Two nursing students elected to Ohio Student Nurses’ Association Board of Directors

Photo of Kaitlyn Cantu and Christine Smothers
Kaitlyn Cantu and Christine Smothers

Students Kaitlyn Cantu and Christine Smothers, both in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, will return to the Ohio Student Nurses’ Association’s (OhSNA) Board of Directors after being elected again for the 2019-20 term.

Elected at the OhSNA’s 2019 Annual Convention, Cantu serves as organization’s health policy and advocacy director, and Smothers as the nominations and elections chair.

This will be Cantu’s third year serving on the Ohio board, having previously served as the Breakthrough to Nursing director (2017-18) and population and global health director (2018-19). Cantu is serving as the resolutions chair on the National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA) Board, and is vice president of communication on the Undergraduate Student Nurses Association Board at Case Western Reserve University.

“Any NSNA member is eligible to propose a NSNA resolution, and Kaitlyn leads the efforts to receive, prepare and pass NSNA resolutions,” Smothers said. “In April, Kaitlyn will lead the annual Resolutions Hearings at NSNA’s Annual Convention, where approximately 400 delegates discuss and vote on NSNA resolutions.”

Like Cantu, Smothers isn’t new to her leadership role.

“I’ve served with OhSNA since my freshman year, and Kaitlyn and I have served together on the OhSNA board for two years now,” Smothers said. Previously she served two terms at the health policy and advocacy director, and one as a board member.

During her previous terms in office, Smothers founded a statewide system for OhSNA members to set their organizational agenda by proposing and publishing resolutions.

“I did not expect anything less from either of these outstanding students,” said BSN Program Director Amy Bieda. “They are both on remarkable trajectories and I expect to hear great things about them in the future as professional nurses.”

Last year, Smothers also joined Cantu on the NSNA leadership team as the director and chair of the Health Policy and Advocacy Committee.

“In this role, I founded NSNA’s first Health Policy Education Task Force, bringing members together from across the country to learn about policy and create policy briefs,” Smothers said.

Educational tools launched by these CWRU nursing students are being distributed nationally to NSNA’s 60,000 plus members.

“At FPB our mission is to empower nursing leaders,” said School of Nursing Dean Carol Musil. “We are thrilled by the accomplishments of Kaitlyn and Christine, and are so pleased they have an opportunity to contribute in such a way to their professional organization.”

At the OhSNA 2019 Annual Convention, CWRU’s Undergraduate Student Nurses’ Association took home awards for Most Engaging Social Media, Most Compelling Newsletter and Empowering Resolutions, Cantu said.

“The Ohio Student Nurses’ Association has been so impactful throughout my undergraduate career, and it has shown me as well as many of my other undergraduate colleagues how important it is to get involved with shaping the legislation around our future careers,” Cantu said about her election win.

Cantu and Smothers are fourth-year BSN students graduating in May 2020.

“Our association is thrilled to have such energetic and compassionate women and nursing students represent us for the upcoming year,” said Alexandria Taylor, OhSNA president, in a letter to the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing. “We are positive that they will uphold the mission and values of the Ohio Student Nurses Association as well as their nursing programs.”