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Touchpoints Apr 1, 2006

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Array January 2006
School of
1 The Scholarship of Application
2 Raising the Bar
A Covenant for the Future of
Health Care
3 New Faces in Research
Patricia Rodney
Victoria Smye
4 Development
Happy Birthday, Miss Nightingale
5 Undergraduate Profile
Living the Nursing Role
6 Graduate Profile
Wrestling with Matters of the Spirit
7 Clinical Practice Innovation
A "Joint" Initiative to Improve
Health Care
8 Teaching Excellence
Teaching from the Heart
The Scholarship of Application
Dr. Sally Thorne
The UBC School of Nursing subscribes to the comprehensive definition of
professional scholarship adopted by the Canadian Association of Schools
of Nursing (CASN).1 Although certain forms of nursing scholarship, such
as research, seem self-evident, the scholarly element of such activities
as teaching and application is often less visible. One form of professional
scholarship that we are very proud of within the School is referred to as
the "scholarship of application." This involves the advancement of clinical
knowledge within the discipline through the engagement of educators
and practitioners in expert practice initiatives—such things as developing
practice standards, creating clinical demonstration projects and initiating
changes within service delivery models.
Among the many faculty who work closely
with their clinical partners and model the
scholarship of application is Paula Tognazzini
who works closely with multiple partners in
Vancouver Coastal Health and the Vancouver
School Board, involving UBC undergraduate
students in screening efforts to detect depression in children and youth and in creating
strategies for health education, referral, follow-
up and suicide prevention, continued on page 4 Raising the Bar
A Covenant for the Future of Health Care
In his response to the Throne Speech on October 6, 2004, Prime
Minister Paul Martin announced the formation of a new Canadian
Academy of Health Sciences. This Academy would join the
Canadian Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society of Canada
in constituting the Canadian Academies of Science. "The new
Academies of Science will be a source of expert advice on scientific
aspects of important domestic and international issues, and will
give our country a prestigious voice among the choir of international
science groups," said Martin.
Almost a year later, the inaugural meeting
of the newly formed Canadian Academy of
Health Science (CAHS) was held in Vancouver
on September 21-22, 2005. On that historic
occasion, the Honourable Ujjal Dosanjh,
Federal Minister of Health, inducted 175
Canadian health science leaders into
the academy as fellows. Included in this
number were 12 nurse scientists, three of
whom are members of the faculty of the
UBC School of Nursing: Dr. Joy Johnson, Dr.
Joan Bottorff (now Dean of Health Sciences
at UBC Okanagan) and Dr. Sally Thorne.
Operating independently of government and
industry, CAHS will generate timely, informed
and strategic assessment on urgent health
care issues; develop sound and informed
public policy related to these issues; and
survey global health-related events to enhance
Canada's state of readiness for the future.
Made up of members of a wide range of
health science disciplines, including medicine,
pharmacy, dentistry, rehabilitation sciences
and nursing, it will become a singular organization capable of representing the broad
diversity of health sciences on these matters
of strategic policy important to the people
of Canada. "We believe it has the ability to
address key policy issues from a unique and
neutral ground," says Dr. Paul Armstrong,
CAHS President, "free of the advocacy agendas that characterize many existing
advisory groups."
"I am excited about the fact that the CAHS
includes the full breadth of the health sciences in the academy," says Dr. Joy Johnson,
Professor and Associate Director of Graduate
Programs & Research at the UBC School
of Nursing. "Currently there are many issues
facing the health care system. Among these
issues are the increasing health disparities,
waiting lists for health services and the place
of stem cell research. The CAHS will offer
a credible and expert assessment of these
types of issues."
"I see CAHS as an opportunity for the health
science research community to expand its current capacity to advise national policy on
matters that are complex and require expert
analysis, synthesis and interpretation," says
Dr. Sally Thorne, Director of the UBC School
of Nursing. "As members of the academy, we
will have the opportunity to work with our
senior nurse researcher colleagues from other
provinces and diverse interdisciplinary health
science teams to assess the available knowledge that can be brought to bear on resolving
some of the more complex and challenging
problems facing the Canadian health care
system, including issues of equity, ethics,
resource allocation and public policy."
