Academic News

Health Sciences

Department of Nursing Awards 2023

December 5, 2023

Congratulations to this year’s Award Winners, and we gratefully acknowledge all the donors who made these awards possible!

Jean Burrows Scholarship Sarah Wilding

Jean Burrows was chair of the Nursing Department from 1974 to 1998. Created upon her retirement, this award recognizes outstanding academic achievement for students at the end of the first year of the BN program.

Bernice Parrott Award – Tara Garrioch, Madi Harder, Natali Domozhyro, Carl Calaje, Al Estoesta, Madison Towle, Amber D’Aoust, Rafael Marante, Tessa Martin

The Bernice Parrott Award was established to provide financial assistance to a deserving
student after term six of the BN program. This award recognizes the hard work and effort
that all students put forth as they complete the requirements of the program.

Nursing Students Endowment Scholarship – Ciara Tutkaluk and Nicole Bonenfant.

These awards were established because of the foresight of students who in 1997 established
an endowment fund. Each student, as part of their tuition fees, contributes to this
endowment fund. In 2001, a portion of this money was dedicated to the creation of these
awards. Since then, the class of 2002 made a sizeable contribution from their own
fundraising efforts.

Nursing Legacy Award – Clinical Practice Year 1 – Holly Ling

– Clinical Practice Long term care – Nicole Hammersley

– Clinical Practice Medicine – Shannon Pickell

– Clinical Practice Surgery – Tiana Wyryha

– Clinical Practice Pediatrics – Riley Dodds

– Clinical Practice Mental Health – Riley Dodds

– Clinical Practice Palliative – Karren Ballantyne

– Community Clinical Nursing Practice 1 and 2 – Emily Giesbrecht

– Skills and Techniques 3 – Hannah Szeryk

– Health Assessment 1 and 2 – Maybhelle Santos

This award was established by combining donations from a number of sources.
The Stanton family, the Duncan family, and Phyllis Aaron along with the Nursing faculty have
made substantial contributions. The award recognizes outstanding clinical performance of
students from year one to year three of the nursing program. The Nursing Techniques 3
award recognizes a year one student who excels both in the academic course work and the
performance of Nursing Skills.

Thorey Johnson Nursing Award – Jonadave Arceta and Jordan Wurtz

In honour of their mother, Mrs. Johnson’s daughters have established this scholarship to be
presented to a nursing student who has expressed a special interest in rural nursing
practice. The recipient has demonstrated an interest in front line nursing work in a hospital
environment; a high level of skill in the clinical setting, sound academic achievement, and a
caring and compassionate attitude with patients.

Nursing Leadership Award – Joshua Salisi and Tiana Wyryha

This award is for deserving students who have gone above and beyond in support
and leadership of their peers. It was established by the Awards Committee, with
nominations from faculty and peers.

Discipline of Professional Nursing Award – Navreet Chahill, Ciara Tutkaluk and Trishia Malabuyoc

This award is presented to students for their outstanding achievement in the courses of Discipline of Professional Nursing 1-5.

Mary Langhan Nursing Award – Yonathan Mohamed

This award is presented to a 3rd year student who has demonstrated a high level
of skill in the clinical setting and has expressed a special interest in obstetrics and

Karla Ferens Memorial Entrance Award for Health Care AideCandace Mercredi, Jathniele Manucduc and Gursimran Kaur

The Karla Ferens Memorial Entrance Award for Health Care Aide was established
by family and friends in memory of Karla Ferens, a 2011 Red River College
graduate of the Health Care Aide program. The award recipient has displayed the
same accomplishments exhibited by Karla Ferens: Involvement in sports and
leadership qualities.

Community Service Award – Clarence San Jose and Gabrielle Verspeek

This award is presented to a second and a third year student who has volunteered
for a community agency while maintaining sound academic achievement.

Karen Wall Indigenous Nursing Student Award – Rachelle Fehr

This award is presented to a 3rd year student of Canadian Indigenous heritage
who has achieved academic success in the BN program, and has demonstrated
leadership and community service.

