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.

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