Kudos 2019SS

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Suzanne Campbell has been designated as one of the first Certified Canadian Simulation Nurse Educators (CCSNE) by the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing. Dr Campbell and her fellow editors were recognized by the American Journal of Nursing (AJN) Book of the Year Awards, earning second place for Core Curriculum for Interdisciplinary Lactation Care.
Elizabeth Saewyc has been named a Sigma Theta Tau Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame Honouree for 2019. Dr Saewyc is the only researcher from Canada among 22 others who will be inducted to the Hall of Fame at the 30th International Nursing Research Congress in Calgary in July.
Vicky Bungay was awarded an Excellence in Advancing Nursing Knowledge and Research Award at the 2018 Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of BC (NNPBC) ceremony on December 17, 2018.

Helen Brown received an Excellence in Nursing Education Award from the NNPBC at the same event.

Also at the NNPBC event to accept their awards were School of Nursing alumni Silvia Nobrega, RN, BScN, BA, MSN (2016) Excellence in Nursing Education; Jacqueline Lum, MN-NP(F) (2011) Excellence in Nursing Practice Award; Jenifer Tabamo, RN, BSN, MSN (2015) Innovation in Nursing Award; and Jessica Kwanxwalaogwa Key, RN (2017) Rising Star Award.

Lillian Hung was awarded 2018 Gobal Qualitative Nursing Research Best Paper Award in the methods category for Using Video-Reflexive Ethnography to Engage Hospital Staff to Improve Dementia Care.
Emily Jenkins, her University of Calgary colleague Rebecca Haines-Saah, and their research partners, including youth representatives, received federal funding for cannabis research to build tools to reduce the potential harms of cannabis use among youth.

Stigma and Resilience Among Vulnerable Youth Centre (SARAVYC) research team members and Dr Elizabeth Saewyc were awarded the Robert H Durant Award for Statistical Rigor and Innovation from the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM). On March 8, 2019 at the SAHM Annual Meeting this award was given for the innovative new SLEPHI method for evaluating population health interventions.

On May 17, 2019 the Public Health Agency of Canada announced that SARAVYC will receive a grant worth almost one million dollars over five years for a project that will help LGBT youth to establish positive and healthy relationships.

Peggy Chinn is a nurse scholar and activist who has pushed boundaries in social justice advocacy and scholarship, including rights of women and children, ethnic and racialized minorities and the LGBTQ community. On May 30, during UBC’s 2019 convocation, she received the degree Doctor of Science, Honoris Causa.

Congress 2019

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Congress 2019

Icons, Trailblazers, and Symbols of Virtue: Nurses in Public Memory

The audience of students, scholars and community members at the opening of the round table.

The panel members engaged in discussion during the open session.











The joint conference of the Canadian Society for the History of Medicine and the Canadian Association for the History of Nursing, held during the Congress 2019 at UBC from June 1 – 3, was host to a special program celebrating the centenary of the UBC School of Nursing. In a pre-lunch seminar session Geertje Boschma (UBC) and Margaret Scaia (UVic) examined the beginning decades of the first nursing degree program in Canada. They highlighted the contextual influences of public health and higher education that shaped the course of the degree program, and explored its meaning for women who took the program in the 1950s and 1970s. Following a festive luncheon, sponsored by the UBC School of Nursing and the Consortium for Nursing History Inquiry, the program concluded with an open, interdisciplinary round table session on the commemoration of nurses in public memory, entitled “Icons, Trail-blazers and Symbols of Virtue.” Five presenters – Jill Campbell-Miller (Carleton University), Sioban Nelson (University of Toronto), Sarah Glassford (Prov. Archives of New Brunswick), Andrea Mcenzie (York University) and Peter Twohig (St. Mary’s University) explored the multiple uses of commemoration in and of nursing and caring work and engaged the audience in vivid debate on commemoration, nursing, and professional history.

