United Nations: International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Today, we celebrate the United Nations’ International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Each year, since 1992, December 3rd has been commemorated to celebrate individuals worldwide with some form of disability. The purpose of this day is to promote understanding and awareness of the issues surrounding disabilities, as well as to increase the support for the rights and well being for those with disabilities. This day also seeks to celebrate the progress made from the integration of the rights of persons with a disability into various political, social, economic, and cultural societies around the world. Its purpose is to eliminate the stigma and discrimination surrounding disabilities and to facilitate a more inclusive and integrative society, with the needs of all in mind.

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Each year, a theme is incorporated to celebrate this day. This year’s theme for 2015 is “Inclusion Matters: Access and Empowerment of People of All Abilities.” According to www.un.org/disabilities, there is an estimation of 1 billion people internationally who live with some sort of disability, and frequently face barriers to inclusion, making it quite challenging for them to be a part of their society. This greatly limits their accessibility and diminishes equality between persons with disabilities and persons without disabilities. The focus this year is on accessibility and building on the strengths, capacities, and abilities of those who experience some sort of disability. This year’s theme emphasizes the importance of recognizing ability over disability and to develop a cohesive and integrative society, through policy reformation and legislation amongst societies worldwide.

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It is important that all members of a society have equal access and equal opportunity. Regardless of ability or disability, all members should be able to fulfill their potential in a supportive and inclusive environment. Often times, people with some sort of a disability often face challenges such as unequal accessibility and opportunity, a lack of support, and exclusivity in their communities, whether indirect or direct. Some forms of exclusivity towards persons with disability is manifested in the lack of wheelchair accessible ramps, lack of services to accommodate learning disabilities in academic institutions, lack of counselling or support resources in the community for persons with a disability, etc.

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The Ryerson community has made increased efforts throughout the years to facilitate a more inclusive and accessible learning environment for students and teachers with a disability (i.e RyeACCESS). Ryerson has prided itself on its diverse student and teacher population, and acknowledges that as an academic institution, we as a community have a responsibility towards one another to ensure that the entire population is included and is provided with equal access and opportunity towards academic and career goals. We have a responsibility to ensure that the abilities of one another are maximized and remain the focus, rather than the disabilities. By focusing on one another’s abilities, rather than disabilities, it allows us to empower one another and eliminates any stigma and discrimination surrounding disabilities. It also allows us to move forward as a community and reform policies and legislations put in place, in order to create a more inclusive and supportive environment for all members of the community.

Black on Campus Ryerson

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On November 18th, Ryerson students, faculty and staff gathered at Victoria and Gould Streets to express solidarity with students organizing at Mizzou and #BlackonCampus events across the globe, and share experiences of being Black on campus.  These experiences were shared at the event and on social media using #BlackonCampusRye.  Black on Campus Ryerson: Solidarity Action with Mizzou and Yale was organized by the United Black Students at Ryerson.  I was fortunate enough to attend in solidarity as a student, a co-organizer with the Ryerson Feminist Collective and an ally.

The event began with a banner drop from above the Ryerson Book Store.  The banner read, “We Rise with Mizzou #BlackonCampusRye”.  From there, students, faculty and staff went on to share their experiences of being Black on Ryerson’s campus.  As an ally, my job is not to tell you my experiences of being at the event; it’s to center the voices of those who experience anti-Black racism on campus.  For the rest of this blog post, I will attempt to do just that.

"We Rise with Mizzou" banner that was dropped above the Ryerson book store.

“We Rise with Mizzou” banner that was dropped above the Ryerson book store.

The first speaker at Black on Campus Ryerson was Social Work Professor, Akua Benjamin.  Benjamin has been a professor with Ryerson for 30 years and has worked and been an activist in many capacities including issues of anti-racism, feminism, immigration, criminal justice, healthy and many more.  Benjamin discussed the need for Black students to see themselves reflected in faculty and curriculum.  The curriculum in Ryerson classrooms come from a very Eurocentric and Western model, lacking Black voices, scholars and experiences.  This is amplified by the overwhelming white faculty seen across all post-secondary institutions.  Benjamin wants to see classrooms where Black Lives Matter, where students and faculty don’t have to be afraid to talk about race and anti-Black racism.

