Jul 03, 2017

150 Nurses to Know

To mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation, Canadian Nurse and infirmière canadienne take a look back at 150 of the incredible individuals we’ve profiled since the popular series began. We hope you enjoy. You can read the full profiles at Canadian-Nurse.com and infirmiere-canadienne.com (some profiles are available in either English or French only, as originally published).


A passion for justice

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and helpless about the thousands of homeless, about pasty-faced teenagers covered in filthy blankets, about weekly deaths, about overcrowded, disease-infested shelters. Street nurse Cathy Crowe feels overwhelmed too — overwhelmed with a desperate desire to do something. (March)

April 1998, Kathryn Hannah

Canada’s pioneer of nursing informatics
If you want to know about nursing informatics in Canada, Kathryn Hannah tops your list of interviewees. But first you have to catch her as she whirls from Calgary across the continent, editing books, delivering keynote addresses and marketing information systems. (April)

New Brunswick’s activist archivist
Arlee McGee has packed many careers into her life: One-room school teacher and university lecturer. Office and hospital nurse. Community health nurse and nurse consultant. Film and paralegal researcher. Author, poet and playwright. (May)

Thirty minutes a day to a better world
The headline may sound glib, but Ken Agar-Newman lives by those words in his pursuit of human rights. Every minute counts: breaks at his hospital, moments snatched before his three children wake up. (June)

The view from inside
One of the first things the Honourable Joan Marie Aylward tells you is how proud she is to be a nurse. And since 1996, when she ran successfully as a candidate for the provincial Liberal Party in the District of St. John’s Centre, Newfoundland, she’s been proud to be a politician too. (August)

“The possibilities are great”
While playing cards, a young aboriginal man is stabbed in the stomach with a butter knife. He’s flown to Thompson, Manitoba, then Winnipeg where he suffers cardiac arrest four times and finally dies. Nearly 20 years after this and similar tragedies, Fjola Hart-Wasekeesikaw still remembers how she felt: “I loved being a nurse, but I was sad and frustrated by these deaths because they were preventable.” (September)

Privileged to work in pediatrics
After nearly 20 years in pediatric nursing, Rebecca Attenborough still considers it an “incredible privilege.” “We have an opportunity to hopefully make a difference in a small way,” she says, “and help families learn to manage in difficult circumstances.” (October)

A small simple thing
Lori Tulloch caters to the migrating men of the morning who rove from one dumpster to the next searching for bottles, food, whatever. Her Whitehorse, Yukon, clinic is deliberately on their route, in a cramped room of an aging downtown hotel, and they stop by for a little snack, warm socks, needle exchange, advice or maybe just a kind word. (November)


Queen Tut of the Island
Vernita Gallant’s childhood was filled with union talk. Her father, a truck driver in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, was organizing his co-workers. And her brother, 11 years her senior, was active in the Great Lakes’ unions. Vernita, whose childhood nickname Tata was eventually shortened to Tut, was a captive audience. It seemed only natural that she would help found the island’s nurses’ union in 1972. (January)

“Your work has to make you happy”
After nearly two decades, Helen Jones is still very happy working in the field of diabetes. It’s “extremely rewarding, fulfilling and challenging.” And now her dedication is paying off in personal accolades, namely the Canadian Diabetes Association’s prestigious Charles H. Best Award, which she received in June 1998. (February)

“One who gives comfort to others”
Sukhdev Grewal seemed destined to become a nurse; in Punjabi her given name means “one who gives comfort to others.” Today, those “others” are women in Vancouver’s South Asian community — a community that was notoriously underserved. (March)

April 1999, Janet MacDonald

Performing CPR and holding hands
A while back, ER nurse Janet MacDonald was caring for an elderly woman who had suffered a small stroke. The woman was scheduled for a CT scan the next morning, but when MacDonald told her she’d have to go home she became very upset and said she was scared. Very scared. “It was like a slap in the face,” says MacDonald, who realized she wasn’t caring for the patient’s needs, just the hospital’s. (April)