Twin Sisters

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Twin Sisters are Amazing Alumni
Honoured by NNPBC


Jenifer Tabamo – MSN, 2015 Jacqueline Lum – MN-NP, 2011

Jenifer Tabamo (l) and Jacqueline Lum (r) pose at the 2018 Nurses and Nurse Practioners of BC award celebrations with their mother, Maria Roman, who is an LPN at Vancouver Coastal Health Banfield Pavilion. Photo: Joseph Tabamo.


During the 2018 Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of BC (NNPBC) ceremony on December 17, 2018 at the Sheraton Hotel in Vancouver, the NNPBC “recognized the contributions of nurses to the transformation of the Canadian health care system and their impact on the daily lives of British Columbians.” Some of the individuals being honoured are affiliated with the School (see Kudos page 18), and of those, two of our alumni are twin sisters, Jenifer Tabamo and Jacqueline Lum. Below are excerpts from the program of the evening. For full bios of all our faculty and alumni honoured by the NNPBC as well as pictures of the event, please visit: www.nnpbc.com/programs-and-services/awards-and-recognition/nursing-awards.

Innovation in Nursing Award

Jenifer Tabamo is clinical nurse specialist and innovative and visionary leader at Vancouver General Hospital who advances nursing practice in the care of complex adult and older adult patients in the medicine program. She has extensive clinical background in acute medicine, critical care, gerontology and dementia care. She graduated from UBC with an MSN with specialized focus in advanced practice nursing clinical nurse specialist role, leadership and education streams in 2015, and is certified in both medical-surgical and gerontology nursing specialties through the Canadian Nursing Association (CNA) certification and credentialing program.
Through Jenifer’s research, she facilitates critical dialogues with patients, families, and care staff, leads integration of evidence into practice and shapes the future of hospital care.

Excellence in Nursing Practice

Jacqueline Lum exemplifies advanced practice by integrating both the science and art of nursing. She has over ten years experience and training in critical care and acute medicine. She graduated with distinction from our Master of Nursing-Nurse Practitioner program in 2011. She successfully trained for the six-month acute care cardiac-surgery NP post-graduate fellowship program, the first of its kind in Canada, and worked in Royal Columbian Hospital (RCH) cardiac surgery units as one of its very first NPs.
Through her research works, Jacqueline participates in peer and self-reviews to assess, evaluate and discover impact of cardiac services at the client, community and population level and shares these findings across broad avenues. In addition, patients and families praise her high standards and compassionate presence.


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The Role of Nursing in Promoting the Health of Indigenous Peoples


Indigenous Cultural Safety Strategic Initiatives

On March 26, 2019, guests gathered in the Sty-Wet-Tan Great Hall at the First Nations Longhouse at UBC to consider and discuss the role of nursing in the promotion of health for Indigenous peoples.
Helen Brown, the chair of the newly minted Indigenous Cultural Safety and Strategic Initiatives (ICSSI) committee at the School of Nursing, introduced Elder Thelma Stogan and her brother, Arthur, who attended on behalf of the Musqueam Band. They revealed how their memories of family and tradition weave into the fabric of the land and the history of the building. They reminded us to raise our hands in recognition of and honour to the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations on whose unceded territories the people at Point Grey live, meet, work, and play.

Margaret Moss, our newest associate professor and Director of the First Nations House of Learning, gave a detailed description of the Sty-Wet-Tan Great Hall and its remarkable house posts (see inset). The carvings bring a sense of history and tradition to a relatively new building. A place of awe, strength, and respect, it was a fitting venue for the members in the circle of voices to speak their truths and be heard.

Elizabeth Saewyc, Director of the School, underscored the importance of sharing all perspectives, not only those voices in praise of nursing, but also those offering first-hand knowledge of how health systems have impaired the promotion of health among Indigenous peoples.

Elder Roberta Price united the attendees and speakers in a traditional blessing and then joined the Circle of Voices for the dialogue. Seated with her were Dawn Tisdale, RN, UBC MSN student; Margaret Moss, UBC Faculty; Tania Dick, RN MSN-NP, UBC Alumni; and Becky Palmer, RN, PhD and Chief Nursing Officer for First Nations Health Authority.

