Second-year baccalaureate student wins green essay contest

31 May 2012

BScN student Morgan Lincoln was named the winner of the Hollie Shaner-McRae Nursing Student Essay Contest, sponsored by the Health Care Without Harm Nurses Workgroup and The Luminary Project.

“To receive this award and have the opportunity to meet some of the leading nurses in environmental health was the highlight of my time in nursing school,” said Lincoln.

Lincoln is a member of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario’s (RNAO) Executive Committee of Ontario Nurses for the Environment Interest Group (ONEIG). She’s used social media, particularly Facebook, to better inform RNAO membership about environmental health issues and events, and has written articles on the topic of campus sustainability. Lincoln became president-elect of ONEIG in January. Most recently, she co-represented ONEIG at RNAO’s annual “Queen’s Park Day,” which gives nurses and nursing students the opportunity to meet with Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) to discuss health-related policy matters.

Lincoln recently completed her community nursing placement at the Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA), a grassroots advocacy group that focuses on urban environmental issues. TEA’s outreach efforts seek to build a greener and more socially equitable Toronto. Her project for the term has revolved around the implementation of light-rail transit in Toronto.

The essay contest recognizes the environmental work of Hollie Shaner-McRae, coordinator for professional nursing practice at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, VT. Applicants are asked to consider how nursing students can encourage the greening of health care by discussing the following topic: “How can nursing students foster environmentally sustainable practices in their schools of nursing, health care facilities or communities?”

Lincoln was presented the award by Monique Citro, a representative of Fletcher Allen Health Care in Vermont and colleague of Hollie Shaner-McRae who was unable to attend the CleanMed environmental conference for leaders in health care sustainability in Denver, CO.

Essay excerpt:

“Occasionally, the positions I have been afforded over the past year have also made me question whether I am qualified enough to hold leadership roles at such an early stage in my practice. When this type of self-doubt arises, I remind myself of some of the many assets that I and other nursing students bring to the burgeoning discipline of environmental health, including energy, enthusiasm, hard work, and a deep-seated belief that institutional change is possible. For these reasons, nursing students’ perspectives are invaluable to the development and evolution of the environmental health field.”