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Waste Reduction Week: October 15 – 21

October 18, 2018

It is waste reduction week in Canada! This week, spend some time thinking about what you can do in both your personal and professional lives to reduce waste and improve the environment you live in.

Below I have shared five ideas to get you starting to think about waste reduction in terms of the health care system:

1. Get involved with the Sustainability Officer or Green Team in your area. If there is not one already established, now is a great time to advocate for the formation of such a role. This role could include looking at ways to reduce waste and energy in the facility and encourage staff to get involved in greening the health system they are employed in. Save with lighting and water.

2. Recycle better. It is important to separate expensive infectious hospital waste from other, non-infectious hospital waste. Develop office protocols for hazardous waste. This requires a great deal of collaboration from many sectors within the health system.

3. Minimize the amount of waste. Consider the reuse of items that will not compromise patient safety. The hospital procurement officer could opt for green alternatives, such as non-mercury thermometers and recyclable plastics.

4. Reduce transportation pollution. Walk, cycle, or take the bus to work.

5. Encourage healthy and eco-responsible diets. Increase offering of fresh fruits and vegetables; encourage the reduction of red and processed meats. Encourage the use of tap water and reusable containers in place of bottled water. Take the Food Waste Pledge!

For more information, go to the Coalition for Green Healthcare – Green Office Toolkit.

Post written by Jennifer Morin – Nursing Instructor

Photo: Recycling Council of Ontario. (2018). Waste reduction week in Canada. Retrieved from

Gendered Nursing Stereotypes

October 11, 2018

Each term, third-year BN students from the Gender Studies for Health Professionals course give presentations on gendered nursing stereotypes. The purpose of the project is to have students explore gendered stereotypes about nursing and how they are perpetuated in the media and popular culture. Students are given full freedom in how they show a minimum of 5 examples, allowing them to explore the stereotypes in creative and complex ways. Each student presents on what their stereotype is, how the examples demonstrate the stereotype, how the stereotype reflects gender normativity, and why the stereotype is problematic to both nurses and patients.

On Thursday September 27th, the class shared their projects through informal presentations with any interested nursing faculty. Our guests moved around the room, talking to the students about their projects, as they learned more about the stereotypes that we’re all familiar with but maybe have never explored in depth. With Halloween just around the corner, we can see the stereotype of the ‘sexy nurse’ rearing her head yet again.

Thank you to everyone who came out to learn a little more about these gendered stereotypes, as our students explore how they themselves are what nurses look like, not the stereotypes perpetuated by the media and popular culture.

Post written by Meagen Chorney – Nursing Instructor – Gender Studies for Health Professionals

Red River College Nursing Department Awards Presentation 2018

October 4, 2018

 Congratulations To This Year’s Award Winners

Jean Burrows Scholarship – Machaela Cavanagh 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 – Nicole Bouckley, Madeline Gylywoychuk-Winkler, Chelsea Jamieson-Wind, Jorrel Marasigan, Clinton Bayas, Danielle Lewicki, Jennifer Barron, Jessica Bonni : This award was established to provide financial assistance to deserving students entering their second or third year in the BN program, to recognize their hard work and efforts.

Nursing Students Endowment Scholarship – Cassie Oliver, Chris Hofer, Martina Persian, Natasha Kuchta : 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 – Leah Cooper, Kayla Smith, Taylor Bahniuk, Tess Hamilton, Danielle Lewicki, Heidi Doerksen, Anna Nikitin, Jodie Shepit, Kristina Gillich : 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 – Tracy Clifton, Breanne Dobson, Rebecca McLachlan : 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 – Jason Juell, Britta Hoogervorst (was unable to attend) :
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 – Emma Collins, Rachel Rubin, Ashley Desrochers : This award is presented to students for their outstanding achievement in the courses of Discipline of Professional Nursing 1-5.

Mary Langhan Nursing Award – Shelby Marks : 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 – Hailey West, Keyona Tomiuk, Phyllis Kelly (was unable to attend) 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 – Alisha Rana, Jodie Shepit : 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 AwardKarla Gladu : 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 – Jana Te : 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 – Alycia Dettman, Caitlyn 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


Interprofessional Education Seminar

September 27, 2018

What a great capture!

This past Friday, September 21st 2018, Red River College conducted a large Interprofessional Education Seminar involving the following programs:
Nursing, Paramedicine, Ultrasound – Diagnostics Medical Sonography, Medical Radiology, and Medical Laboratory.

This picture only begins to represent how the students engaged in learning with, from, and about each other!

Post written by Jennifer Morin – Nursing Instructor

Climate Change and Extreme Heat

September 20, 2018

This past summer we experienced extreme weather events. How did you cope during that time? Do you feel well prepared to address the health effects associated with extreme heat?

As nurses, we have a specific role to play in caring for patients during times of extreme heat events. What can you do to help mitigate the harmful effects of extreme heat of the patients you care for?

The number of hot days is expected to increase in the coming years.

Start to prepare yourself by attending the Association for Registered Nurses of Manitoba webinar on Climate Change and Extreme Heat. To watch the webinar, click here.