Prompted by a single question, the stories came: hesitant at first, testing, and then pouring forth. Dawn spoke of justice, action, and global initiatives for anti-racism. She spoke of hope, confidence, and the power of 20 million nurses worldwide, learning from the intimate relationships they build with people. The opportunities exist, she believes, to open the practice of health care to new ideas. Instead, those who attempt to reform and redefine health care practices to reject stigma and prejudice, face walls of suspicion and habit, opposition to change, and resistance to cultural safety.

Margaret compared American and Canadian health care and told stories from the perspective of both patient and nurse. As a patient in the United States, her self-identity was not merely unrecognized, but replaced. On admission forms she had identified as an enrolled Tribal member but her discharge papers claimed she was “White.” “We are not just invisible,” she said, “we are erased. That is important because it means we are denied ‘culturally competent care.’”

Margaret went on to elaborate that this idea of competency “needs to be flushed from the literature.” As a nurse, she has been required to take courses to gain competence for caring for people of “other cultures.” The materials presuppose a classroom filled with all-white nurses, but she has already gained those skills from lived experience. “Do I feel competent to care for white people? No one ever asks. If a professional is following the tenets of nursing, they look at the whole – mind, body, and spirit – that is how Indigenous cultures all over the world already approach health care.”

Tania opened her dialogue by stating “It’s hard to find positives.” She needed to look no further than the story of Brian Sinclair to illustrate the problems infecting the health care process for Indigenous people. And, unfortunately, she was also able to relate the tale of an aunt whose story echoed Brian’s. In both cases, and countless others, they were labelled “drunken Indians” and ignored, failing to receive the treatment that would have saved them, and dying in the waiting room as health professionals passed by, or at home where they were sent to ”sleep it off.” “Every community has this story,” she added, calling for “changing the heart of society, one nurse at a time.”

Tania recognized that “pockets of champions” exist, but they are too few and often absent from the field where support is required for Indigenous nurses and patients. Every day, Tania said, she is “pushed back and down and space is taken away.” She noted that the first step in achieving Truth and Reconciliation is for each Canadian to recognize their own role.

Becky reflected on the challenges currently in place for nurses, nurse educators, and researchers. She promoted “nothing about us without us” in which Indigenous representatives sit in partnership with others to plan ways of “shifting the mental map.” Learners must be leaders, open to a new way that invites the holistic method of health care, incorporating it at a systems-level to end discrimination.

Elder Roberta told the story of how, while watching a documentary about Nanaimo Indian Hospital, awful memories of being in that hospital—memories she did not even know she had—resurfaced. Over the years, as she transformed from stolen child to respected elder, her relationship to hospitals also changed, but not without continuing challenges. Having an elder present at the bedside of a patient at one time involved a complicated process that sometimes took so long the patient was discharged before the elder had arrived. Elder Roberta has been part of necessary changes in hospital systems so that now, as part of a spiritual care team, she receives calls directly whenever needed. However, even that advancement is not absolute. She explained that once, she had been wandering the hospital halls looking for a patient. No nurse engaged with her, but rather, viewed her with suspicion. Finally, a non-Indigenous person recognized and affirmed her right to be there. Only then was she seen as beloved Elder Roberta. Looks of suspicion changed to welcome, and reticence changed to helpfulness.

Each speaker in the Circle of Voices expressed the value and necessity of an Indigenous perspective in the health care system. However, confidence in that value is challenged by the harsh inequities in the field. Despite little evidence of moving forward, these nurses constantly endure, challenge, and resist. Their difficult work is more disheartening when their own likeness is rarely mirrored back in the faces of colleagues, mentors, co-workers, or authorities. These leaders are tired, but strong. They have to be. They devote themselves to blazing the trail, uplifted by the hope that in doing so, others may walk behind with less effort.

In closing their session, members of the Circle of Voices expressed gratitude for the opportunity to speak their truths, but made it clear that this is only the beginning. Not only do Indigenous patients suffer indignity in the health care system, but Indigenous health care professionals also face significant barriers to success and progress. Those barriers need to be recognized before they can be removed.