Fellows elected to the Academy are nationally
and internationally recognized by their peers
for their contributions to the promotion of the
health sciences. They must demonstrate
leadership, creativity, distinct competencies
and a commitment to advance the
scholarship of health sciences. According to
its mandate, "Election to fellowship in the
Academy is considered one of the highest honours for individuals in the Canadian health
sciences community and carries with it a
covenant to serve the Academy and the future
well being of the health sciences irrespective
of the fellow's specific discipline." The UBC
School of Nursing is privileged to play such a
prominent role in bringing the voice of nursing
into this unique opportunity to serve Canada. New Faces in Research
Patricia Rodney
Nurse ethicist Dr. Patricia (Paddy) Rodney,
PhD, RN, joined the School of Nursing to take
up a position as Associate Professor on
October 1, 2005.
"There is an overarching search for social
justice in all of my work," says Paddy.
Fascinated with ethical questions from the outset of her nursing career in the late 1970s,
Paddy watched the development of technology
in coronary care. She noticed that, although
there was excitement about the prospects of
technological advances, rarely were people asking such questions as whether it was for the
right reasons. In her master's program at UBC,
Paddy studied the perspective of critical care
nurses on extending the dying of patients.
"That experience deepened my interest in ethical practice, philosophy and theory in nursing,
methodologies and qualitative research." One
of the first two doctoral students in nursing at
the UBC School of Nursing, Paddy went on
to study the ethical practice of nurses
who confronted moral challenges on acute
medical units.
Over several years as a faculty member at
the University of Victoria, Paddy has retained a
passion for issues of ethical inquiry. Her current research involves her in a broad range of
challenges such as the moral climate for
nursing practice, end-of-life decision-making,
cross-cultural ethics, and the creation of an
ethical framework for health policy across
Canada. Now supported with national funding,
Paddy's current research poses such questions as: "What supports good practice?"
and "What makes for better experiences for
families and patients?" One of Paddy's recent
end-of-life decision-making projects has
resulted in a DVD, produced in conjunction
with the Canadian Bioethics Society,
entitled "Giving Bad News." "If you're going to
do it well," says Paddy, "it's not just a matter
of what you do, but what you need to know as
a care provider." Paddy is excited to be back
at UBC to continue her development as a
researcher and educator. "I'm always looking
for ways to engage in the topic of fostering
ethical practice in any course I teach, whether
it be starting into a subject inductively with
nursing students or co-teaching courses
through the College of Health Disciplines."
The School is thrilled to have her nationally
prominent ethics leadership an embedded
part of our community, and welcomes
her "back home."
Victoria Smye
Dr. Victoria (Vicki) Smye, PhD, RN, a researcher
in the field of social justice and access to mental health and addictions services for Aboriginal
peoples, joined the School as Assistant
Professor on September 1, 2005. Vicki's trajectory toward becoming focussed in these fields
grew out of a psychology class in women's
issues during her undergraduate studies. This
early learning experience led her to a study
focus in the area of eating disorders during her
master's work. It was during this time that
she developed an interest in critical feminist
approaches to women's health. After briefly
working as a manager in the area of HIV/AIDS
in public health, Vicki had an opportunity
to work as the clinical nurse specialist in mental health in the Eating Disorder Clinic at St.
Paul's Hospital, "and I never looked back,"
says Vicki. Eventually, as Provincial Nursing
Coordinator, Eating Disorders, Vicki began
to see the problem of access to health care
on a much larger scale. "Help and resources
were limited," she says, "and those that
existed were fragmented."
During her doctoral program in nursing at
UBC, Vicki deepened her interest in issues of
access to mental health and addictions
services by studying in the area of Aboriginal
mental health. As part of her learning, she
recalls excellent mentorship from Aboriginal
colleagues and from her supervisory committee, led by Dr. Joan Anderson. "Dr. Anderson
introduced me to the idea of cultural safety,"
says Vicki, "and how it might be used to
improve access to services across ethnically
diverse populations and Aboriginal
peoples, how we educate our nurses and
deliver services."