Professor Akua Benjamin speaking at Black on Campus Ryerson

Professor Akua Benjamin speaking at Black on Campus Ryerson

From there, the microphone was open for students to share their experiences of being Black on Campus at Ryerson.  These experiences came from different students, different faculties, different programs and different classrooms but they all had one thing in common: anti-Black racism is prevalent at Ryerson.

What does anti-Black racism look like at Ryerson? Microaggressions being present in every classroom and acting as barriers to education.   A white professor stating they experience racism because they have a mixed daughter.  Professors being more concerned about white students’ feelings in discussions of racism.  Discussions of racism being dominated and run by white students, despite Black students being present in class. White professors acting as experts on race and racism, completely ignoring the voices and experiences of Black students, even when they have their hands raised to speak.

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Anti-Black racism at Ryerson is the environment of hostility in classrooms when political discussions arise.  Racialized students are not safe to speak in these classrooms dominated by white students, white professors and a white curriculum.  Anti-Black racism at Ryerson is the token diversity on this campus; we need more.  It’s not enough to have one Black faculty member or one Black student in a classroom.  Anti-Black racism at Ryerson is Black students experiencing harassment and discrimination with no statement from our student union.  Anti-Black racism at Ryerson is not discussing these issues in a critical way because Black students don’t make it to campus and Black faculty don’t make it to the discussion table, due to systemic racism.  Black faculty are not involved in decision making decisions, as they are often kept in precarious work such as contract positions.

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Anti-Black racism is Black students’ hair being grabbed every day.  It’s asking Black students where they are really from and claiming a “right” to use the N-word. It’s a white student asking a Black student if they could wear cotton around her or would it be offensive because of the history of slavery.  It’s increased security and pat-down searches for pub nights held by racialized student groups.  It’s decentralizing Blackness when talking about anti-Black racism.

Racism in classrooms is affecting students’ mental health.  Even in an anti-oppressive program such as social work, Black students huddle together and hope to be in the same classes each semester due to prevalent racism.  One student shared that in classes where group work is required, no one looks to partner with her despite doing well in that class.  Many students experience depression and debate leaving their programs due to rampant anti-Black racism.

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Each program and faculty has racism in its classrooms; it may look different, but it is anti-Black racism.  One student discussed never hearing her experiences of being Black in school.  A student from fashion shared that she is the only Black woman in her class and the constant discussion of diversity in fashion yet there is no diversity in the classroom.  Anti-Black racism is when white students in her class find only having one Black student in the class to be humorous.  These discussions of diversity in fashion are limited to Black women on the runway where Black women’s bodies are eroticized.  There’s never a discussion of diversity in management, designers, etc.  Anti-Black racism is journalism students being told to choose between activism and being a journalist.  It is professors using racial slurs in classes and defending their “right” to do so as it is a language studies class.

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Anti-Black racism at Ryerson is students being here for 4 years and still not feeling comfortable or welcome on campus.  Black students need to feel safe and welcome on campus.  Where are the academic accommodations for students who don’t feel safe on campus?

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Black bodies are not safe on this campus; we need to name anti-Black racism.  We also need to recognize that it’s not always safe for Black folks to speak up in the face of racism; this is where allies need to step up beyond re-tweeting.

Black lives, students, faculty and staff matter.  It’s time that Ryerson as an institution, Ryerson administration, Ryerson faculty, Ryerson staff and Ryerson students started acting like it.

