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Nursing Graduate Michelle Queau awarded Red River College’s Lieutenant Governor’s Medal

February 20, 2020

Every year, Red River College awards up to four Lieutenant Governor’s Medal awards to graduating students who excel in academic and technical achievement, involvement in College and/or community activities, and good character. This year, the nursing department is proud to share that January 2020 graduate, Michelle Queau was one of the selected winners for this prestigious award.

Michelle entered the nursing program in the fall of 2016 as a mature student seeking a second career as a registered nurse. Previously Michelle spent 11 years as a laboratory technician with CancerCare Manitoba and contributed to numerous academic research projects. Michelle’s past experience was a natural fit for the nursing program and she selflessly shared her past experience and skills navigating the health care world with her fellow students and faculty members. She was also frequently called upon by faculty to share her student experiences and readily sought opportunities to be involved in nursing program committees and projects.

Michelle’s outstanding accomplishments, which contributed to her successful award application include:

• Spending up to 15 hours a week mentoring, tutoring, and encouraging her fellow classmates in their academic endeavours, encouraging them to succeed in their courses and at clinical practice.
• Being invited to be a member of the Nursing Program Advisory Committee, an important committee that provides feedback to nursing program leadership about the effectiveness and lived experience of the nursing program and its relationship with the many health care facilities that support the program and hire nursing graduates.
• Participating in the Canadian Nursing Student Association Conference, winning best presentation at the Nursing Research and Innovation Day in 2019, and participating as a student panelist at the Nursing Faculty Teaching Excellence Day in 2019.
• Participating as a student representative on the Provincial Nursing Advisory Task Force (PNATF) in May 2019 and as a committee member (new graduate representative) on the Shared Health Nursing Strategy Steering Committee since Dec 2019.
• Becoming a member of a nursing faculty research team exploring nursing student retention (led by nursing faculty member Kim Mitchell). Michelle was originally hired as a research assistant on this project but upon her completion of the nursing program elected to stay a member of the research team contributing her insights to the analysis and dissemination of this work.
• Becoming a member of the Association of Registered Nurses of Manitoba (ARNM) and volunteering as an organizing committee member for the Emerging Leaders Network. The ELN is a unique space that is built for nursing students, new graduates, and early career nurses where they can connect, support, and inspire one another as they develop professionally.

Michelle’s involvement in the above activities ensures that she will be an outstanding contributor to the nursing profession as she begins her new career as a registered nurse working full time on 5A cardiology at St. Boniface Hospital. Her research involvement gives her valuable experience toward any future aspirations she may have to continue her academic pursuits. Michelle is a very deserving winner of this award. To quote from her award application, “My core values include a commitment to lifelong learning and nursing excellence, as I value research, innovation, and evidence-based practice to promote dignity and respect to all individuals. The RRC nursing education has been such a rewarding experience as I have grown personally, professionally, and gained leadership skills. I look forward to an exciting nursing career filled with possibilities.”

Post written by Kim Mitchell – Coordinator, Research, Scholarship and Quality Improvement
Photos provided by Michelle Queau – RN BN

Dr. Patricia Gregory and Team Receive a Million Dollar Research Grant

January 30, 2020

Dr. Gregory and Team

The Nursing Department would like to congratulate nursing instructor, Dr. Patricia Gregory, on receiving a research grant totaling just under one million dollars over the course of four years! Dr. Gregory and team received the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Team Grant: TiC – Stream 1 – PHSI Solutions for Transitions in Care Gaps for their research project “Facilitating transitions and access across the pregnancy continuum of care – A Health System Intervention for Indigenous Women Living in Northern Manitoba.” The grant is for $236,111 per year for four years, totaling $944,444! It is also the first time Red River College has been awarded a CIHR grant.

Dr. Gregory, principal investigator, along with her team Susan Kobliski, Wanda Phillips-Beck, Dr. Jonathan McGavock, Dr. Nathan Nickel, Helga Bryant, Lorraine Laroque, Rhonda Campbell, Nancy Vystrcil, Dr. Sarah Ahmed, Dr. Claire Betker, Dr. Marnie Brownell, Dr. J. Cidro, Dr. Cindy-Lee Dennis, Dr. Alan Katz, Dr. France Legare, Pam Noseworthy, Dr. Kellie Thiessen, and Dr. Julia Witt developed this project to determine if “a pregnancy continuum care network, led by an Indigenous health systems navigator, will improve pregnancy care and neonatal outcomes among Indigenous women and their children in Northern Manitoba”. The multi-disciplinary team of researchers and stakeholders seek to improve the health of Indigenous women and their babies in Northern regions of Manitoba through the development and evaluation of an intervention to improve health systems transitions and enhance continuity of care, the first intervention of its kind in the province.