A partner in healthy aging
It’s only fitting that gerontology enthusiast Julie Doyon should win this year’s contest to come up with a National Nursing Week slogan. In the International Year of Older Persons, Doyon’s slogan — Older Persons and Nurses: Partners for Healthy Aging — was a natural. (May)

Spreading the joy of breastfeeding
In 1984, the year before lactation consultant Janet Murphy Goodridge moved to Newfoundland, the breastfeeding rate was 33 per cent. This year it hit 54 per cent, due, in no small part, to her efforts. (June)

Taking nursing to new heights
Unemployed, newly wed and newly graduated, Patricia O’Connor was desperate for a job and, to everyone’s astonishment, became an ambulance attendant. Twenty-two years later she’s still in the field — a true pioneer. She’s gone from being the only RN on Ontario’s first team of flight paramedics, to starting an air medivac service in the Northwest Territories, to owning Medflight and providing trained flight nurses and paramedics for the N.W.T. (August)

Heart-felt commitment to cardiac patients
A decade ago, Cleo Cyr decided her Saint John, New Brunswick, hospital needed a secondary prevention program for coronary patients. Today, that program serves 120 patients and over 2,000 patient clinic visits annually, has attracted national praise, and is spreading across the province. (September)

Giving voice to women with breast cancer
In 1990, Barbara Bilodeau-Shumeley took an incredible risk. Newly separated, she nonetheless ditched 20 years of seniority and financial security at Winnipeg’s Grace General Hospital to go back to school and earn her Master of Nursing degree. (October)

Jail breaker
Terri Havill has just returned from a 27-day bike trip that included cycling around the gruelling terrain of Cape Breton. Perhaps this Vancouver nurse’s penchant for killer biking and the like gave her the stamina for the fight of her career — a three-year battle to improve working conditions and care for inmates at the Vancouver Pretrial Services Centre. (November)


Someone to watch
In these opening days of the new millennium, futuristic voyeurism is rampant, and Nurses to Know is not exempt. Our prediction? Watch the media because before you know it Donna Wilson will be making headlines. In Edmonton’s world of health care politics, Wilson is already a frequent guest on radio and a tireless lobbyist for public health care. (January)

Ensuring humane HIV/AIDS care
In 1987, RNs still donned masks, goggles and aprons when caring for people with HIV/AIDS. And they weren’t alone; the fear and stigma surrounding the disease was endemic. John Flannery was convinced there had to be a better, more humane, approach. (February)

Delivering the gift of sight
It was 1994. “They gave me a beeper and told me to go start an eye bank.” And so began the most rewarding part of Mary Gatien’s 27-year nursing career. (March)

The Norma Rae of nursing
Some of Patricia Yuzik’s colleagues call her Norma Rae, after the American union activist. This is not because of any union activity on her part, though. Rather, it’s because she fights for what she believes in. (April)

An ounce of prevention...
Pam McIntee can’t talk fast enough about health and safety. There’s an urgency to her voice, an implied imperative: don’t delay, this could prevent an injury! (May)

Nursing opens a window to the world
Tobey Audcent treats life as an adventure, whether she’s battling whitewater rapids on the Ottawa River, teaching nursing students in Ethiopia or practising primary health care in a remote area of Newfoundland. (June)

Teaching people to stand up for themselves
Throughout Arlene Draffin Jones’ 40-year career she’s never lost that urge to learn something new, to be on the cutting edge. Now, as a patient advocate, she’s hit full stride, making complete use of her extensive network, work-based wisdom and infectious enthusiasm. (August)

Providing counselling and support for youth
Patti Melanson, nurse co-ordinator of Mainland South Teen Health Centre in Halifax’s J.L. Ilsley High School, can’t be interviewed tonight. She’s a volunteer chaperone at an all-night grad prom and wouldn’t miss it for the world. (September)

Aiming for balance in mind, body and spirit
Melding Aboriginal and Western medicine is the latest thing in health care, but it’s been part of Marsha Forrest’s daily hospital practice for more than 25 years. (October)

