Five days before 240 nursing students are to arrive at U of T for the national Nursing Games, Meagan Noble gets an email informing her that the opening ceremony cannot be held on the King’s College Circle field. “I was told it wouldn’t be safe because the winter had really impacted the field,” lamented Noble, from the Class of 1T4.
As the games’ head co-ordinator, Noble was already waking up throughout the night with nightmares about potential glitches that could spoil the Games. And now here she was with no place to launch the games. After negotiating with U of T, though, Noble was awarded the lawn outside the chemistry building for the opening ceremony.
And on Saturday, March 22, hundreds of nursing students bundled in parkas, wrapped in scarves and topped with pom-pom hats, paraded onto the frozen strip of lawn. Noble lifted a megaphone and shouted a welcome. The students cheered. Each team had prepared a team song, and the teams were soon taking turns singing and dancing about the virtues of their particular nursing program.
The national Nursing Games is billed as “a friendly test of academic and athletic abilities.” This year, the event included a soccer match, dodge-ball game, skills challenge in our Nursing Simulation Lab and career fair. “Nursing is an academically demanding program,” says Noble. “The Nursing Games bring nursing students together to collaborate, de-stress and enjoy a weekend of fun.”
Last year, when the games were held in Windsor, only five teams and about a hundred nursing students participated. This year, 10 of our undergraduates volunteered for the Nursing Games executive and put forward a concentrated effort to assemble eight 30-student teams, including a team from the University of Ottawa, Laurentian University in Sudbury and Queen’s University in Kingston. Noble, who had worked on the games since March 2013, says, “It was basically a part-time job, I put about 20 hours a week into it and even more hours when the games got closer.”
On the Saturday evening of the Nursing Games at U of T, the executive arranged a banquet at the Radisson Hotel. Between courses, the teams answered sample questions from the Canadian Registered Nurse Examination. Last year, a group of U of T Nursing students won the challenge. This year, our reigning champions passed the honour to Queen’s nursing students.
But no one can beat the enthusiasm of the Bloomberg Nursing undergrads who organized what were likely the best Nursing Games ever.