*Please note that the webinar is only available to ARNM members. If you are not a member of the ARNM but are interested in watching the webinar, please contact Jennifer Morin at

Post written by Jennifer Morin – Nursing Instructor

Bachelor of Nursing Pinning Ceremony!

September 13, 2018

Congratulations to all our graduates! We wish each and every one of you the very best in your new beginnings and wherever your path may take you!

Congratulations to Natasha Kuchta, who was our recipient of the ARNM Gold Medal Award for highest academic and clinical achievement!

Our Pinning Ceremony has great meaning; the pins mark transition from education and preparation into the profession of Nursing, which is a hard but rewarding profession to be in.

Last night was full of encouragement of how you are not a good nurse because you gave your pills on time but because you took the time to acknowledge people as humans and not a number.  It’s the little things that make the best nurses.

Thank you to all the supporters (families and friends, pets, coffee or wine) that helped our students through the rough patches and to the staff for being who you are and organizing a lovely Pinning Ceremony

Written by: Jennifer Johnson LPN

Nursing Lab Manager

Welcome to the 2018-2019 Academic Year

September 6, 2018

As we start a new journey together, the Nursing Department would like to welcome all returning Nursing students, faculty, and staff; our new intake of students; our new faculty; and our new chair, Patrick Griffith.  We’re looking forward to a great academic year!


Students, faculty, and staff are already hard at work in various courses and support roles throughout the Nursing Department. This new academic year will give us more community engagement, student achievements, faculty development, international opportunities, health information, and our fourth Research and Innovation Day.  Stay tuned to our blog to hear about interesting events, amazing work, and useful tips coming out of our department!

Post written by Meagen Chorney – Nursing Instructor


Know the Risk and Stay Safe: Extreme Heat

June 27, 2018

Extreme heat can have many implications for health care professionals. Knowing who is at the greatest risk of experiencing adverse health effects related to extreme heat is of great importance in the acute care and community settings. Additionally, from a systems perspective, health care facilities need to prepare for extreme heat events to ensure the safety of their patient population (Health Canada, 2011).

The graph below highlights the current and projected number of days exceeding 30 degrees Celsius for Canadian cities. You can see an increasing trajectory of the number of hot days for each Canadian city identified in the graph. The number of days with a maximum temperature of 30°C is projected to double by 2021-2040 and more than triple by 2081-2100, likely resulting in further heat-related mortality. Overall, Canada is projected to become much warmer, and urban areas tend to experience higher temperatures due to the urban heat island effect. Read More →

The New Masters of the Nursing Department

June 14, 2018

On the morning of June 6, 2018, 13 members of the Nursing Department at Red River College celebrated their convocation from the Masters of Education program at the University of Manitoba. This dedicated group of instructors was a part of the RRC M.Ed. cohort who studied together to achieve this milestone. The focus of study for these instructors was in Adult and Post-Secondary Education. We are proud to bring our expanded knowledge base to the instruction of our students!

Pictured are the 13 newly minted “masters”
(front row) Richel Roque, Kim Pinel, Monica Burfoot, and Winona Burgess
(back row) Kate Tate, Monica Nash, Bonnie Peers, Sandra Holben, Bernadette Mandrick, Karen DiPietro, Karen Parker, Tyler Steiner, and Navdeep Sekhon

Pictured are the 13 newly minted “masters”
(front row) Richel Roque, Kim Pinel, Monica Burfoot, and Winona Burgess
(back row) Kate Tate, Monica Nash, Bonnie Peers, Sandra Holben, Bernadette Mandrick, Karen DiPietro, Karen Parker, Tyler Steiner, and Navdeep Sekhon

The Nursing Department also had seven more instructors who graduated this past year with their Masters of Nursing. Congratulations to Rebecca Cameron, Joanne Loughery, Deb Miller, Tammy Moran, Jennifer Morin, Tara Roberts, and Corrina Zacharkiw!

Post and photo by Bernadette Mandrick – Nursing Instructor

Know the Risk And Stay Safe: The Air Quality Health Index

June 7, 2018

With an increase in forest fires within the province of Manitoba, it is time to refresh your memory regarding the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) and how air quality can impact health.

It is important to assess your risk in terms of the Air Quality Health Index. Some populations are at an increased risk of experiencing the health effects related to air quality. These populations include individuals with cardiovascular conditions (angina, previous heart attack, stroke, heart rhythm problems), respiratory illnesses (asthma, chronic obstructive lung disease, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, lung cancer), and individuals with diabetes, as this population will often have cardiovascular disease. Young children and seniors, those active outdoors, and pregnant women are also at higher risk.

People who are otherwise healthy may have the following symptoms:
• irritated eyes
• increased mucus production in the nose or throat
• coughing
• difficulty breathing, especially during exercise

Some people may be unaware that they have lung or heart disease. Consult your doctor if you have any chest pain or tightness, sweating, difficulty breathing without exertion, consistent cough or shortness of breath, fluttering in the chest, or feel light headed.

Do you know how to use the AQHI? Read More →