Now part of a Canadian Institutes of Health
Research net team grant initiative sponsored
by UBC's Colleen Varcoe and colleagues
from the University of New Brunswick and
the University of Western Ontario, Vicki
will be expanding her research to include the
mental health effects of long term intimate
partner violence for Aboriginal women. Holding
a new investigator award as part of that
project will allow her to develop a more comprehensive program of research that
ensures an even greater impact in ensuring
that the Aboriginal people of British
Columbia have access to appropriate mental
health and addictions services. Having
expanded her research and practice expertise
into a love of teaching at the University of
Victoria, Vicki now finds UBC a comfortable
and supportive environment in which to
grow as a teacher and scholar. Her unique
passion for practice and for the greater
social good of disadvantaged persons will
enrich the School immeasurably. Development
Happy Birthday,
Miss Nightingale
This coming May and June, Vancouver will play
host to a series of rather remarkable events
honouring the history and tradition of nursing.
From May 14-16, nurse educators from
around the world will gather here for the first
Nurse Education International Conference.
Brought to Vancouver by a dynamic international group of nursing education leaders
including Dr. Wendy Hall, Associate Professor
in the UBC School of Nursing, this conference
will take up the theme of "Developing
Collaborative Practice in Health and Social
Care Education." Among the events planned
Florence, the Lady with the Lamp
Written by Timothy Sullivan
Directed by Nancy Hermiston
Conducted by Richard Epp
Friday, May 12, 2006 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, May 13, 2006 at 3:00 pm
UBC Old Auditorium
(across from the School of Music)
Tickets $15
Call 604-822-0328 for information
within the program, School of Nursing
Director Dr. Sally Thorne will deliver a keynote
address on key issues facing nursing education for the 21st century.
From June 8-10, the History of Nursing
Conference, cosponsored by the Canadian
Association for the History of Nursing and the
BC History of Nursing Professional Practice
Group, will convene in one of our own local
historic nursing sites—St. Paul's Hospital. For
this conference, the theme "Frontline Nurse:
Historical Milestones" will be reflected in
such activities as a costume parade, the designation of nursing residences as historical
sites, and an opening night address on four
centuries of nursing.
In addition to these two important conferences, the Vancouver nursing community will
have the opportunity to take part in a singular
and spectacular event honouring the founder
of our modern profession, Miss Florence
Nightingale. The opera "Florence, the Lady
with the Lamp" will be performed by the UBC
Opera Ensemble under the direction of
Nancy Hermiston on May 12, Miss Nightingale's
185th birthday. This unusual opera was
written by Timothy Sullivan, an internationally
renowned composer known for his haunting
and lyrical melodies. It has been performed
only once previously, in 1992 in Ontario.
Karen Holland, Martin Johnson, Carol Haigh
from the University ofSalford, UK, working on
the Nurse Education International Conference
planning with Sally Thorne and Wendy Hall
from UBC.
In perhaps an unprecedented partnership
between the UBC School of Music, the School
of Nursing, and the BC History of Nursing
Group, a number of current and former nursing
faculty have been actively engaged in planning
for this historic occasion. We sincerely
hope that it will delight both opera lovers and
nursing history aficionados, including the
students who will have an opportunity to take
part in hosting the event. Because the
costs of mounting an opera are significant, we
are pleased to support an open appeal
for contributions large or small. The School
will also serve as a source of information
for how you can obtain tickets for the event
of the season!
The Scholarship of Application
Continued from page 1
Through various executive positions on the
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada,
Carol Jillings has played an active role in cardiovascular health promotion at a national
policy level. Marg Osborne has also been intimately involved in shaping practice standards
for mental health nursing through her involvement with the Canadian Federation of Mental
Health Nurses. Among her many practice
partnership activities, Maura MacPhee works
closely with colleagues in nursing leadership
at Vancouver Coastal Health on initiatives
related to the complex challenge of patient
safety. Angela Henderson has for many
years worked with teams at Providence Health
and Vancouver General Hospital to implement
systems of assessment for domestic violence.