For more information on this research project, check out the Northern Pregnancy Collective Impact Net.

Partner Logos

Post written by Meagen Chorney – Nursing Instructor
Photos from the Northern Pregnancy Collective Impact Net

Nursing Faculty Member Wins Christine A. Tanner Scholarly Writing Award

November 7, 2019

The Christine A. Tanner award is an annual award given to the best major article submitted to the Journal of Nursing Education. Nursing department Research, Scholarship and Quality Assurance Coordinator, Kim Mitchell was the 2019 winner of this award for her article “Constructing Writing Practices in Nursing” published in the July 2018 issue of the journal. Kim’s article explores writing practices in nursing from the undergraduate to the professional level, which are influenced by the academicization of nursing education that accompanied the movement of nursing education from the hospital to the university environment. She proposes that writing assignments can be a mechanism to close the gap between theoretical nursing knowledge and practical knowledge. The paper introduces a socially constructed model of writing that identifies the domains of writing to include identity development, creative and emotional knowing, relational aspects, and context.

Kim’s research work, including this paper, are part of her doctoral studies exploring writing self-efficacy in nursing education. The model described in the award-winning paper has been used to develop a measurement tool for assessing writing self-efficacy and is currently being tested with undergraduate nursing students at Red River College, the University of Manitoba, and Brandon University. The Journal of Nursing Education has made Kim’s article publically available on their website for one year.

The Journal of Nursing Education is one of the leading high impact nursing education journals. Further information about the Christine A. Tanner Award and a link to Kim’s award-winning publication can be found here.

Awards Luncheon 2019

October 24, 2019

Congratulations to all our 2019 winners; your hard work is always noticed even when you don’t think it is!

Jean Burrows Scholarship – Emma Collins : Jean Burrows was the Nursing Department Chair from 1974 to 1998, and upon her retirement, this scholarship was created for a first year student recognizing their outstanding academic achievement.

Bernice Parrott Award – Breanne Trach, Hamida Caringal, Demetrio Vasquez, Wilda Cortes, Madeline Gylywoychuk-Winkler, Chantel Verbong, Amanda Pfeffer, Kirsten Hedley-Brown : This award was established to deserving students entering their second or third year in the BN program, to recognize their hard work and efforts.

Nursing Students Endowment ScholarshipMachaela Cavanagh, Rachel Hotson, Chris Hofer, Melissa Nelson : This award was established from students who, in 1997 as part of their tuition fees, contributed to this endowment fund.  In 2001, a portion of the money was dedicated to the creation of this award.  The class of 2002 also made a sizable contribution from their own fundraising efforts.

Nursing Legacy Award – Rachel Litz, Samantha Siedlik, Machaela Cavanagh, Adam Jastrzebski, Emma Collins, Melissa Nelson, Daphne Martin, Taylor Bahniuk, Alisha Rana, Rachel Hotson : This award recognizes outstanding clinical performance of students in years one to three. A student in Nursing Techniques 3 is also recognized for excelling in both their academic and skill performance, while the Health Assessment award recognizes a student who has outstanding academic achievement in both Health Assessment courses.  This award was established by combining sources from the Stanton Family, the Duncan Family, and Phyllis Aaron, along with the Nursing faculty.

Thorey Johnson Nursing Award – Karyn Tiel, Sheena Scholz, Kiersten McMullen : In honor of their mother, Mrs. Johnson’s daughters have established this scholarship for a nursing student who has expressed a special interest in rural nursing practice.

Nursing Leadership Award – Lauren Lacroix, Michelle Queau : This award is for deserving students who have gone above and beyond in support and leadership of their peers. This award was established by the awards committee, with nominations from faculty and peers.

Discipline of Professional Nursing Award – Jorien Friesen, Leah Cooper, Chris Hofer : This award is presented to students for their outstanding achievement in the courses of Discipline of Professional Nursing 1-5.