Every day, racism undermines workplace comfort for nurses and prevents proper care for patients, yet it goes unnoticed and unchallenged. The voices from this circle call on nurses to recognize and address such conduct. Stories such as theirs are the stories that need to be heard, believed, and acted upon. “There can be no reconciliation without truth.”

The stunning house posts in the Sty-Wet-Tan (Spirit of the West Wind) Great Hall are the offerings of artists from several First Nations as a reminder of the diversity inherent among the people who use the space. The Raven with spindle whorl, carved by Susan Point (Musqueam), evokes the dual nature of trickster-creator. Lyle Wilson (Haisla) represented his clan houses in a Beaver and Eagle. Chief Walter Harris, in partnership with his son Rodney (Gitskan artists from Kispiox), honoured his mother’s clan with a Wolf and Wolf Pup. Stan Bevan (Tahltan-Tlingit-Tsimshian) with Ken McNeil (Tahltan-Tlingit-Nisga’a) imagined the uniting of the spirits of Man with Raven as the giver of knowledge.



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Medical Assistance in Dying


Since June 2016, it has been legal in Canada for an eligible person suffering intolerably from a grievous and irremediable medical condition to request assistance from a doctor or nurse practitioner in voluntarily ending their life. Nevertheless, ensuring that the Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) care option is accessible and equitable to British Columbians is an ongoing process.

In March 2019, the UBC School of Nursing’s Dr Sally Thorne moderated a dialogue with a clinical nurse specialist (Laurel Plewes), nurse practitioner (Pamela Trant), nurse ethicist (Dr Paddy Rodney), and researcher (Dr Barb Pesut) to explore the nuances of this health care landscape almost three years after the initial legislative changes.

As a pediatric palliative care nurse on the brink of completing her MSN at UBC on the topic of assisted dying legislation, Laurel Plewes was the first nurse recruited to the Assisted Dying Program when Vancouver Coastal Health launched it in January 2017.

In that role, Plewes is front row to the full spectrum of contexts in which MAiD is provided. In the most well-managed cases, a nursing leader supports nursing staff through the process of understanding and enacting care options. When this support happens, patients are guided through the process unconstrained by administrative burdens or situational tensions, nursing staff report feeling comfortable to engage with the process and debrief with colleagues and leaders, and families can focus on saying farewell and grieving. When the process goes poorly, this can often be attributed to nursing leaders failing to engage or failing to invite another leader to respond. These leadership gaps can result in staff becoming conflicted or even divided while patients and families are left to advocate for themselves.

“Nursing has a massive part to play in the patient outcome, the family outcome, and the staff feelings about this care option,” explained Plewes. She therefore urges all nurses— regardless of their specialties—to equip themselves to respond compassionately and knowledgeably when queries about MAiD arise.

In Canada, nurses and Nurse Practitioners (NPs) play a key role in MAiD, and nursing has been “at the table” in the ongoing policy dialogue from the beginning. NPs can do the assessment, prescribing, and the provision of assisted dying. It is one of the few areas where NPs do not have physician oversight other than specialist consults as needed.

NP Pamela Trant is the first to applaud that the legislation makes it possible to help someone truly suffering towards the end of their life. “It’s absolutely remarkable that we have this option in Canada now. Modern medicine has tinkered with people’s health so much to give longevity of life, but we haven’t offered quality of life in all cases,” she adds.

Canadian legislation sets out the eligibility requirements for MAiD, the procedural safeguards for protecting patients, and the process by which MAiD can be provided. Important as they are, these can also create substantial administrative processes and logistical hurdles, and some patients are still not eligible. In particular, requests from mature minors, advance requests from patients not yet incapacitated, and requests where existential suffering from mental illness is the sole underlying concern remain ineligible.

The federal government tasked the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) with interpreting the available evidence to inform future decisions regarding these three patient groups. Dr Paddy Rodney, an associate professor in the UBC School of Nursing, was recruited to contribute to this complex evidence assessment process. The reports are now available on the CCA website.