Gloria Joachim has been working closely with a
team of colleagues to build a model family
practice clinic in which interprofessional practice and education are integrated in such
a manner as to model excellence in service
delivery for the future. And JoAnn Perry
has been engaging multiple clinical partners
in long term care around the province to
develop model practices related to communication with older adults with dementia.
These are just a few of the many ways that
UBC nursing faculty are actively engaged in
the scholarship of application, making sure
that new knowledge is translated into the practice setting, and that our clinical partners
are supported in their efforts to attain best
practices. One more way of Putting Scholarship
into Practice]
Boyer, E. (1990). Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities
of the Professoriate. Princeton, NJ: The Carnegie
Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Undergraduate Profile
Living the Nursing Role
Joan Pham, BSN '05, says she is
a people-centred person. "I always
knew I wanted to work with
people," but she couldn't decide
between teacher, nurse or
doctor. "I had these flat ideas of
what a nurse is—a white
uniform. But then I discovered
there was so much more."
Currently working full-time at Vancouver
General Hospital (on T4, an acute care medicine unit), Joan is living the breadth of nursing.
Although some things are similar between
work and school—the learning, the supportive
environment and being able to ask questions—many things are different. "As under-
grads, we discuss different topics like
health care impacts and the environment individually," says Joan. "But at the hospital it all
comes at you at once. I'm starting to make my
own decisions now, on all levels, as opposed
to seeking the guidance of an instructor."
Recently Joan was awarded the Nursing
Undergraduate Society (NUS) Leadership Award
for the fall graduating class. A student must
be nominated by his or her peers to be eligible
for this award. "It was a lovely surprise,"
says Joan who was the NUS president during
her senior year. "In that role I wanted to
create an environment for nursing students
to build our communication with each other
and apply what we were learning to different
community groups." Joan stresses that she
would not have been able to put her time
into leadership pursuits and her studies had
it not been for the generous support of
scholarships and awards along the way.
"Oftentimes people are less able to volunteer
because they need to make money to survive,"
says Joan. "It's not because they are less
talented, it's because they need to eat."
Joan also took on a complex leadership role
with the Community Health Initiative by
University Students (CHIUS). In 1998, medical
students from UBC did a research project
on health care services in the Downtown
Eastside. They uncovered three needs: greater
access to evening and weekend health care;
health care services geared specifically to the
needs of women; and friendly conversation
with active listening. Now there is a student-
run clinic open five days a week with guidance
from a physician and nurse. There are five
areas in which students can help: social activities in the waiting area, discipline-specific
clinical activities, interprofessional activities,
special programming activities and student
leadership administration. There are currently
over 400 CHIUS volunteers, representing
nursing, medicine, social work, pharmacy, dentistry, physiotherapy, occupational therapy,
dietetics and audiology.
Joan served as co-chair with a medical
student, taking the leadership for nursing and
nine other faculties and served as liaison
with department heads within those faculties
and Vancouver Coastal Health. "We worked
in an interprofessional setting with each
other to help ease the disconnect," says
Joan. "Students worked with each other as
students. We learned our various roles and
resources, so this communication is established in our profession when we get there."
These leadership roles have added to the
knowledge Joan learned in class. "I have a
better understanding of the social determinants of health," she says. "Health is directly
related to income, to having social support.
I now have a wider perspective and appreciate
health as a collaboration, not only among
disciplines but also with the patient." In her
new role as professional nurse, Joan tries to
partner with her patients to find out how she
can help make the recovery work best for
When asked what memories she will take
with her into her future nursing career, Joan
doesn't hesitate to share her appreciation
of how much growing she and her colleagues
did together. She can also remember putting
on the white uniform for the first time, looking
in the mirror and thinking, "Look at me, I'm
going to be a nurse!"