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TEDxRyersonU – Interdisciplinary Collaboration

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“Make something new even if it’s sharing perspectives.”
– Dr. Stephanie Walsh Matthews

This past Saturday, I also attended the TEDxRyersonU event at The Design Exchange. The theme this year was ICONOCLAST and fittingly so as all the speakers presented their various topics in a different light. The word iconoclast is a word used to define a person who challenges or questions conventional beliefs. Allowing us as an audience to think differently about things we are exposed to on a regular basis such as identity, food, art, social media, etc. Stiffra gives a great overview of whole event is about in her blog post.

My favourite talks were part of the Technology section as they were the ones that I felt most connected to. Each of the speakers who talked in the first section either related to me on personal or a professional level. Topics included identity, art, interdisciplinary research, food, and women in science. I’d like to focus on one talk in particular that really hit home. It was third talk of the day and it was given by Dr. Stephanie Walsh Matthews. Dr. Stephanie Walsh Matthews is the Program Director of Arts & Contemporary Studies at Ryerson. She spoke of interdisciplinary collaboration and how important it is in research.Dr. Walsh Matthews is actually doing her own interdisciplinary research right now as she is analyzing the language practices of children with autism spectrum disorder using robotics. She describes being a disciplinarian isn’t clean, meaning not everything fits in the lines.

The reason why I related to her talk so much is because I believe that interdisciplinary collaboration is something that us students in the Faculty of Community Services are most likely going to partake in. No matter what program you’re in you are most likely going to have to work with other professionals. A great example of interdisciplinary collaboration is this event as students from different areas of study came together to execute it.

Dr. Walsh Matthews uses the example of a drafting to further make her point. Drafting is an aerodynamic technique used in cycling. One cyclist rides closely behind another cyclist thus taking advantage of the front cyclist’s slipstream. Drafting allows the pair of cyclists to save energy. In a race you drafting isn’t allowed however, Dr. Walsh Matthews says in interdisciplinary work that it is encouraged. She goes on to say that we should be that second cyclist and follow the first until we are able to take over and become that first cyclist and someone else can follow find us. “It’s give and take,” she explains.

As a Child and Youth Care (CYC) student, I have already began to experience this interdisciplinary collaboration at my placement and I think it is an amazing thing although it definitely has its downsides as well. I’ll start with the downsides first, I think this may apply specifically to us CYCs because our program is not only relatively new but it is highly unrecognized. This lack of recognition is one of the negatives, as at times we are not treated with the same respect as other FCS programs like social work or nursing. The positives however are great and our clients definitely benefit. For example, at my placement there are social workers, Children’s Aid Society workers, Language Interpreters, etc. We cannot do everything for the client and need each other’s support in order to help our clients.

There are so many different fields that can work together to make something beautiful. Working collaboratively recognizes the strengths of others. There’s one sentence from the talk that I want to leave you with. Dr. Walsh Matthews said, “Knowing you don’t have to come in first in anything to make a difference in your life or others has its merits.”

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I read an interesting article today called the Your Retirement Plan May Be Inside Out by Robert Laura. Now you may be thinking, what does this have to do with the title? Well I’ll get there. To sum up the article: we look at retirement wrong. We focus so much on saving money and working hard in order to reap the benefits in the future, we forget to take care of our health. So I dare ask, it worth it? Is it worth putting your health on the back burner so you can save for an unforeseeable future? Well I don’t. But I, along with many others, are guilty of doing it. Now, I’m not saying don’t work hard and hustle, but don’t do it at the expense of your health. Just because 50 Cent’s motto is to “get rich or die tryin” doesn’t mean yours has to be. And in light of recent events, you can see even after his great hustle, he is still struggling. So, instead, you should work on a no-regrets retirement plan. This is where you take care of your health first. Or else, your future health will diminish and you’ll end up literally dying/decreasing the quality of your life. Now here is my segue to the topic at hand: today is World Diabetes Day and 1 in 3 people don’t know they have diabetes. 

