Throughout her academic career, UWindsor student Elizabeth Dillon has demonstrated a passion for nursing.
That passion was rewarded recently — not only with a job offer from Children’s Hospital of Michigan — but with a provincial award for excellence in professional nursing practice at the undergraduate student level.
Dillon, who graduates this month, received the recognition from the Council of Ontario University Programs in Nursing.
“Elizabeth is a truly remarkable student who has had a very large impact on the students in our program and on the faculty,” wrote Susan Dennison, UWindsor’s clinical practice learning specialist, and Lacey Ecclestone, clinical lab co-ordinator, in nominating Dillon for the award.
“Everyone — faculty, staff and students — knows Elizabeth and can attest to her commitment to nursing. She is such an excellent role model, we cannot think of anyone more suitable to be recognized for this award.”
Dillon is the vice-president of the nursing society. She has been a peer mentor in the nursing faculty’s clinical learning centre, a position she earned through her excellent grades. She also serves on the faculty’s Medication and Patient Safety Advisory Committee and on the Curriculum Committee.
She is involved in student recruitment, participating in the Ontario Universities’ Fair each fall representing the university and Faculty of Nursing at the event for prospective students. She participated in both the fall and spring Open House, giving incoming students tours of the nursing facilities and talking to them about the program.
“She does not get involved just to build a resumé,” Dennison said. “She is sincerely passionate about nursing and education.”
In announcing Dillon’s win, COUPN said Dillon “exemplifies how to put nursing theory into practice” and “has demonstrated leadership and a passion for nursing far beyond her years.”
Dillon said she had no idea she had been nominated for the award until she was contacted about providing transcripts and a photo to COUPN.
The Windsor native said she was both honoured and excited to learn about the award. She said she would not have traded her UWindsor experience for anything.
“The faculty has been so supportive in allowing me to be involved in so many other things,” she said. “No other nursing program in Ontario was going to give me what I got here.”
Ontario universities graduate more than 4,500 nursing students each year. COUPN handed out seven awards this year to students, teachers, researchers and mentors across the province.
─ Sarah Sacheli