Coming home to gerontological nursing
Twenty years ago, people thought working with older adults was a career-limiting move. Carla Wells set out to prove them wrong. (November)


Making a difference to ostomy patients
Early on, Kathryn Kozell helped care for a young woman who later committed suicide because she thought her ostomy made her filthy and an unfit mother. Kozell’s voice breaks as she recounts this, then strengthens as she explains how it sealed her resolve to help these patients. (January)

February 2001, Orpha Schryvers

A professional and personal passion
Few nurses understand spinal cord injuries like Winnipeg’s Orpha Schryvers. Not only has she specialized in the area for nearly 30 years, she’s also taken her passion home. Orpha’s husband of 21 years is tetraplegic. (February)

Storming through the stigma
Pia Elliott has more than a professional interest in improving the life of people with mental illness, she has a personal passion. Elliott lives with bipolar disorder and both her children have diagnosed mental illnesses. Her aim is to ease the stigma and pave the way to understanding. (March)

The definitive telehealth nurse
Lois Scott has 260-plus RNs manning the phones in New Brunswick and Ontario, responding to questions from concerned parents, housebound seniors, military personnel and a multitude of others who need accurate health information or help with symptom assessment in a timely manner. (April)

Restoring dignity in a time of dementia
“When my father was admitted he was highly agitated and grossly over-medicated from a hospital’s attempt to ‘modify’ his behavior. Under Sandy Telford’s direction, he is now drug free, and despite the progress of his Alzheimer’s disease, his daily attitude is a testament to the love and caring he has received.” Jo-Ann Zador (retired RN) (May)

Nursing with heart
The rewards of working as an expanded role nurse in a cardiology unit are “beyond anything you could ever imagine,” says Anna Svendsen of Halifax. “The biggest thrill is when someone comes in and says ‘I thought I was dying, now I have a life.’” (June)

Compassion to the end
After 22 years in palliative care, Newfoundland’s Laurie Anne O’Brien has one of the largest extended families on record. She can scarcely take a walk in St. John’s without running into people she knows. (August)

The circle of nursing
Vivian Painter has devoted her nursing career to something that can’t be measured, seen or handled, but that lies at the core of professional nursing: caring competencies. (September)

The gift of life
How do you ask a newly bereaved family for permission to retrieve organs from their loved one? With empathy for their grief and acceptance for their decision, says Liz Anne Gillham-Eisen. That philosophy is instrumental to the success of her procurement program at The Ottawa Hospital. (October)

Caring for caregivers
In 1994, while experts debated what to do about latex allergies, Margaret Brooke looked at the evidence and recommended an alternative product. And so B.C.’s Simon Fraser Health Region became one of the first Canadian institutions to use low protein, non-powdered latex gloves. (November)


Helping as best she can from Afghanistan to Sioux Lookout
On September 11 last year, Kathleen Skinnider was working at an internally displaced persons camp in northwest Afghanistan when she heard about the terrorist attack in New York City. “I knew things were about to get a whole lot worse for these people.” She also knew she’d probably have to leave. It was the second time war had disrupted her work. (January)

“There’s something unique about an island”
Wendy Morse has moved from the kitchen tables of Grand Manan Island to those in Saint John, New Brunswick, in her bid to create a supportive community of women with breast cancer. (February)

“This is home now”
In 17 years of hiphopping across the country, working at eight institutions from Kentville, Nova Scotia, to Mayerthorpe, Alberta, Debbie Lyons has picked up several careers’-worth of experience — just the sort of well-rounded background that makes her a community nurse who garners rave reviews. (March)

April 2002, Gail Brimbecom

Reconnecting the spirit of healing
The history of health care was the history of the church until the advent of scientific medicine. Now, through parish nursing, “the church’s role has been reclaimed,” says Gail Brimbecom, a Canadian pioneer in this growing specialty. (April)

Power to the people
Psychiatric nurse and community activist Cathy Murphy has brought a message of hope to economically beleaguered Newfoundlanders through documentary films depicting how six rural communities found the strength to survive. It’s the same message she’s been giving clients for years. (May)