This should scare you. People with prediabetes have a blood sugar level that is higher than normal but are not considered diabetic. Unlike type 1 and 2, prediabetes can be reversed through healthy lifestyle changes. Unfortunately, if type 1 diabetes is left untreated, then your chances of developing type 2 increases. With type 2, severe complications occur like diseases of the heart, kidney, eye and problems with erection and nerve damage. Now, this blog is not meant to scare you too much, rather scare you straight. Like most diseases, prevention is key. When it comes to diabetes in particular, a healthy lifestyle is the key, lock and door. However, some people are predisposed to diabetes due to uncontrolled circumstances like your ethnicity and family history. So, Aboriginal, Hispanic, Asian or from African descent and/or have blood relations to someone with diabetes you should be cautious. The other slew of risk factors can only be confirmed by a doctor. But that doesn’t mean if you aren’t at a higher risk, you aren’t AT risk. In fact, the World Health Organisation predicts that diabetes will be the 7th leading cause of death by 2030.

So, where do you want to be in 2030? 

The Canadian Diabetes Association to combat WHO’s prediction hold regional events in order educate and prevent the disease. In fact, Ryerson has its own club dedicated to educating students known as the Ryerson University Chapter. But, if 1 in 3 people don’t know they have diabetes, what are the odds of someone stopping and inquiring more? That is why the club strategically held an interactive event with free games, prizes and desserts, the 4 words students gravitate to.

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The event was a great success as many students stopped by to learn more and take pictures. But I believe the RU Chapter can do more. What about a Sugar Party? Now this is bound to get students attention. A sugar party would involve the song Sugar Sugar playing in the background – for reverse psychological effect – and a health care professional that would debunk and confirm myths from facts in a casual setting. This would also allow diabetics to tell their story and connect with fellow Ryerson students.

Now let me get to the really sweet part. The CDA RU Chapter has a monthly contest that you can easily win from. This month the theme is Healthy Study Snacks where you have the chance to win 2 movie tickets! All you have to do is follow and tag @ru_cda on Instagram with your healthy study snack recipe and picture.

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What can you do now? Grab at least one friend and take the online test created by the CDA: http://www.take2minutes.ca/

It may take longer than 2 minutes for those of you who are like me and don’t know a lot of your personal information. But it is sure to be a bonding and possibly life changing experience!

*The medical and statistical information in this post comes from the Canadian Diabetes Association website.

I will end this by scaring you straight with Laura’s words:

“Unfortunately much of retirement planning today is fear driven. People are constantly being programmed to believe that their biggest concern should be running out of money. It’s so perverse and far reaching that people actually sacrifice the things that are most important to them in the hopes of fixing or addressing them once they’re financially set in retirement. The reality is, running out of money is nothing compared to running out of family, friends, health, and ultimately time.”

Engineering vs. Business: Deep Sea Mining

On Thursday, November 5th, I attended the Deep-Sea Mining Debate hosted by the Ryerson Natural Energy & Natural Resource Association (RENRA), Ryerson Speech & Debate Association (RSDA), and Ryerson Engineering Student Society (RESS). This event was hosted at the Ryerson Student Learning Centre Amphitheatre. The panel was made up of a group of business students and a group of engineering students. The topic of discussion was Deep-Sea Mining: Are you for or against it?
IMG_0316 Deep Sea Mining is a relatively new process of retrieval that is characterized by the practice of mining the ocean floors to uncover valuable metals and minerals. Such products include silver, gold, copper, manganese, cobalt, and zinc. This topic was chosen for debate as it raises a number of questions and concerns relating to whether or not its positive outcomes outweigh the potential negative implications to our environment.

