Nursing faculty's research, education efforts rewarded

Six faculty members in UBC's School of Nursing received awards from the Registered Nurses Association of B.C. recently.

School Director Katharyn May received the Award of Excellence in Nursing Administration. Asst. Prof. Joy Johnson and Assoc. Prof. Sonia Acorn received the Award of Excellence in Nursing Research. Asst. Prof. Anna Marie Hughes, Nursing Outreach Program Director Cheryl Entwistle, and Assoc. Prof. Anne Wyness received the Award of Excellence in Nursing Education.

May was recognized for her development of a strategic plan for the School of Nursing which will guide it into the next millennium.

In addition to her work at UBC, she serves on the board of the Centre for Excellence in Women's Health and is president-elect of the Canadian Association of University Schools of Nursing.

Johnson has received funding for 20 different research projects, but particular mention was made of her work with those who try to quit smoking.

This research has led to negotiations to establish a smoking cessation clinic at St. Paul's Hospital which will be staffed primarily by nurses.

Acorn's research projects have covered the impact of chronic illness and injury on health-care patients and their families. She has also examined the mental and physical health status of the homeless.

In addition, she conducted a survey of first-line nurse managers in B.C. to study the impact of the re-organization of hospitals and health care on patients and staff.

Hughes was honoured not only for her work as an educator but also for her advocacy on behalf of people with Alzheimer's disease and their families. She established the Alzheimer's Nursing Clinic at Mount St. Joseph's Hospital which she continues to operate.

The clinic is the only nurse-managed dementia clinic in the province. Hughes utilizes the clinic for practicum placements for nursing students preparing for both basic and advanced practice in gerontology.

Entwistle was honoured for her contribution to distance education in nursing. As director of the Nursing Outreach Program for Registered Nurses at UBC, she designed and developed resources to assist students who live outside the Lower Mainland to study nursing.

She was instrumental in developing the UBC School of Nursing Learning Resource Centre, which provides students with the opportunity to practise hospital procedures, and access computers to complete lab modules and carry out course work.

Under her direction, the centre has become the pre-eminent facility of its kind in the province and among the best in the world.

Wyness was recognized for her skill as a nursing instructor. She helped design a unique course in HIV/AIDS that gives students first-hand experience with health professionals caring for HIV patients.

Students also meet people living with AIDS and hear guest speakers who are street-wise community practitioners. The course is the only one of its kind in Canada.

Wyness is currently involved in planning for an interdisciplinary elective in HIV/AIDS care in collaboration with the faculties of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences at UBC.