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The five winners of 2021 Canadian Nurses Foundation awards.

2021 Canadian Nurses Foundation scholars from the UM College of Nursing: (clockwise from top left) Shireen Bell Jocelyn Elias, Trinh Nguyen, Gina Trinidad and Kristine (Popik) Doell.

Canadian Nurses Foundation awards UM grad students

August 27, 2021 — 

Five graduate students from the College of Nursing, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences were recently designated as 2021 Canadian Nurses Foundation (CNF) scholars, including two who received an award with a connection to the college’s history.

“To the best of our knowledge, we have not had five CNF awards in one year before. These awards speak to the high calibre of graduate students at the University of Manitoba,” said Donna Martin, associate dean, graduate programs.

Master of nursing student Jocelyn Elias and PhD student Trinh Nguyen both received the Dr. Helen Preston Glass Award, named after the former dean of the College of Nursing. The award gives them each $2,250 over two years.

Elias, who graduated with a bachelor of nursing degree from UM in 2012, is studying leadership in long-term care facilities for her thesis.

“With COVID and the outbreaks that were happening in long-term care, I realized how our health policies and health system don’t adequately address the care needs of individuals in long-term care,” she said.

Elias said she has always had a concern for the health and well-being of seniors.

“I worked as a health care aide in long-term care before I became a nurse, and my mom was an aide in long-term care as well,” she said.

“My research has an opportunity to influence policy here in Manitoba, and hopefully across Canada,” she said. “I want to do work that is impactful and right now this feels so timely.”

Nguyen, a UM bachelor of nursing graduate from 2014, said the funding will help with her research on the education and evaluation of psychomotor skills in undergraduate nursing and how it impacts their transition into practice.

Nguyen has worked in emergency and intensive care nursing over the last seven years and in 2018 started as a skills lab facilitator at the College of Nursing.

“Teaching skills to undergraduate nursing students got me interested in my research topic. I would meet with students in their lab sections and go over the key essential skills needed to work at bedside, like wound care and how to insert an IV properly and safely,” she said.

“Receiving this award gave me recognition and support, but also provided me some validation that my research work is important to people other than myself and my advisor.”

Shireen Bell, a PhD student, received $7,500 over two years to fund her qualitative research into the expressions of resilience in BIPOC undergraduate nursing students.

“There’s a really broad understanding of resilience, but as a nurse educator and a South Indian person of colour, I really want to drill down to the experiences within these students,” said Bell, who is also associate dean of nursing at Red Deer College. “Nursing is such a demanding profession, and we need to be supportive of the people who are coming into it.”

She said the award will help pay for travel costs and equipment for her arts-based research.

PhD student Gina Trinidad received the CNF COVID-19 Award for $5,000 for her nursing leadership role during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Her current research into improving the quality of life and care for elderly people in long-term care settings has been a commitment of hers as a senior decision maker at the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.

She plans on using the award to support data collection and recruitment of research participants for her PhD research into leadership at the front lines in health care.

“My PhD research will apply an intersectional lens with the goal of unleashing leadership behaviors in nurses by recognizing their own leader qualities,” Trinidad said.

Kristine (Popik) Doell, who is transferring from the master of nursing to the PhD program in September, received an award for $5,000.

“I’m interested in the experience of older adults who are married or in a committed relationship and one of them has to move into a personal care home. I’ve done an extensive literature review and found that marriage is actually a factor for older adults against depression and loneliness,” she said.

Doell graduated with a bachelor of nursing degree from UM in 2014. While at UM she worked as a research assistant and summer intern at the Manitoba Centre for Nursing and Health Research (MCNHR), which led to her interest in nursing academics and research.

“This award offers me the flexibility to work at the bedside a little less so I can focus on my studies,” she said.

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