Health Sciences


Retirement reception held for Nursing Chair

April 14, 2014

Karen #2

Karen's retirement #1

Karen #4

Karen #6

Karen #8

Karen Wall, the Chair of the Nursing Department, is set to retire at the end of the month. A college-wide retirement reception was held in her honour on April 4th with many past and present co-workers, friends and family in attendance. Colleagues from near and far were in attendance from the WRHA, University of Manitoba, St. Boniface University, The Advisory Committee, CRNM, and David Gregory, the past Dean of the Nursing Department at the University of Manitoba. Karen has led the nursing department at Red River College for over 15 years, although she has been a part of the department for over 35 years. She will be sadly missed by all who had the pleasure of working with and for Karen, as she demonstrated grace, compassion and professionalism in her role as the head of the nursing department. Karen will leave a legacy in her departure, including seeing the first-ever Nursing Degree class graduate from Red River College this past year.

Everyone at the college wishes Karen a wonderful retirement, including taking much deserved time for herself and pursuing personal opportunities. Enjoy Karen! You will be missed.

( Pictures by Leslie Walsh)

RRC Nursing Department participates in a “Perfect Storm”

March 27, 2014

Red River College, Nursing Department staff and students participated in a Mock disaster.

In September 2013, the Manitoba Health, Office of Disaster Management conducted a mock evacuation of a 75 bed acute care hospital, as well as a 30 bed personal care home from a Northern Health Region in MB.

This was a large, cooperative exercise involving 189 individuals from 62 separate stakeholder groups. Third year RRC nursing students (seen in grey uniforms) and faculty; Lillian Mugweni and Alison Fyfe-Carlson, had an opportunity to practice skills of triage, disaster management and communication with other health departments in the development of an Interim Medical Treatment Facility (IMTF).

An IMTF is a temporary facility that is created to receive a large amount of patients, triage them and provide care while they wait to be placed in an appropriate facility within the health care system.

Red River College Nursing Students

MB Health considered all of the feedback from stakeholders and developed an “After Action Report/Improvement Plan”.  MB Health plans to look at other collaborative IMTF exercises such as a Trauma Event Scenario in the future.

This was an excellent learning opportunity for RRC Nursing students and faculty.

Active triage

Active triage

Differential diagnosis

Nursing Gold Medal Winner

March 14, 2014

BN GRAD GOLD MEDALHeather Day, the inaugural winner of the Nursing Gold Medal for Excellence is pictured here with the chair of the Nursing Department, Karen Wall. The prestigious award was handed out on Februaury 4th, 2014 at the Red River College Graduation.

This evening saw over one hundred students from the initial three year Nursing Degree class from Red River College graduate with faculty, friends and family present to honour their achievements.

Congratulations Heather! We wish you all the best as you embark on your exciting new career.




Is Winnipeg Really Colder Than Mars?

February 27, 2014

Sock Drive, WNRCASNWinnipeg has been in the news a lot this winter because of our current run of cold temperatures. While this may make for some stimulating (albeit whining) discussion at lunch, there are some very real concerns as a result of the frigid cold…….. finding warmth for the homeless.

Siloam Mission is a Christian humanitarian organization that alleviates hardships and provides opportunities for change for those affected by homelessness. They currently have an urgent need for warm socks. The Nursing Department wanted to find a way to help. And so, at the recent WNRCASN (Western North-Western Region Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing) conference, we provided conference delegates with the opportunity to help meet that need. Delegates were asked to bring a pair (or more) of new sports/work socks with them to the conference. Or, to “purchase” socks (generously donated by Walmart – Unicity) that were available at the conference.

We accumulated about 400 pairs of socks and collected $448.75!

Health Fair Poster Presentation

February 18, 2014

health fair

health fair

3rd year nursing students held a Health Fair in the Library Hallway Wednesday February 12th, 2014.

This was an assignment in their Epidemiology and Illness prevention class.

With their instructor’s, students brought their coursework to life.