During this debate, the business students’ panel advocated for the practice of deep-sea mining, highlighting its key advantages to society and focusing on the positive implications of mineral retrieval. One of the major arguments in favor of deep-sea mining included the enhancement of fossil fuel resources. With fossil fuel being an extremely useful natural resource, the increase of fossil fuel production would significantly contribute to industrial development. In turn, this would maximize the sustainability of natural resources while simultaneously contributing to the development of the industrial sector.
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One major rebuttal to a key argument against deep-sea mining that the engineering students’ panel made was its potentially negative environmental implications. There were concerns raised about the amount of damage that would result from deep-sea mining to neighbouring deep-sea ecosystems. While deep-sea mining would allow greater accessibility to valuable minerals embedded on the ocean floor, it poses high risks of disrupting deep-sea ecosystems, resulting in great potential harm to the aquatic environment. It was raised that it would be quite counter-productive to harvest the ocean floor for the retrieval of valuable and sustainable metals and minerals, while at the same time, potentially harming and disrupting another valuable ecosystem that should be protected as well.IMG_0317

This debate was thoughtful, invoking, and brought light to a recent issue with a number of positive and negative implications. It allowed students at Ryerson who attended the event to think critically about our environment and ways in which we can ensure that it will be able to provide us with sustainable, natural resources. I found this event to be of great importance as it highlighted key issues regarding our environment. It is time that we put such issues as a priority. As a community, we must be able to discuss the implications of man-made practices on our environment and work towards more sustainable and eco-friendly ways of community and industrial development. This debate sparked a number of great discussions on environmental change, bringing ecological sustainability to the forefront of the community’s priorities. I encourage everyone to consider how your actions affect the environment and how it affects the community on a larger scale. The environment is our home – let’s starting treating it that way.

The Demographics of NPO Sector Leadership Suggests that Today’s Students can Fast Track to Top Positions – but Will They Be Ready?

 

A post by guest blogger, Marilyn Struthers.

Ontario’s nonprofit sector includes 55,000 nonprofits and charities. About half are community services. Together, they employ 600,000 full-time workers and engage more than 5 million volunteers. These people are this province’s key resources in the work of helping people to build better and more secure lives.

There is an important demographic shift underway in our sector as the baby boom leaders retire, often after 30 or 40 years of experience in social movement, advocacy and service building. Young leaders must quickly assume the helm. A report by the HR Council for the nonprofit sector in 2012 estimated that 55% of executive directors would leave their current positions over the next four years; many would not remain in the sector and few boards had succession plans in place.

Leadership shift not only creates a sudden loss of organizational memory and the historical experience of the social movements that launched many social services through the late 60’s to early 80’s – what is expected of leaders is also rapidly changing. New styles of leadership are emerging in response to the drive for innovation in how we tackle social problems; a stronger focus on social outcomes; increasingly entrepreneurial approaches to funding; collaborative approaches to systems shift and the enormous connective capacity of the web.

For the last five years, the Ontario Nonprofit Network has been tracking the story of the “leadership gap” in the sector and with a number of partners has released a strategy for renewal. One of the key recommendations is for intergenerational conversations on leadership.

How nonprofit leadership is changing is the focus of the four panel Lunchbox Series RSVP HERE. Join us for intergenerational conversations among NPO leaders on how leadership, organizing practice, program financing and inclusion are changing in the work of social change. A two hour optional “deeper dive” workshop is available for each topic RSVP HERE .

Want to know more about the focus of leadership in social innovation and the intergenerational leadership within the non-profit sector? Join the Community Transformation Café conversation with the Lunchbox Series November 10 2015 at the Student Learning Centre

Inquire/RSVP here: socialinnovation.fcs.ryerson.ca/lunchbox2015

#leadershipforchange Your invited! Nov 10 How is Leadership Changing 12:00-3:15 PM #ruslc http://socialinnovation.fcs.ryerson.ca/lunchbox2015/ 

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Marilyn Struthers is the former John C. Eaton Chair of Social Innovation. She is currently the principal of Marilyn Struthers & Co. where she supports non-profits working in social innovation and social impact and coaches young leaders. She continues to support the Faculty of Community Services as Social Innovation Practice Lead. Marilyn is also a Social Innovation Fellow at the Centre on Philanthropy and Aboriginal people and a board member of Weengushk Film Institute.