Gold-standard mentor
Gail Gorrie’s uncompromising high standards are being instilled in a whole generation of neuroscience nurses in Winnipeg. Her credo is to treat your patients like they’re your loved ones. It’s a philosophy that’s serving well. (June)

“I don’t take no for an answer”
She may only be 5′4″ but Angelina Beveridge is a force to be reckoned with. Since college, the Saskatchewan-based diabetes educator has been able to recognize when change is needed, and, more importantly, make it happen. (August)

Emergency measures
With the lack of primary care, patients are turning to emergency departments. Clinical nurse specialist Eileen Denomy strives to ensure that the nurses in London, Ontario, are prepared for this onslaught. (September)

Fighting for others’ rights
Doreen Littlejohn has always dreamed of nursing in the developing countries and, in a sense, she’s doing just that in Vancouver’s downtown eastside. (October)

A beacon of light
In the face of deinstitutionalization, Donna Pineo offers hope to clients with severe and persistent mental illness: a practical program that helps them live successfully in the community. (November)


A vision of leadership
Leadership is not the domain of an elite. It belongs to all of us, says Michelle Inder-Milley, a young Newfoundland nurse. (January)

The new nurse practitioner
Nurse practitioners can marry advanced education with clinical work, says Debbie Fraser Askin. “You have to make a conscious effort to keep the nurse in nurse practitioner.” (February)

A telehealth pioneer
Forget the video and audio equipment, the computers and secure network lines. Chris-Anne Ingram thrives on that great feeling she gets from simply improving access to patient care. (March)

Ripples of caring
As a hospital, home care and public health nurse, instructor and northern nurse, Carol Gregor has touched the lives of thousands. Who says you can’t do it all? (April)

Home Sweet Hospital
From candy striper to running the show, Bonnie Jones has made a career — and created a family — at Sundre Hospital. “No wonder people think I’m a dinosaur, I’ve been there since I was 16!” (May)

“We had very little”
Twenty-five years ago, Anne McElligott moved from sun-scorched Zambia, to the frigid coast of Labrador. She signed on for a year at a nursing station but “got stuck in a snowbank.” (June)

Giving nursing a voice
The stepping stones on Michael Villeneuve’s career path led from being an orderly to giving advice to Canada’s top nurse — not that he planned it that way. (August)

Teach what you know
Professor Grace Getty hands out methadone to IV-drug users at the clinic she founded and helps run, instantly dispelling stereotypes about academics in ivory towers. (September)

October 2003, Tina Tier

Treading the path of wisdom
Tina Tier holds seven positions but only one main concern: improving childbirth for women, their families and nursing. (October)

Caring for the caregivers
When 14 healthcare workers with SARS arrived at West Park Healthcare Centre, Lynne Wilkins was armed with 24 years of experience in infection control and a powerful work ethic. (November)


A voice for the future
John Maddigan, a student nurse, kinesiologist and neophyte politician, is on a mission to give nursing students a voice in the profession’s future. He’s making remarkable progress. (January)

Successful recruiting takes a personal touch
In the midst of an escalating nursing shortage, Mary Godwin is delivering new recruits — and better nursing care — to Nova Scotians. (February)

The spirit burns brighter
Transferring control of First Nations health care from government to community is a difficult path, but Jeannette Watts has learned exactly where to tread. (March)

All in the family
From the back streets of downtown Calgary to the boardrooms of major corporations, Lorraine Melchior is driven by one goal: to provide a better life to the families most in need. (April)

Going the second mile
Addie Loomes once accompanied a patient to his daughter’s wedding eight days before he died. “We can’t do anything to stop them from dying, but we can make them more comfortable in all aspects.”(May)

Data set 101: A career primer
“Data is not something to be afraid of,” says Patricia Walsh. “It allows us to capture what we do, and how we do it, and make it more efficient. It’s evidence-based information on how we work.” (June)