Reflecting on that experience, Dr Rodney highlighted the ongoing challenges of expanding the availability of MAiD to Canadians while access to comprehensive palliative and chronic care services is still inadequate. She also advocated for ongoing work to prepare supports for patients, their families, and care providers to make ethical decisions about MAiD, including supports for those who conscientiously object to MAiD.

Dr Barb Pesut, a UBCO Nursing Professor and Canada Research Chair, shared preliminary results from the ongoing program of research she leads on nurses’ engagement with MAiD. In addition to the many requirements associated with MAiD assessment and coordination of provision, nurses are having to establish an intimate rapport with clients more quickly, learn to say goodbye to patients more explicitly, and monitor for capacity while providing high quality pain and symptom management.

Dr Pesut shared that the emotional response a nurse may have to a MAiD experience can be “unpredictable and ineffable.” Some nurses in a study she is co-leading with Dr Thorne have considered the moral labour associated with MAID to be so difficult that they may need to leave their profession or change positions, while others have found supporting patients through MAiD to be among the most important nursing work of their careers.

The role of “orchestrating death” can be a fraught one for even the most experienced nurses—from ensuring patient autonomy throughout a complex leave-taking journey, to upsetting the normal order of not knowing when death will occur, to witnessing the startling greying of patients’ complexions that happens when medication is delivered.

For many nurses, this work is only possible through strong teams and their own supportive families. It is deeply dependent on nurses’ willingness to revisit their reasons for working at the threshold of life and death. Dr Pesut describes nurses’ engagement with MAiD as reconciling the malleable influences of intuition, reasoning, and experience.

As the legislative framework changes to enable more Canadians to access a wider range of care options as they near the end of life, nursing will continue to be at the forefront of promoting safe, compassionate, competent, and ethical care.

To listen to the recorded session: nursing.ubc.ca/MAIDdialogues

EDGE 2019

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EDGE Festival:

Nursing in the Arts and Films


Photos: Nicolas El Haik-Wagner


During the school’s centenary, arts in nursing took the stage. A February 6 lunch and learn session at the school introduced guest speaker M. K. Czerwiec who considered the idea of Comics in Nursing, asking “Can Comics Make Us Better Caregivers?” More: comicnurse.com/book/taking-turns/.

In past years, the Edge Festival has exclusively showcased nursing research films. This year, several research projects and teaching tools have been introduced that were not part of a research film, but which were worthy of sharing. In this, its third year, and to celebrate UBC Nursing’s centenary, Edge Festival moved to VanCity theatre in downtown Vancouver. In keeping with the venue’s history as a movie theatre, organizers sought out new films to present by initiating a short film competition. Several films won the opportunity to be showcased at Edge. Organizers also opened up the festival to multi-media works by trans youths and a demonstration of forum theatre by Cognitive Rehearsal to Address Bullying (C.R.A.B.). The youths’ works included poetry, paintings, and a board game, all of which were on display during the intermission. C.R.A.B. performers, in partnership with Tom Scholte of the UBC Department of Theatre and Film, offered short demonstrations of forum theatre, a tool for problem-solving and practicing techniques to diffuse problematic real world situations – in the case of C.R.A.B, to reduce bullying in the workplace.

For more information, visit our main site: https://nursing.ubc.ca/research/video-archive

Students in Community

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Measles and Social Pediatrics


In 1919, as plans for the School of Nursing were coming to fruition, Canada was at the height of the devastating influenza outbreak that followed the First World War. Then, in 1927, Assistant Professor Mabel Gray—who eventually took the role of director of the school—published her research in The Canadian Nurse using a recent measles outbreak at UBC “as an example of the nurse’s work in this special field.” She called her paper “The Place of the Public Health Nurse is Epidemiology.” Now, even after seeing an abatement in measles through a decades-long program of prevention and immunization, the disease has made a comeback. These epidemics form the battlefields on which public health nurses wage their war against disease through educating, comforting, and protecting with immunization.