With new graduates like Joan, eager to
apply the knowledge they've learned in their
basic education and enthusiastic about
taking on future leadership roles to further
excellence in health care, British Columbian
nursing has a very bright future. Graduate Profile
Wrestling with Matters
of the Spirit
Last fall Barbara Pesut, PhD, RN,
defended the UBC School of
Nursing's first doctoral dissertation
based on philosophical research.
Currently Associate Professor and
Nursing Department Chair at
Trinity Western University School
of Nursing, Barb chose to do
her graduate work at the UBC
School of Nursing for three
reasons: "faculty, faculty, faculty."
'The scholars at UBC are
international stars, and excellent
mentors," says Barb. "You become
the environment you surround
yourself with. Therefore, if I surround myself with good scholars,
I can become one."
As a teenager, Barb was convinced of the profound importance of the spiritual aspect of
life, and believes her reverence for that dimension has always been a part of her. From her
early nursing career, she recalls an interest in
how this dimension of human experience
blended with nursing practice. However, in the
70s and early 80s, she encountered a palpable silence within the discipline with regard to
the role of spirituality in health care. "I could
sense from nurses and patients this was
an area of importance with regards to how
they coped, but there wasn't a lot of dialogue."
More recently, Barb has seen a resurgence in
North American society of searching for something—perhaps as a reaction to extreme scientific enquiry. "We need to listen to patients,"
Barb says, "some of them are saying 'this is
important to me and you need to include this
in my health care.'"
Barb's doctoral dissertation research,
entitled, "A Philosophic Analysis of the
Spiritual in Nursing Literature," was co-supervised by Dr. Joy Johnson and Dr. Sally
Thorne. In it, she differentiates between "spirituality" and "the spiritual." "I talk in terms
of 'the spiritual' because it implies that this is
a reality independent of what you or I may
believe." She recognizes a set of characteristic
assumptions that tend to be held by the
nursing authors who write in this field. "The
fundamental challenge of this kind of
work is being aware of one's personal ideas
of reality," says Barb. Some may argue that
the origin of the spiritual is human, others will
argue divine, but with their own definition
of divine. "I wanted to step back and take a
philosophic and problematic approach to
the subject. I combined the tools of three
philosophic categories, theism, monotheism
and humanism, and used those tools to
critically reread what was happening in
nursing literature. With this format you can
distance yourself from the issue and take a
look at problems in a way that is easier to
As one embarks on such original scholarship,
it is inevitable that questions and issues
will arise that had not initially been imagined.
"There is the whole issue of the changing
nature of spirituality in Canada and the fact
that nursing is a public profession. We
hold the public's trust and therefore nurses
are embedded in Canadian society." Barb
recognized that Canadian society today is
moving toward a postmodern approach of the
spiritual, with individuals feeling authentic
to self as opposed to a higher power or an
institution. For her, philosophical inquiry
became a powerful way to deconstruct the
ideas and assumptions underlying
nursing's complex relationship to the spiritual,
and to argue for the limits that nursing
must articulate with regard to its disciplinary
competence to assess or intervene within
the spiritual domain.
On the basis of this research, Barb would like
to see a space created in health care in which
patients can feel comfortable talking about
the spiritual. "We need to be careful we don't
start creating a professional discussion that
doesn't accurately represent a patient's needs
and views," she says. "Much of the literature
today talks of the spiritual being universal, but
there are some patients who don't know
what the spiritual means and there are others
who may disagree with the meaning created."
Barb feels grateful for the opportunity to have
done her graduate studies at the UBC School
of Nursing. "The School made difficult decisions on what was required to be a scholar
in this environment and I came out of UBC
extremely well-prepared." For Barb, the future
in this area of study holds limitless possibilities. "We need to get theorists from the
various categories around a table to tease
out the similarities and differences." Next
September, Barb plans to host a symposium
of some of nursing's most prominent spirituality scholars at a conference in Switzerland to
create such a dialogue. "We are not going to
erase any distinctions," she says, "but we are
going to find the common ground." Clinical Practice Innovation
A "Joint" Initiative to
Improve Health Care
"I've always liked it," says Valerie
Macdonald, MSN, ONC, RN,
Clinical Nurse Specialist and the
new Director for the BC
Arthroplasty Collaborative, of her
work in orthopaedic nursing. "I'm
very interested in frail and
older patients and there are a lot
in ortho. They don't have a
voice, they need strong advocacy
and if we're not knowledgeable
and systematic in how we address
their needs, they can fail."