Above and beyond
“It’s all gone,” a man shouts out the window to Linda Johnson. “My cancer is all gone.” Johnson grins as she recounts the story: “I feel so connected and appreciated here.” (September)

Having it all up north
Research. Teaching. Clinical practice. Most people have to choose one or two, but not Brenda Dawyduk. Who says you can’t have it all north of 53? (October)

Advocating health for all
During a long career in public health, Verna Huffman Splane blazed trails around the globe into uncharted territory for public health and nursing leadership. (November)


First lady of Canadian nursing
Canada’s most decorated nurse, she is a companion of the Order of Canada, holds six honorary doctorates and received the Florence Nightingale Medal from the International Committee of the Red Cross. Meet Helen Mussallem. (January)

Research for practice, for life
Judith Wuest is living proof that research is both an essential part of nursing and a viable career path. (February)

Trailblazer in nursing research
Over the last 26 years, Dr. Linda O’Brien-Pallas has completed nearly 85 research projects, helping to lay the foundation for a science-based profession. (March)

November 2005, Harriet Sloan

Upholding the image of nursing
Dr. Ginette Lemire Rodger is a charismatic leader who has made an invaluable contribution to nursing, nationally and internationally. (April)

Ethics in action
For more than 30 years, Dr. Janet Storch has endeavoured to move ethics out of the textbooks and into nursing practice. (May)

A mission accomplished
During Dr. Helen Glass’s 60-year career, nursing was transformed from a practice to a profession — in no small part because of her efforts. (June)

Nursing excellence by design
As a tireless advocate for the nursing profession, Dr. Shirley Stinson continues to make history. (October)

A lifetime of service
She is the doyenne of military nursing sisters. During the Year of the Veteran, Lt.-Col. (Ret’d) Harriet Sloan’s memory is working overtime. (November)


A noble vocation
Lynn Childs is a fervent believer in the nobility of nursing. Legions of those she’s mentored are quick to concur. (January)

March 2006, Sylvie Robichaud-Ekstrand

Practising to code
Amidst the turmoil of budget cuts and restructuring, Morrie Steele showed B.C. registered nurses the way to ethical practice and how to meet professional standards. (February)

Sylvie Robichaud-Ekstrand: Brave heart
A leading cardiovascular nurse researcher is launching a “new investigation,” as the nursing director at the Université de Moncton. (March)

Conduit to excellence
June Anonson spent the first half of her career practising nursing, the second half encouraging others to excel and lead in it. (May)

November 2006, Dion Thevarge

Sowing the seeds for good health
For more than three decades, Sheila Robinson has worked toward achieving the underlying international tenet of “health for all” in countries around the world. (June)

A passion for research
It’s not enough to just make a difference in the care and quality of life for patients and their families, says nurse researcher Margaret Fitch. You have to be able to measure that difference. (September)

Treading the path to wellness
Growing up on a First Nations reserve, mental health nurse Dion Thevarge came to know first-hand the difficulties his people face. (November)


Tackling public health — at home and abroad — is a labour of love
Diane Araki’s work overseas has enriched her knowledge and enhanced her skills to tackle major public health projects. (January)

A champion of diversity
Everything Yasmin Vali does — living, teaching or practising an array of well-honed nursing skills — is designed to enrich everyone’s cultural competence. (February)

A source of inspiration, information and hope for parents and their children
When Donna Hagerty found out that her second child was diagnosed with diabetes at only 2½ years old, she was in shock. It was 1980, she was pregnant with her third child and had a busy career in nursing. (March)

Cancer changed Donalda MacDonald’s perspective on life — and how she teaches
It was 1975, jobs were scarce and she sent out 50 resumés. Finally she was offered a job as an oncology nurse in Toronto. She didn’t relish the idea of moving to Ontario’s capital but thought she could do it for a year. Thirty-two years later, she’s still there. (April)

A leader in academia and the parish community
“I see parish nursing as community health nursing within a faith community context. I do health promotion in the most holistic way, pulling heavily on their [members of the congregation’s] spiritual resources personally and within their faith community,” Joanne Olson says. (June)