Health fairHealth Fair

Year 3 Nursing Students, Epidemiology and Illness prevention

Year 3 Nursing Students, Epidemiology and Illness prevention

This course focuses on concepts, research and practices associated with epidemiology, the prevention of chronic illness and injury prevention. It involves public health strategies for reducing health risk and the nurse’s role in the promotion of health and the primary and secondary prevention of illness.

3rd Year Epidemiology and Illness Prevention Health Fair


Red River College is proud to host WNRCASN 2014 Conference

February 11, 2014

Red River College is proud to host

An opportunity to engage in dialogue related to nursing education, support networking and enhance continued learning and awareness within the nursing education community.


Western & North-Western Region Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing Conference, 2014

Embracing Challenges:

Nursing Education in the 21st Century

February 19-21, 2014
Fort Garry Hotel
Winnipeg, MB

For more info, visit,

Congratulations to the first Graduating class of the Red River College Bachelor of Nursing Program

February 5, 2014


Congratulations to the Winter 2014 Graduates!

107 proud Red River College, Bachelor of Nursing Degree Graduates crossed the stage on February 4th.

This event marked the first Graduating Class of Red River College’s Bachelor of Nursing Program.

We wish the new graduates all the best as they have achieved the graduate outcomes of the program and explore how their roles will influence nursing practice in the years to come.


To see the live feed go to:

Chemical of the Week: CL-20

October 3, 2013

Since the invention of gunpowder in China over one thousand years ago, much human ingenuity over the years has gone into devising ways to make things explode. The current epitome of this search for bigger and better explosives is CL-20. It was developed in the 1980’s at the U.S. Naval China Lake research facility in California. It’s currently being investigated as a component of new high energy plastic explosives.

The CL-20 molecule.

The CL-20 molecule.

There are a few interesting things about CL-20. One is that it has an almost unpronounceable formal name; 2,4,6,8,10,12-hexanitro-2,4,6,8,10,12-hexaazaisowurtzitane (you can see why they named it CL-20!). The second is that it is the world’s most powerful non-nuclear explosive. This explosive energy is provided by the high concentration of nitramine functional groups as well as, to some extent, the appreciable ring strain in the molecular structure.

The Chemical Safety Board: Useful Information and Great Videos

September 11, 2013

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) is a federal government agency which has a mandate to investigate chemical accidents. Unfortunately, the CSB has no shortage of work, since there is apparently an endless supply of such accidents in the U.S. (and elsewhere, of course). The good news is that often these incidents provide valuable insights into safety issues and can serve as useful learning tools. The CSB has done a great job of investigating a wide variety of workplace accidents, from small to large scale, and producing very high quality videos which provide unique insights into the causes of these accidents. In my Laboratory Safety course, I often use these videos to highlight a range of safety concerns and encourage my students to identify the root causes of the incidents and determine what could have been done differently.

An image from a CSB video.

An image from a CSB video.

Anyone with an interest in chemical or industrial safety might want to spend some time on the CSB website, especially on the video section, which currently hosts about 50 videos on subjects as diverse as reactive hazards, static electrical discharge and combustible dusts. – Michael Judge.


Chemical of the Week: Aspartame

August 30, 2013

Aspartame is the commonly used name for the artificial sweetener N-(L-α-aspartyl)-L-phenylalanine, 1-methyl ester. It was discovered when a chemist working in the Searle labs in 1965 accidentally ingested some and realized it tasted sweet. The chemist at the time was working on drugs to control ulcers! It is formed by making the dipeptide of two amino acids and then producing the methyl ester of that molecule.

The aspartame molecule.

The aspartame molecule.

It is about 200 times sweeter than sugar and so can sweeten foods without adding a lot of calories, since little is required. Aspartame is very widely used today for numerous foods and beverages, although not without controversy.  For decades, there have been concerns and even conspiracy theories associated with the use of aspartame, and it has been claimed to cause numerous health problems ranging from simple headaches to cancer. Many studies over several decades, however, have consistently shown that aspartame is safe at normal levels of ingestion and it continues to be approved for use by the FDA, the EU and other worldwide regulatory agencies.