Hence the birth of the Model of Accountable
Care (MAC) which guides teams to predict,
prevent and manage the problems of
orthopaedic patients. In 2002, the Vancouver
General Hospital (VGH) interdisciplinary
orthopaedic team started to look at ways of
shortening length of hospital stays (LOS)
and improving patient care. The team, made
up of orthopaedic surgeons, occupational
therapists, nurses, physiotherapists, social
workers, and hospital- and community-based
clinicians, found that the delay in recovery
for some patients was based on predictable
and preventable problems. MAC was developed
and the program of care was redesigned to
identify, prevent, detect and minimize risk
factors that delay recovery, and to actively
engage patients in their surgery preparation
and their post-surgery rehabilitation. The project was named the Rapid Recovery Program
(RRP) for hip and knee replacement patients.
"The idea came about," says Valerie, "at a time
when there was a shortfall of funds in the
system. I was concerned cuts would be made
that would impact the patients—these patients
had acute and complex needs that needed to
be expressed." Valerie and the team set about
asking questions like, "What are the core
issues of the patient population? What delays
may impede their recovery?" And instead
of waiting for cuts, the team took a proactive
approach by having, for example, early
detection programs and management practices in place.
"It was challenging getting people on board,"
says Valerie. "The system in place at VGH was
as good as or better than other hospitals
and the perception was 'we're doing well so
why fix something that's not broken.'" The
team focused on pre-op education. Other hospitals were already doing this, including
Richmond and Lion's Gate, but the existing
education focused on what a patient could
expect the team to do to them. The RRP team
focused on the patients as active partners
in preparing themselves and their home supports for surgery and recovery. "This is
what you can do to prevent complications,"
says Valerie. "Eating foods high in iron
in the months before surgery may reduce
anaemia and possibly avoid a transfusion
after surgery, and getting in shape will enable
you to move around more easily to prevent
blood clots after surgery. It's about building
the patient's capacity."
"LOS was shortened by one full day at VGH,"
says Valerie, "and that site is a national
benchmark." The VGH team has presented
their work nationally and internationally and
the RRP approach has now spread across the
region to Lion's Gate Hospital and Richmond
Hospital where they have further improved
their programs based on this approach.
Next steps are to build on the best practices
identified and take it out to the rest of the
province, to teach methodologies in quality
improvement, and to continue empowering
patients and site teams with the BC Hip
and Knee Arthroplasty Collaborative.
Comprised of orthopaedic surgeons, physiotherapists, nurses, occupational therapists
and quality improvement experts, members
of this interprofessional team build on their
distinct skills and perspectives to advance
the scope and possibilities of orthopaedic
surgery care.
The original Rapid Recovery Team: Adele
Melnyk, Nancy Cho, Sharon Parent, Valerie
MacDonald. Ln the back row Anne Lydon,
Tony Hallam, Brendan Tompkins, Laurie Leith.
Missing are Nelson Greidanus, Bas Masri and
Catherine Backman.
Valerie learned many valuable lessons
through the RRP process, including how hard
it can be at times to persist with something
you believe in. "It's powerful to make the outcomes visible," she says. "We created a
proactive model, understanding the issues
of our patients, and we designed systems to
prevent problems and help patients recover
more smoothly."
UBC nursing students learn about Valerie's
programs and methods when she makes presentations to their classes in her capacity
as an adjunct professor. Valerie tries to impart
some of the lessons she has learned. "By
the very nature of our profession," she
says, "we have to be collaborative in our
approach. You learn that from the get-go."
She talks of the future as a time of great
opportunity. "We know about patient care and
families because we're there 24/7. While
other disciplines focus on specific components, nurses look at everything. It is imperative for nurses to be leaders because we
offer the big view."