Elizabeth Scaife Memorial Award – Ana Beltran

This award is presented to a BPIEN (Bridging Program for Internationally
Educated Nurses) student who has demonstrated outstanding academic
achievement and demonstrated exceptional clinical performance.

Christiane Gabrielle Bonin Memorial Award – Yvonne Datzkiw

Jaime Manness: Hike Manitoba Nursing Award Jade Friesen

This award is present to a second year student who exemplifies a love for hiking
and the outdoors with good academic standing. The award was established to
honor a RRC alumna and instructor who wanted to share her passion for
Manitoba’s wilderness.

Shannon Gray Memorial Award – Kaye Jeremie Aguilar

Kim Kotelo Memorial Award – Katie Laberge

Portage Mutal Insurance Award for Indigenous Nursing Student – Sophie Walker

Shirley (Perret) Loewen Indigenous Nursing Student Award – Rhonda Paoletti, Rachelle Fehr, Kiara Carpenter, Chelsea Wotton, Lexi Green-Monkman, Desiree Turner and Cassidy Webb

Shirley (Perret) Loewen Indigenous Graduation Bursary – Shania Dunn, Taylor Parker and Jessica White

RRC Polytech Students’ Association Be the Change you want to see Award – Karren Ballantyne

Eliza Cummings Machan and Helen Machan Memorial Nursing Award – Ryan Delaine

Written by Jennifer Johnson – Nursing Lab Manager
with descriptions of awards courtesy of the Nursing Awards Committee

2023 Bachelor of Nursing Program Pinning Ceremony

November 6, 2023

A huge congratulations goes out to all of our 125 graduates this year!

It has been a rough road, but you did it! We as faculty couldn’t be prouder of each and every one of you for all the hard work and effort you invested in your future in the career of nursing.

The faculty would also like to congratulate the 2023 Gold Medal winner Nicole Bonenfant!!

Written by: Jennifer Johnson Nursing Lab Manager

Community Health Nursing: Meeting People Where They Are

June 15, 2023

Nursing students in 3rd year have the opportunity to learn about and apply concepts of community health/social determinants of health to at risk-populations in a variety of community settings. In Clinical Practice: Community Health, our students develop and provide meaningful Health Promotion presentations for children, youth, or families in order to educate and empower them. Our main clinical site this year was Manitoba Youth Centre, a youth correctional facility with Manitoba Justice. The youth expressed much appreciation for the many health presentations given by students this past year – some groups also received huge “Thank you” cards from the girls and “Teacher Sara”. Please read on to hear one student’s reflection on her experience from Manitoba Youth Centre!

Tanya Cole RN, BScN – Nursing Instructor

Community health nursing is all about meeting people where they are, and that can mean so many different things. Often that’s very abstract, like where they are in their lives’ journeys, where they are in a disease process, or where they are emotionally, but it can also mean where they literally are – in this case, in a correctional facility. One thing that really struck me about the learning we did at MYC is that we did all of the assessment processes of trying to understand the context that our clients were living in socially, emotionally, physically, spiritually, and economically, but then we also had to actually go to them. I think that’s an important part of community nursing and public health nursing, because so often the people who have the most unmet needs for care or education are the ones who don’t seek it out. If we want to be serious about health equity, it’s our job as healthcare workers to find the people who might not present themselves to us.

Nurses (and student nurses!) have to be ready for unfamiliarity and ready to use any and all tools at our disposal. Sometimes we might be giving our presentation to a small group huddled around a laptop, and if we can be adaptable, we can use these things to our advantage, as we did at MYC. I think even the fact that we had to stand relatively close together and all look at the same small resource made for a very conversational style of presentation and encouraged a remarkable dialog with the participants we presented to. I was humbled by their honesty and engagement.

– Hannah Done [she, her, hers] – Student Nurse (Year 3) – Red River College Polytechnic

A Visit from Dr. Goodbear

April 6, 2023

This week, pediatric clinical nursing students were visited by Dr. Goodbear. Dr. Goodbear has been the long-time mascot for the Children’s Hospital Foundation. Dr. Goodbear is a symbol of the comfort and care provided for kids in need. The Children’s Hospital Foundation has raised over $165 million dollars to help support research and equipment for the children of Manitoba, Northwestern Ontario, and Nunavut.