The most recent measles outbreak reached Vancouver this past winter and the public school that was in the thick of it all was in the Ravensong Community Health area. One Friday in February, UBC nursing students in community (Social Pediatrics) stepped into action, assisting the public health nurses (PHN) in the school clinics.
Some students have also been conducting health promotion education on vaccination in a variety of settings in this area.

The public health nursing mandate has always been prevention of communicable diseases through educating families and providing protection through immunizations. Nursing educators are also using the recent outbreak to underline theory, lecturing on communicable disease to nursing students during the winter session. It is also used as an example to illustrate nursing’s role in management of outbreaks and to underline the importance of immunization.

For further information about the importance of vaccinating for measles, watch the World Health Organization’s fabulous video from 2004 available free online called “Fragile Lives” revolving around one family’s experience with measles in Ireland. (Part 4: Rejection bit.ly/WHOPart4).

ITCH Awards


Two of our recent MSN graduates, Raji Nibber and Patrina Lo, won first and third prizes for best student poster at Information Technology and Communications in Health (ITCH) in Victoria on February 14, 2019. Thirty student posters were presented from Canada, US, and the UK. The best poster event was sponsored by Canada Health Infoway. It was a great night!

Patrina Lo and Raji Nibber pose with their winning posters at ITCH in Victoria on February 14.

Raji Nibber completed her Scholarly Practice Advancement Research (SPAR) in Aug 2018, and at ITCH, took first prize for her poster entitled: A Rapid Review of Psychometric Properties of Instruments that Measure Informatics Competencies for Practicing Nurses.

Patrina Lo completed her thesis in Oct 2018, and won third prize for her poster entitled: Patterns of Action Items in an Electronic Handover Tool.

Two other students presented posters: Jillisa Byard, MSN Oct 2018 and Abdul-fatuwa Abdulai, PhD student. Jillisa then presented her findings during a Canada Health Infoway Webinar on March 27, 2019.

Submitted by Leanne M. Currie
Associate Professor

New Electives


The principles for long-lasting satisfaction like social connectedness, expression of gratitude, living in the present, daily workout, and sufficient sleep, are essential for building an emotionally rich and balanced life. Around the world, educational institutions from elementary schools through post-secondary are introducing methods for building that balance right into the curricula. The School of Nursing’s new electives offer additional tools for creating balance in the life of all students at UBC.

Check out NURS 180 Stress and Strategies to Promote WellbeingNURS 280 Human Sexual Health, and NURS 290 Health Impacts of Climate Change to see how the school is offering the UBC student community fresh initiatives for a balanced life: nursing.ubc.ca/electives.

Student Leadership

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Recognition of Student Leadership

Lara Gurney

[L-R]: Bud Stapleton (Sharon’s father); Sandra Stapleton (Sharon’s sister); Lara Gurney, RN; Geoff Davenport (Sharon’s husband). Photo provided by Lara Gurney.

The UBC School of Nursing extends our sincere congratulations to Lara Gurney, a graduate student who was recently awarded the Sharon Stapleton Memorial Leadership Fund.

Lara is currently an Emergency Nurse Clinician, with a strong focus and background in Critical Care Nursing, at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH). In addition, she is currently completing her thesis—on a very unique approach to curbing nurses’ emotional fatigue in critical care settings. At VGH, she initiated the Patient Stories Project (PSP) as a means to address burnout and to cultivate positivity in the workplace. The PSP aims to accomplish this by acknowledging nurse achievements in the critical care environment.

Burnout is prevalent among nursing staff in critical care units, and exerts significant influence on job dissatisfaction, absenteeism, and high staff turnover rates. This syndrome is characterized by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment. It is common among occupations that involve extensive interactions with others and chronic exposure to workplace stressors such as anxiety, physical labour, and shift work.

Through the PSP, patients are provided with the opportunity to share with the nurses and the health care team their recovery and personal life accomplishments since hospital discharge. This story-telling project has the potential to offer meaningful enrichment for both parties involved. Nurses are reminded of the value of their profession while patients are prompted to reflect on their recovery progress. When nurses are able to derive meaning from their work, they are less likely to exhibit burnout symptoms, promoting better quality patient care.