As director of the new collaborative, Valerie
offers her profession not only her years of UBC
academic and clinical experience, but also
the leadership lessons she has learned
through the RRP—persisting in a complex
project to realize a vision, using knowledge
to empower patients and building teams
infused with trust and enthusiasm. On that
basis, there are no limitations and even
the wildest dreams become attainable. Teaching Excellence
Teaching from the Heart
Each year the Canadian Association of Schools
of Nursing (CASN) presents the Award for
Excellence in Nursing Education to a teacher
in a Canadian school of nursing. This year's
recipient is Marion Clauson, MSN, PNC (C), RN,
Senior Instructor, Associate Director for
Undergraduate Programs. The award was presented to Marion at the CASN annual meeting
in Montreal in November. "It's a very humbling
experience. I'm overwhelmed," says Marion,
who has been teaching for over 30 years. "I
know many people who are excellent teachers."
Among the criteria for consideration for the
CASN Award of Excellence are a commitment to
mentorship of students and colleagues, and
the ability to introduce innovation in education
activities. Not only does Marion teach undergraduate students, coordinate and support the
CASN Excellence in Nursing Education award
recipient, Marion Clauson.
teaching development of her colleagues and
facilitate the development of a cadre of clinical
instructors, she also teaches students at
the master's level, especially those with an
interest in nursing education. "I facilitate
and mentor their development as teachers,"
she says, "and I try to instill some of the
passion I have for teaching."
A continual review of curriculum and
programs is another part of Marion's everyday
focus. "There is a constant search for the
best and most creative ways to facilitate best
teaching practices." For example, Marion
was part of the team that introduced the UBC
School of Nursing's innovative advanced
standing baccalaureate program. "It's about
finding ways to provide what students
need in practice and in theory in order to
bring nursing alive for them."
Although every teacher fulfills a basic set
of requirements in order to teach a course, all
good teachers develop their own teaching
style and enact a set of personal principles in
order to feel satisfied with a job well done.
Marion's teaching strategies include structured
debates and collaborative learning activities. "I
like to engage students in interactive learning," says Marion. "They need opportunities to
solve problems or to offer input around an
issue together so the findings they come up
with in their content area are based on collective wisdom, not individual." Marion also
enjoys using creative questioning and critical
thinking strategies to encourage analysis well
beyond the textbook content and the literature. "I really like to help students develop
curiosity, a spirit of inquiry. They can build on
that to decipher their readings."
Even though teachers aspire to help students
to think, to connect theory and practice and to
enjoy the process of learning, Marion knows
she's really hit home when students don't
really want the course to end. "I have a real
appreciation for my role as teacher when I can
walk away from a course knowing the class
took on a life of its own—that the collective
energy of learning made it more than I'd
planned it to be." Marion talks about teaching
coming from the heart, caring about teaching
and not taking it lightly. "If you're not vulnerable as a teacher, you're not appreciating
the vulnerability of the learners," she says. "It's
a journey together."
Marion credits her desire for a teaching
career to the "abundance of excellent mentors
and role models" she encountered during
her undergraduate and graduate studies at
the UBC School of Nursing. Now, she is creating that same vision for the next generation
of nurse educators. According to a colleague,
"Marion Clauson's record attests to an outstanding leadership contribution to the educational mission of the nursing profession and
reflects a sustained demonstration of excellence within nursing educational scholarship.
She is recognized by students, colleagues
and professional practice leaders alike as an
excellent educator, scholar and leader." The
School of Nursing is proud to have one of its
own honoured by the Canadian nursing
education community.
Touchpoints is published by the School
of Nursing, Faculty of Applied Science,
The University of British Columbia.
Editor: Sally Thorne
Associate Editor/Writer: Julie Lees
Editorial Advice: Dr. Marilyn Willman
Design/Production: Tandem Design Associates Lt>
Printing: Rhino Print Solutions
The UBC School of Nursing
T201-2211 Wesbrook Mall
Vancouver, B.C. V6T 2B5
Tel: 604-822-7417
Fax: 604-822-7466
!R, BC  V6T2B5


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