 

Movember: Changing the Face of Men’s Health

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Get ready for to see hairy faces on campus for the next couple of weeks because it’s officially Movember. You may have already started seeing (or growing) facial hair for the cause.

What is Movember?

So there are some terms associated to this movement.

Firstly, there is Movember or Moustache November. It originated in Australia back in 2003, when two buddies Travis Garone and Luke Slattery came up with the idea. They found 30 men willing to attempt to resurrect the moustache and bring it back in style. The next year, due to the response the Mo (moustache) received they decided to use it to their advantage in order to raise money for a good cause. Thus the Movember Foundation was born. It is now a global charity committed to advancing the men’s health movement particularly focusing on prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health and physical activity. Since beginning it has raised over $677 million.

Next, there are Mo Bros (also known as men). The Canadian Mo Bros can sign up at https://ca.movember.com/. The idea behind Movember is that Mo Bros will start with a clean slate (in this case face) and for the next 30 days men will donate their faces. Not in the literal sense but they will use themselves as advertisement to create awareness for the cause by growing or attempting to grow the best moustache they possibly can.

Lastly, there are Mo Sistas or sisters (also known as women). Mo Sistas are important to the movement as well because they can sigh up as team captains, recruit Mo Bros, help raise funs, and encourage men to become proactive with their health. If you want to learn more about how you can help as a Mo Sista you can check out this site: https://ca.movember.com/get-involved/mo-sistas.

How to Support on Campus:

Ryerson have been supporting the movement for the past few years. Last year alone they raised $17,417.

Catch a Rams game. The Ryerson Rams Athletics has incorporated Movember into their season. The annual Movember game will be next Friday, November 13 when the Men’s Volleyball team will be taking on Waterloo. This game is also part of FREE Fridays in which every Friday varsity game in the MAC this season will feature free giveaways. Here’s the link to the game if you want to check it out https://connectru.ryerson.ca/organization/athletics/calendar/details/34033

Spread Awareness. Just talk about it, it doesn’t necessarily have to be at Ryerson but talk about men’s health in general. Try to encourage everyone, particularly the men in your lives to go to the doctor even though they may not necessarily want to or they are stubborn about it. Don’t wait until there is a problem before you go!

Donate. You can also visit the Ryerson Rams Movember Foundation team page here: http://mobro.co/ryersonathletics. It’s only been a few days so far but they have already started fundraising, you can donate to their cause through this page.

 

A Farewell Post  

This is my last post for this blog. 4 years worth of contracts and weekly posts have come to an end. Blogging each week has become part of my weekly routine and I am certain that it will take some time to get the impending deadlines out of the back of my mind. I am so happy and grateful that I had the opportunity to blog my way through university, leaving permanent markers of my personal growth throughout the 4 years. The weekly deadlines pushed me to develop content and express myself. It pushed me to be more reflective and insightful, and to take some quiet time to sit and think for myself. I was always a fan of journaling, but I never make time to do it. Thus, a more formal approach to expressing myself has been invaluable in pushing me to “just do it”.

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While it’s not nearly as personal as a journal, my blog posts became a place for me to express myself – the good, the bad and the candid. Online communities can be powerful places to dwell and though I’m not sure how many people read this blog, it is always nice to feel like you’re being heard. It’s almost like a time capsule I can look back on one day to see exactly what I was thinking at any given point in time. It’s something that my future children can look at one day, and perhaps when they too are feeling and experiencing the same things I did during post-secondary education.

 

I have fond memories of all the coffee shops I’ve visited to blog, all the times I’ve had writers block, and all the times I spent looking for the perfect photo to add to a post. Blogging became a big part of my university career, and ending this chapter of my life is one of the most concrete things that make me realize I am indeed finished my undergraduate nursing career.

