Lois Blais (MSN '96)
Throughout her career, Lois was an energetic and enthusiastic activist within her professional community. She played a vital role on the St. Paul Hospital's Ethics Committee, the BC History of Nursing group, the UBC Nursing Xi Eta Chapter, the BCIT Med/Surg Advisory Committee, and the Langara College Holistic Health Program. She was also a dedicated member of the Vancouver Chapter of the Registered Nurses Association of BC, once holding the position of Chapter President, and remaining active in that group long after her “work retirement.” In 1994, she received RNABC’s Award of Honour.
As part of her legacy, she encouraged her family and friends to make donations to the BC Nursing History Society, of which she was a founding member. ...read more.
Marlee Groening (BSN '92, MSN '00)
Marlee Groening is a Lecturer at UBC SoN who completed both her BSN (1992) and her MSN (2000) at UBC. She started teaching at UBC after finishing her BSN and then decided to do an MSN because she loves learning and academia.
Marlee primarily teaches mental health in the undergraduate program and has had the fortune of also being involved in some research projects addressing tobacco use among individuals living with mental illness. She loves the fact that the school has been flexible about her lecturer position in order for her to take opportunities to step out and continue her nursing practice in community MH part time in order to stay current in practice as well as bring a fresh eye to her teaching role.
Marlee is a passionate and committed advocate for people with mental health concerns. “My mission is to ‘turn on’ people who are not yet interested in people living with mental health challenges… every day”.
Doreen Hatton (MSN '92)
Doreen’s career path as a nurse was formed by the time she was eighteen months old, when her grandmother nicknamed her Florence Nightingale for refusing to leave her sick brother’s side.
Doreen was the driving force behind the creation of the Diabetes Day Care Program at B.C.’s Children’s and Women’s Hospital, where staff have dedicated the main teaching room in the program’s new facility in Doreen’s honour. She also pioneered research into juvenile diabetes—most notably, she conducted one of the first nursing studies on diabetes in infants and toddlers while completing her Master’s degree at UBC. ...read more.
Genelle Leifso (BSN '98, MSN '05)
Genelle teaches in the specialty program at BCIT, enabling students to get advanced certification in perioperative nursing. With a husband in the Canadian armed forces, they lived in various cities across Canada. This enabled Genelle to have many interesting positions and opportunities.
“One of the things that I have learned throughout my career is how valuable nursing knowledge can be to a variety of settings and endeavors.”
Genelle is committed to sharing her knowledge and skill. She is active in the BC Operating Room Nurses Society, the BC History of Nursing Society, and is now trying to feed a newer passion for international nursing. She has been on two surgical missions to Cambodia with Operation Rainbow Canada and will be going with this group to Indonesia in 2009. ...read more.
Kirsta MacIsaac (BSN '95)
“Military nursing and its unique challenges are what drew me into health care,” says Kirsta MacIsaac (BSN ’95). Although not a common career path among UBC nursing graduates in recent years, Kirsta’s career with the Canadian Forces is reminiscent of the interconnection between nursing and the military over much of the profession’s history.
The Canadian Forces sponsored Kirsta’s studies at UBC and provided the context through which she entered the School of Nursing. Aspects of the program that were most directly applicable in preparing her for a career in the military included a surgical rotation in sports medicine, an independenat study project in HIV/AIDS education, and a community learning experience with the mental health team in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. However, in retrospect, she considers the greatest influence upon her career development to have come from what she learned in the more theoretically-oriented courses.
Gladys McPherson (MSN '99, PhD '07)
Gladys has always been interested in questions of equity and voice, such as: How are children viewed by health care providers? What does it mean to listen to them? Is it ok that children’s voices can easily dismissed? Why are some children more likely than others to have poor health outcomes? These are the kinds of questions she has pursued throughout her academic career.
Gladys’ experiences in the Master’s Program at UBC were pivotal for her. In her thesis she investigated how pediatric intensive care nurses humanize care for children and the circumstances that interrupt their ability or capacity to do so. That work segued into her PhD work, where she focused on children’s contributions to decisions related to their health care. Gladys tries to pay attention to the kinds of relationships children are in with their parents and health care providers and how these relationships impact their participation and consent.
Kathy O'Flynn-Magee (BSN '98, MSN '02)
During her graduate program she became a teaching assistant, and from there, she says, “my professional life took off. It changed the nature of my professional life - that’s how I became a teacher and how I came to be here today.”
What Kathy loves so much about teaching is that she gets to help shape beginning students’ thinking about nursing “and that’s got to be powerful”. She cares about what happens to students and their thinking and therefore finds it very meaningful to engage with students. “I love working with them one-on-one, helping them figure things out, helping them “get it,” she says.
In 2008 Kathy won the UBC Killam Teaching Prize and considers that award a great honour. Killam Teaching Prizes are awarded annually to faculty members nominated by students, colleagues and alumni in recognition of excellence in teaching—not only the ability to motivate students but also the development of innovative approaches to teaching.
SaBrina Purewal (BSN '99)
Nursing was a career path that I wanted to embark on as a young child. My dad was very influential in this career choice. He had always wanted his girls to be nurses and to attend UBC. Fortunately for him, we both took interest in the medical field and the rest was easy.
I had this great vision as to what UBC was going to be like. I had it on a pedestal because it known worldwide. Sure enough, UBC met my expectations and actually surpassed them too. As a fresh high school graduate coming into university, UBC had me awestruck. I remember associating with my friends in other larger faculties, such as sciences and arts, and they were just lost. I, on the other hand, had a sense of belonging.
My nursing career took the exact path that I wanted it to take. Furthermore, I recently have been hired to be a part of the UBC School of Nursing faculty. I will be a clinical instructor right here at my health unit. I feel that this will be a great opportunity as I can share my experiences and knowledge with new nurses-to-be.
Elsie Tan (MSN '95)
Elsie began teaching at UBC (first with VGH) during and after her MSN. Teaching came naturally to her when she began at UBC instructing first-year students’ labs, then second-year medical/surgical clinical practica, and later, theory classes.
Elsie remembers the challenges of the Concepts course she took as a student during her MSN. All of her fellow students found it difficult, and to cope with the difficulty, they joked together after class, asking each other, for example: “How do you define a chair, a shoe?” Although they joked about it, they would end up talking very seriously about the conceptualizations. Through this course they learned how to shift their thinking and how to become more abstract and critical thinkers. ...read more.
Elaine Unsworth (BSN '94, MSN '99)
Elaine Unsworth, UBC School of Nursing Adjunct Professor, is a clinical nurse specialist in Geriatric Mental Health with Providence Health Care. She shares the story of four male residents in Holy Family Hospital who wanted a cat. Instead of refusing the request, the clinical nurse leaders brought the residents and their families together to discuss how having a pet might work. “We have to start asking ‘why not?’” says Elaine.
“The Philosophy looks at how we provide care and treat people who live in our care homes, and how we make them pleasant homes in which to live,” says Elaine, who played a key role in establishing the standards and creating the staff model. ...read more.