Post and photos by Monica Nash – Nursing Instructor

Nursing Community Health Promotion at the Pros Know Expo

January 5, 2023

Back on Sept 22 and Oct 12, three 2811 Community and Older Adult clinical groups from the BN Program had the opportunity to apply theory and experience community health promotion in older adults at the Pros Knows Expo!

The Pros Knows Expos are coordinated by Rick Roschuk and facilitated by Older Adult serving agencies and businesses with interactive booths in Senior Active Living Centres throughout Winnipeg over the past year. These two featured were held at the Transcona Citizens Org and Good Neighbours Active Living Centre in River East.

Students interacted with more than 200 individuals, checking blood pressure and offering healthy heart information, honing their entry-level competency skills in assessment, communication, and education.

The event provides information and connection to services that older adults may not otherwise be aware of.  The students gained valuable insight: ‘it was so interesting as a young adult to see all of the resources available to older adults’ – Cameryn J.  Information was gathered from agencies and resources to build their community knowledge bases and were shared in the group.

Rick had a particular impact with the students at the end of the day, sharing his appreciation for RRC Polytech Nursing students. ‘Don’t get caught up on the negativity, because there is a larger majority rooting for you, who appreciate your commitment, dedication, and all the work you do at this stressful time in health care’.

Blog post written by Karen Janzen and Tracey McCulloch – Nursing Instructors

Photos by Teresa Lopata – Photographer for Good Neighbours Active Living Centre


December 22, 2022



WRITTEN BY: Jennifer Johnson – Nursing Lab Manager

PHOTO BY: Monica Nash – Nursing Instructor

Shifting Nursing Students’ Attitudes towards Indigenous Peoples by Participation in a Required Indigenous Health Course

December 15, 2022

First Nations, Metis, and Inuit

RRC Polytech nursing instructor Rebecca Cameron, along with University of Manitoba nursing assistant professor Kim Mitchell, recently published the peer-reviewed journal article “Shifting Nursing Students’ Attitudes towards Indigenous Peoples by Participation in a Required Indigenous Health Course.”

Read the full text here:

Rebecca reflected on the experience and meaning of her course and this important contribution to the scholarly literature.

Why is the Health, Wellness, and the Indigenous Population of Canada course a crucial component of the BN program?

It aligns with the Truth and Reconciliation call to action 24 that recommends the requirement that all medical and nursing schools have a course on Indigenous health issues, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Indigenous rights, and Indigenous teachings and practices. The class was created by Cathy Baxter before the calls to action came out. The first class was in September 2015 and the calls to action final report with findings and recommendations was released right around the same time. When it first started in 2015 it was an elective, but now it is a required class in the BN Curriculum.

What made you decide to undertake this study?

I really just wanted to know if the students were learning the content and if their perception of Indigenous Peoples change as a result in gaining this new knowledge. As the article states, nursing students come into nursing school with various perceptions of who Indigenous Peoples are. I wanted to find out if having greater knowledge in the topics covered in class changed their attitudes and perceptions of who Indigenous Peoples are.

Why was it important for you to study the impact of your course on students’ self-reported knowledge, interest, and perception of Indigenous Peoples’ health, wellness, and history?

I feel like that when our perceptions change, our care changes. At times we don’t know how our attitudes and beliefs impact our care; there is implicit bias going on. Implicit biases can, without intent, contribute to racist behavior. When we are aware of this, our care towards Indigenous Peoples change. Some of the students stated that prior to this class they thought they were practicing cultural humility and cultural safety when in fact they were not. I wanted the students to understand how their thoughts and perceptions affect their care.

What do you hope the reader takes away from your study?

I hope that they take away that they too can implement a course similar to this into their curriculum with the right tools and support. I also hope that the reader understands that a majority of the students who learned about Indigenous issues had a change in perception and a greater understanding of Canada’s history with Indigenous Peoples.

What do you hope students take away from your course?