Congratulations Lara!


VGH Nurses Say ...

  • “[The PSP] reminds us of the importance of our jobs; everything we do is important even when we feel it is not."

  • “[The PSP] helps humanize the experience and bring explicit meaning to what we do.”

  • “Reading patients’ stories gives me a sense of pride in what my colleagues and I do and acknowledges that our efforts do pay off.”

Chantelle Recsky

Chantelle Recsky, doctoral student at the School of Nursing, was awarded the Canadian Nurses Foundation “Dr Kathryn J Hannah’s Nursing Informatics Scholarship” at the eHealth Conference in Toronto on May 27, 2019.

This is a highly visible award in the informatics community and we are extremely excited about Chantelle’s achievement. As part of the award, she will present her research in a webinar to the Canadian Nursing Informatics Association.

Pulse and Puppies

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Undergrad Project to Master’s Research

Pulse and Puppies

Photo provided by Kelsi Jessamine


Kelsi Jessamine’s undergraduate “synthesis project” (in which students bring what they are learning into real-world scenarios) offered free pet care to vulnerable folk and their companions (featured on p.15 of Touchpoints Spring/Summer 2017). Her master’s research carries on with her passion to bridge the gap between marginalized communities and the health care system.

For more, read our web-story researched and written by work-learn student Nicolas El Haïk-Wagner: nursing.ubc.ca/pulse-and-puppies.

Update: On July 15, 2019, Kelsi received the City of Vancouver’s Civic Volunteer Award on behalf of the CVO organization. Read about the award here: https://nursing.ubc.ca/cvo-award

GSNA Symposium 2019

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Seventh Annual GSNA Symposium


Local Engagement for Global Health Change

The UBC Graduate Students in Nursing Association (GSNA) held its seventh Annual Graduate Student Research Symposium “Local Engagement for Global Health Change.” Hosted in the beautiful Great Hall of the AMS Nest, the event was kicked off by Dr Elizabeth Saewyc with an exciting launch of the Nursing Now BC campaign. This was followed by a warm Territorial Welcome by Elder Thelma Stogan and her brother. The inspiring morning continued, with the event’s keynote speaker Dr Marilou Gagnon from the University of Victoria, who used her work with harm reduction as a case study for the linkage between local and global health change. We also had the wonderful opportunity to be absolutely blown away by 13 Oral and seven poster presentations facilitated by graduate and senior undergraduate students from a myriad of schools of nursing including UBC, University of Victoria, University of the Fraser Valley, Trinity Western University, Douglas College, and Langara College. While rich conversations and networking were filling up all the ‘in-between’ moments, every member of the audience was engaged in a meaningful afternoon plenary session that featured a panel discussion on “Challenging Assumptions of Global Health Approaches.” Our impressive panel featured UBC School of Nursing’s own MSN student Dawn Tisdale, Dr Prince Adu from the UBC School of Population and Public Health, Gwyneth McIntosh, a nurse practitioner working with the RICHER team in the Vancouver community, and the session’s moderator Paisly Symenuk who is a UBC MSN/MPH student. We were honoured to have Elder Roberta Price share her unique ceremonial closing to the day that left everyone inspired and with a breath of fresh air!

At the Graduate Research Symposium the launch of Nursing Now BC group was announced as a partnership between UBC School of Nursing, University of Victoria School of Nursing, and Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of BC to raise awareness and leadership of Nursing for Health for All. / Photo: Gabriel Morosan


We are so thrilled to have had such a successful event and we are beyond thankful to the UBC School of Nursing, the volunteers who dedicated their time to help out during the event, our sponsors, student presenters, and guests for participating and making all the moments of the day special in every way! On behalf of the GSNA I would like to extend our warmest thanks and we look forward to engaging with you all once again at next year’s symposium!

Submitted by Raluca Radu, MSN student and President, Graduate Student Nurses Association