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

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:

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:

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:

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