I hope they get a better understanding of the issues that Indigenous Peoples face. Such as racism, loss of culture due to colonization, and resiliency. Although we face difficulties in our lives, we are resilient. Not all Indigenous Peoples fall under the same umbrella.

I want them to have an understanding that their Indigenous patient’s story did not start in that bed. It did not start on admission. They have a unique story that started prior. We all have a story. I feel that if we have knowledge of someone’s story then we are more open to empathy.

I hope that they get an understanding on how to empower their patient by recognizing the power differential between caregiver and patient. When we put the patient/client in the driver seat of their own health, studies show the better the health outcomes are for that patient.

Do you plan on continuing your research, and are there any specific projects you’re currently undertaking or hope to pursue in the future?

My future study will aim to see if knowledge of Canada’s history with Indigenous Peoples actually improves the care of Indigenous People there for improving their health status.
Kate Tate and I are currently working on “Racism in Nursing schools.” We have just finished up interviews with students. We are now in the analysis phase.

Anything else to share?

I am glad that this class is now mandatory. I feel like the students really benefit from the knowledge. Not only for themselves but also for their patient care. This class has some really unique activities (rather than sitting in the classroom looking at a PowerPoint) to help the students learn and perhaps gain a different perspective on the content of the class. We do things like go to the Human Rights Museum, conduct the blanket exercise, sit with the elder in sharing circles, smudge, and on several occasions even had a sweat. I wish that all faculty would take this class. I welcome any and all faculty to join in at any time.

Written by Rebecca Cameron – Nursing Instructor

Interview questions and intro by Meagen Chorney – Nursing Instructor


Emerging Media and Production: Nursing Streaming

November 17, 2022

With the first term completed, it has been an exciting and successful return of the Nursing streaming program. Emerging Media and Production (formerly eTV) is proud to partner once again with the Nursing Department to deliver course streaming to regional classrooms in Winkler and Portage La Prairie. For the first time, the streaming program has been running symmetrically in Emerging Media’s new Connected Classroom, with two-way audio and visual communication between the on-site and regional classrooms, utilizing the WebEx streaming platform.

The Connected Classroom is purpose-built to live stream and record presentations and events synchronously, featuring multiple cameras, enhanced lighting, audio, and presentation technologies to capture detailed demonstrations and student/teacher interactions. Symmetrical communication between all Nursing campuses has been a goal that both Emerging Media and Nursing have been striving toward for many years. The ability to see and hear all students creates a greater sense of community and brings everyone the same opportunities for inclusion and participation in the classroom.

Emerging Media and Production is always innovating and expanding the capabilities and technology of the Connected Classroom to enhance teaching and learning for all students.

Post written by Dan Feriolo – Supervisor, Emerging Media and Production

Students’ Association Holiday Hampers

November 10, 2022

It’s that time of year again, and the gift of giving is in the air!

Instead of sponsoring a family, the Nursing Department is looking for donations of non-perishable food items, toys, or money (which can be donated online).

**ALL DONATIONS NEED TO BE IN BY NOVEMBER 24th or via the SA website by November 25th**

Toys and food can be put in a box in the lunchroom on C6. A box will be there by Thursday November 10th.

The SA is also collecting monetary donations through their website ( to provide grocery vouchers to our students.

Rather than collecting cash donations, we ask that you donate online through the SA website above.

Look forward to helping others this Christmas!

Post written by: Jennifer Johnson

Nursing Lab Manager

Happy Halloween

November 3, 2022

Hope everyone had a great and safe Halloween as our Nursing students did working on the Pediatric ward on Halloween!

Written by: Jennifer Johnson – Nursing Lab Manager

Photos by: Monica Nash – Nursing Instructor

RRC Polytech campuses are located on the lands of Anishinaabe, Ininiwak, Anishininew, Dakota, and Dené, and the National Homeland of the Red River Métis.

We recognize and honour Treaty 3 Territory Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, the source of Winnipeg’s clean drinking water. In addition, we acknowledge Treaty Territories which provide us with access to electricity we use in both our personal and professional lives.

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