health care was ignited at a young age through jingle dancing for the health of both my family and community. This passion motivates me to strive to make a difference in the lives of my patients and their families, and to be an active voice for inclusivity, the decolonization of health care and the need to progress action on Truth and Reconciliation. I am inspired by SickKids’ dedication to inclusivity, which is reflected in their foundational values, along with their passion for Indigenous health equity. It has been a long-time dream of mine to be a part of the SickKids team. For this opportunity, I am incredibly grateful, honoured and excited. Miigwetch for such an amazing opportunity for us Indigenous nursing students."
Award for Black Nursing Students
"Thank you for giving me the chance to gain valuable experience in the paediatric community. This generous support will help me on my journey of becoming a registered nurse. I have been and will continue to work hard in all that I do to serve as an example for my family and the community which I have grown up in. I look forward to working with children, their families, and the SickKids community while I grow and learn. I believe that there is no better place for me to excel at than The Hospital for Sick Children."
"I am beyond honoured to be selected for this award at SickKids. As a future Black health-care professional studying at the University of Toronto, I want to empower and educate other marginalized communities with complex social determinants of health that lead to poorer health outcomes and mistreatment. I believe that equity, diversity and inclusion are essential in nursing practice as each patient is unique; therefore, the care for each patient needs to be customized to their needs and strengths. I aspire to be a representation for future health-care professionals to continue to advocate for patients and create an environment that is inclusive and equitable. I am excited to begin to learn from the experienced interprofessional team at SickKids through my consolidation in 2023 and as a Clinical Extern this year as they embody patient safety, charity and dedication to the advancement of paediatric care. Thank you SickKids for this incredible opportunity and support in my aspirations to practice in paediatric critical care and emergency medicine."
This award has been generously supported through the Grace Evelyn Simpson Reeves Endowment fund and will be offered again in the 2023/2024 academic year.