Northern College Practical Nursing Professor and Program Coordinator Wins National Award

Northern College News and Events

TIMMINS, ON: Northern College’s Practical Nursing and Personal Support Worker Program Coordinator and Professor Mireille Walsh has been awarded the Canadian Association of Practical Nurse Educators (CAPNE) Award for Innovation in Practical Nursing Education.

Walsh received the award in recognition of her development of over 31 unique patient care simulation scenarios for use in Northern College’s Practical Nursing program. These scenarios utilize the state-of-the-art, high-fidelity patient simulation mannequins. Walsh has been instrumental in developing curriculum that utilizes simulation technology in both the Practical Nursing program and Laurentian University’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program delivered by Northern College.

Walsh is also utilizing simulation technology in research, seeking to improve the quality of interprofessional education within Health Sciences, and Emergency and Community Services programs. Walsh and a colleague have created a realistic domestic violence simulation that involves students from the Police Foundations, Paramedic, Practical Nursing, Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Social Service Worker programs. Multidisciplinary cooperation between students can be highly beneficial to the learners and has real-world implications as workers in these fields work together on a regular basis.

Students from Northern College’s Practical Nursing program have reported that the simulation lab activities have helped them retain skills and course content. Simulation models give students practical experience in dealing with a variety of common nursing scenarios, giving them experience and confidence which assists with the real-life situations they will encounter during the clinical phases of their education.

“Practical Nursing education is an area where Northern College excels and much of the program’s success can be attributed to the hard work and dedication of our faculty,” said Fred Gibbons, President of Northern College. “We are extremely pleased that Ms. Walsh has been recognized by CAPNE for her extensive work in developing innovative simulation scenarios and her dedication to the nursing profession. Her initiative, commitment and enthusiasm has had a positive impact in the classroom.”

The award was presented to Walsh on October 9th at the 2013 CAPNE Conference, held in Fredericton, New Brunswick. The award was open to Practical Nursing educators in Canada who have re-envisioned traditional models for practical nursing education and have led program changes. Several impressive and innovative educators were nominated for the award, with Walsh ultimately being selected as the winner.


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