Mary Langhan Nursing Award – Denae Bastian : This award is  presented to a third year student who has demonstrated a high level of skill in the clinical setting and has expressed a special interest in obstetrics and gynecology.

Karla Ferens Memorial Entrance Award for Health Care Aide – Jeanelle Chua, Elizabeth Codville, Samantha Galvin This award recipient has displayed the same accomplishments exhibited by Karla Ferens: involvement in sports and leadership qualities.  Karla was a 2011 RRC graduate of the HCA program.

Community Service Award – Ryan Penner, Samantha Eveleigh : This award is presented to second and third year students who have volunteered for a community agency while maintaining sound academic achievement.

Karen Wall Indigenous Nursing Student Award – Dana Strong : This award is presented to a third year student of Canadian Indigenous heritage who has achieved academic success in the BN program and has demonstrated leadership within the Indigenous community.

Elizabeth Scaife Memorial Award – Lovepreet Sharma : This award is presented to a BPIEN (Bridging Program for Internationally Educated Nurses) student who demonstrated outstanding academic and clinical performance.

Nursing Student International Education Award – Jason Juell, Lauren Lacroix, Emma Collins, Marlo Periera-Edwards : This award recognizes those who pursue educational opportunities internationally while completing their nursing program.

Written and Photos by Jennifer Johnson – Nursing Lab Manager

With descriptions of awards courtesy of the Nursing Awards Committee and a special thank you  to them for a great luncheon.

Pinning Ceremony 2019

September 19, 2019


It’s been a long road that at times you probably thought would never come, but you did it!  Congratulations to each and every one of you.  A night well deserved and a standing ovation is the least we can do to show how honored we are in your achievement.  We know the sacrifices and all the hard work that went into your Bachelor of Nursing journey here at Red River College.

Congratulations to Chris Hofer for winning the ARNM gold medal presented by Loreley Fehr, President-Elect, Association of Registered Nurses of Manitoba.

Thank you to all the Pinning Ceremony Committee members for a great night!

Thank you to Darin Brecht, Acting President and CEO of Red River College; RaeAnn Thibeault; Dean of School of Health Sciences and Community Services; Patrick Griffith, Chair of Nursing; and Cindy Boughen, BN Program Coordinator for your words of wisdom!

Thank you to Natasha Kuchta; the 2018 Gold Medal Recipient for your words welcoming our grads of 2019 to our profession of Nursing!

Thank you Sarah Alcock for your graduate Address, and yes you’ll finally see a paycheck!

Thank you Soul Sanctuary for hosting our 2019 Bachelor of Nursing Pinning Ceremony!

Written by:

Jennifer Johnson

Nursing Lab Manager


Step Out of Your Box: Winners for 2019

September 5, 2019

Each year, the Step Out of Your Box (SOYB) committee reviews the application pieces and selects four students to receive one of the four awards of $500 each.

SOYB program gives students the opportunity to apply their classroom knowledge in our community while enhancing their interpersonal, communication, critical thinking, and leadership skills.

Students who participate in this program explore a dimension of diversity that is different from themselves by volunteering at a community organization. After seven hours (minimum), they create a “leave-behind” project that showcases their abilities and benefits a local volunteer organization. As part of their reflection document, students describe what they did, how this experience impacted them, and how they will carry this experience forward in their personal and professional lives.

This year, four Nursing students were selected to receive the awards:

L to R: Mallory, Cassie, Thi
Not Pictured: Danielle

Thi Nguyen:
Volunteer Organization: Main Street Project: Men’s Detoxification and Stabilization Unit
Dimension(s) of Focus: Males and addictions
Leave-Behind project: Halloween themed Bingo night

Thi’s concluding Thoughts:
It helped me stand out my comfort zone to open with others; especially men…. Challenging myself is necessary to be successful. Volunteering at Men’s detox helped me gain my experiences when contacting with men. I saw how staff communicated and treated to men. I saw different angles of the way of thinking, how they expressed their emotion, feeling and their goals of life. The most important thing is I can overcome my fear while being among men. I was able to play cards with them comfortably. My heart was melted and touched after listening to their stories. Being among men gave me an opportunity to understand more about myself. I received immense support from staff and a volunteer coordinator, and although I was shy at first, I quickly learned that people were there to help me in any way they could. Diversity is greatly valued and each individual has a voice. I have consistently felt that my ideas were valued and credited; in the long term, this has helped me build confidence.