 

Beyond my own head, I hope that some reader has connected with something I’ve written on here, however small it may be. Because at the end of the day, blogging has been great for me, but it’s not about me. It’s about giving a voice to students and offering up someone’s perspective on things.

 

 

Good luck to the next generation of FCS bloggers! I look forward to reading your work.

The Future: How Much Worrying is Too Much?

With completing an undergraduate degree comes an immense sense of accomplishment, but also a daunting fear of facing the unknown. If you’re anything like me, this sense of unknown is exciting, but also stress-inducing. For new graduate nurses, we must first tackle writing the NCLEX-RN licensing exam (which with 800-page “condensed” review books is a daunting task in itself) and then we must find a job. It has been reassuring to know that throughout my 4 years of nursing education that there will always be “work” for nurses, it is now becoming clear to me that the job supply does not match the healthcare needs of Canadians. In other words, many hospitals are on hiring freezes, or even cutting back on Registered Nurses; despite an imminent need for these care providers and evidence showing that more RNs = better patient outcomes. But I digress, this is an issue across the board for new graduates.

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I just spent a week obsessing over my cover letter and resume when my dream job posting became available. I was so excited to apply, but spend an absurd number of hours meticulously scrutinizing my application for any detail that didn’t sound perfect. In the end, I submitted my application but still felt an impending sense of doom that it wasn’t good enough. While it’s great to be motivated and to strive to be your best self, it’s another thing to obsess and keep yourself up at night worrying. In fact, I have come to see that this approach is counterproductive.

Thus, this week I have come to the conclusion that all you can do is try your best, and after a certain point, you have to let life take it’s course. There is no such thing as the perfect job application – instead, making your portfolio as strong as possible, networking as much as you can, and having a small bit of faith that you can do <insert whatever thing you want to do> is all that you can do. I’m all for self-efficacy and motivation, but at the end of the day, you can only do so much. The rest is left to fate, or something along those lines. So next time you catch yourself stressing about the future, ask yourself if you’ve done everything you can (within reason) to achieve a positive outcome. If you have, then rest assured knowing you have tried your best.

NCLEX Study Tips

Now that this year’s crop of nursing students are finishing up their undergraduate degrees (yours truly included), we are onto the next chapter of our lives. Before we can enter the workforce, we must successfully write the Registered Nurse listening exam – the NCLEX-RN. This test is computer adaptive (meaning that there is no set # of questions, and that each question depends on the correctness of your previous question) and is heavily based on pathology (which is unfortunately not the focus of the Ryerson course).

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Any who, here we are and now that we’re done with our academics, it is time to focus on this exam. I have started studying and 1 week in, I can confirm that it is absolutely overwhelming. There is so much (as in 80% of a 400 page textbook) that we have to teach ourselves and it’s hard to know where to even begin. I’m no expert, but here are my tried-and-true recommendations for making the most out of your studying – good luck!

 

Find a Good Group: I am more productive when I’m studying within a small group of people. There’s something about looking over at your peer who appears to be studying intently that just kicks your studying into overdrive. It is also helpful for sharing your expertise. That being said, any group too large will serve as a distraction, so choose wisely.

 

Study on Campus (If you need to): I am 10x more productive when I study on campus, and my study buddies and I are keen on booking study rooms to allow us the flexibility to chat about content without bothering others, but also to be free from the bothers of others chatting.

 

Colourful Stationary: You have to find ways to make studying more enjoyable, even if it’s only a few new sticky notes and marker pens.

 

Start With the Hard Stuff First: While you may feel extra overwhelmed if you start with a hard topic (ahem, cardiology), however it will be great to attack it when your energy levels are highest and to get it out of the way.

 

Use Different Sources: There are so many amazing videos available online to break down concepts, as well as case studies, presentations, practice questions and study sheets. Make use of all of your sources (so long as they are credible) so that you can nail the concepts. Sometimes a textbook just doesn’t cut it.