Nursing Society re-elects last year’s president

Palmeri began second term this January

President Palmeri (left) and Vice President Mittegaal (right) are the NSS executive for the 2016 calendar year.
Supplied by Alexandra Palmeri

While most faculty societies are preparing for elections this week, nursing students have already elected their student society’s executive — with their President returning for an unprecedented second year in office.

The uncontested election, which took place in late November, saw the re-election of previous Nursing Science Society (NSS) President Alexandra Palmeri and new Vice-President (University Affairs) Courtney Middegaal, both Nurs ’17.

In the NSS, executive teams serve a term from January to December rather than a term that lasts for an academic year. They use this model due to scheduling conflicts caused by the fourth-year nursing consolidation placement program.

In the consolidation program, students work in a job placement during the second semester of their final year. The placement is full-time and students are often placed at medical facilities outside of Kingston.

“It would be physically impossible for anyone to do anything outside of consolidation during that period,” Palmeri said. The society developed the NSS calendar-year model to avoid those conflicts.

Although the NSS allows candidates to serve two terms if re-elected, Palmeri said she’s the first person to her knowledge to serve two years back-to-back.

Palmeri has been involved in the NSS since she arrived on campus. Before she began her first year at Queen’s in 2013, she applied for a position as the society’s first internal operations intern — and was hired for it.

“It was a transformative experience. I fell in love with NSS, I fell in love with my program, and just so inspired ... that’s when I knew this was what I wanted to do, for as long as I could at least,” she said.

Palmeri said she’s immensely proud of the transparency and involvement of the NSS during her term in 2015, a sentiment she says has been echoed by students, faculty and alumni in feedback consultations. Highlights of the past year included the creation of a peer tutoring system for first-year students and a National Nursing Students’ Week focused on self-care, she said.

Palmeri added that while she’s continuing in her role as president, she’s looking forward to working with her new vice-president, Middegaal.

Middegaal served as Head Cape — the head of Nursing Orientation Week — for the 2015-2016 school year.

“She has a great deal of professionalism, but is also very warm. She is the smiling face that you do feel comfortable approaching,” Palmeri said.

Palmeri said the pair have exciting plans in the works for the 2016 term.

“With my whole heart, I know it will be our most impactful year yet.” 

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