Mallory Shewfelt:
Volunteer Organization: Main Street Project: Men’s Detoxification and Stabilization Unit
Dimension(s) of Focus: Males and addictions
Leave-Behind project: Halloween themed Bingo night

Mallory’s concluding thoughts:
I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and try to gain new perspective for people facing addiction, many homeless who live on the streets of Winnipeg…This experience will greatly impact my practice as a future nurse. I will no longer see people who are homeless as lazy addicts who would rather spend their time asking for money rather than going to find a job. Now what I will see is people who have had some difficult life experiences, many dealing with painful trauma and struggle with the disease of addiction….I now believe there is no difference in emotional ability for either female or males. I will use the same therapeutic communication techniques regardless of sex or gender. This experience has also sparked my interest in possibly wanting to help individuals who struggle with addiction as a registered nurse. For the time being, I plan to still volunteer at Main Street Project while I finish my Bachelor’s degree of nursing, which is not something I anticipated prior to the Step Out of Your Box Program.

Prizes from Bingo Night

Danielle Rasmussen:
Volunteer Organization: Sunshine House
Dimension(s) of Focus: Transgender community
Leave-Behind project: Family Christmas party

Danielle’s concluding thoughts:
Before this experience I would just try to ignore or avoid the fact that someone was transgender in hopes to avoid offending anyone if I had said the wrong thing. This experience has taught me that it is okay to ask questions if I am confused or unsure of something. Clarification is better than making assumptions about someone. After talking to this individual, I was able to feel comfortable socializing with some of the other people visiting the drop-in center… As a nurse I can reflect on this experience remembering the struggles that someone who is transitioning goes through, so that I can be compassionate to their feelings and have empathy for them in the process…

Having a culturally sensitive and diverse nursing workforce allows patients to seek help with their health issues without the fear of being judged or rejected. It is a common human feeling that when we think someone will be judging us we often want to tweak our stories so that they don’t sound as bad. I believe that in order for this to happen, though, it needs to be a team effort with all of the medical staff. When all the staff are working together on the same team caring for patients, patient care will go much more smoothly.

Cassie Oliver:
Volunteer Organization: Sunshine House
Dimension(s) of Focus: Transgender and non-binary persons
Leave-Behind project: Family Christmas party

Cassie’s concluding thoughts:
Originally, my lack of experience and understanding of transgender individuals led to negative views, but now I realize that it does not matter how people identify. It does not affect me personally. I learned that, as I am not transgender or non-binary, it would be difficult to understand the struggles that transgender people face, however, that does not mean I need to add to the struggles. I am accepting of all individuals regardless of my understanding of their background and circumstances now….Prior to this experience I was also afraid of misgendering someone, however it was quite easy to avoid. When faced with someone who was of ambiguous gender, I used the person’s name, until they self-identified as trans. I learned it’s a lot easier than I thought it would be, and most people are quite forgiving if you make an honest effort.

The healthcare system can be invalidating and traumatic for these people, and nurses should work to minimize the harm done. This can be done by advocating for the patient, making sure they are addressed by their preferred name, pronouns and gender.

I have realized that nonbinary individuals struggle immensely with the healthcare system, through my conversations at Sunshine House and do not want to contribute to this. After hearing the stories of misgendering, and how traumatic it is to be faced with the biologic sex identifiers, as well as having health professionals address them as their sex at birth, I think advocacy will also be important. It is important that the nursing workforce is sensitive to culture and is diverse to meet patient needs as no two patients are alike. As nurses, we serve patients across all cultures, genders, and sexual orientations. We must be aware of cultural and social differences to treat the patient holistically. …Validating and accepting patients for who they wish to be is an important aspect in holistic care.

Christmas Party

Congratulations to all the students who participated in this program! Your contributions to these community organizations are immeasurable.

Instructors – If you’re looking for an alternative to the research paper or test, want to add new insights and dimensions to class discussions, reduce stereotypes, and facilitate cultural and racial understanding, consider incorporating this program into your course. For more information, contact the Mentorship Program Coordinator at or 204.632.3847 or visit

Post written by Vera Godavari – Mentorship Program Coordinator