Reaching out to educate about breast health
As a breast health educator, Joanne Barry has helped thousands of women, including her three daughters, become more open in talking about a sensitive subject. (October)

Retired nurse brings experience and hope to Uganda
The first time Gail Fones went to Uganda she was worried she wouldn’t be able to stop crying. (November)


Daniel Savoie has expertise and experience in both sides of health care
“I understand what the patients are experiencing. And they know that I recognize and empathize with their challenges because I was once a patient.” (January)

Kay Matthews: A labour of love
A nursing and midwifery pioneer dedicated to improving maternal and child health at home and abroad. (February)

At the forefront of pain research
Céleste Johnston was drawn to research out of curiosity and frustration: “I would ask why certain protocols were being used, and the answer was, ‘That’s the way it’s always been done.’” (March)

April 2008, Lan Gien

Lan Gien’s personal and professional growth has its roots in her commitment to helping others
She left her native Vietnam as a teenager to pursue a nursing career. Thirty years later, after becoming a nursing professor and a leading researcher, she returned to Vietnam to launch award-winning health-care and education projects. (April)

Lynn Nagle is a tireless champion of health informatics
When SARS hit Ontario in 2003, she was the chief information officer at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital — an institution that provided Canada and the world with critical leadership and education during this frightening time. (May)

October 2008, Jodi Dusik-Sharpe

Crafting a rich and colourful career
In 2001, Barb Round became executive director of the Northwest Territories Registered Nurses Association. “I had to call on every skill I’d developed and every experience I’d had as a nurse,” she says, but the opportunity to represent the interests of northern nurses was “humbling and exhilarating.” (June)

Early commitment, continuing dedication
With no plans to retire any time soon, Goldie White continues to expand her horizons in a remote community in Labrador. (September)

Neuroscience nurse Jodi Dusik-Sharpe has injury prevention on the brain
During the 20 years she has spent in neuroscience nursing, she has witnessed the devastating effects of neurological injuries on patients and their families. (October)


Mixing nursing and politics for the good of our health
As a child, Sandra Gardiner was always the first to grab the ice pack or a bandage when one of her younger siblings was hurt; she’d had nursing ambitions since she was five years old. It was, however, never in her sights to run for public office. (January)

A powerful advocate for medical-surgical nursing
If one person could be said to have spearheaded the movement to establish a national association of medical-surgical nurses and have this area of nursing practice designated for CNA certification, it would almost certainly be Nicole Simpson. (February)

Couple find their place in a home away from home
Cheryl and Mike Dove have always loved the outdoors. They got engaged while on a hike in Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park in the fall of 2002. The following year, they were married and, just two months after that, the couple moved to a remote First Nations community where they practised for the next five years. (March)

April 2009, Trista Ling

Activist builds on nursing’s privilege and potential
Trista Ling had always wanted to go to medical school, but life had gotten in the way and she hadn’t been able to realize that goal. But when she mentioned her plans to her family doctor, she recommended that Ling take a look at nursing instead — she would graduate faster and have a more reasonable schedule, and get to spend time with her kids. Ling took that advice and hasn’t looked back since. (April)

Inuit Nurses to Know
Susie Pearce says that what she likes most about nursing is that she learns something new every day: “What we were taught in nursing school were the basics, but everything else that I’ve learned in the community has been huge.”

On the day Charlotte Kusugak Zawadski found out she was expecting her first child, she was accepted into the nursing program at Nunavut Arctic College. She delayed the start of her education by a year but was determined to become a nurse — something she had always known she wanted to do. (May)

Nursing in Nunavut
Nancy McGrath, a nurse at Iqaluit’s Qikiqtani General Hospital, had a minor panic attack when she first arrived in Nunavut five years ago — she hadn’t anticipated that there wouldn’t be any trees. Throughout her career, Robyne Ruff has met a lot of nurses who are grumpy and miserable in their jobs. A community health nurse in Baker Lake, Ruff has been working in the north since 1993, and says, “I love going to work every day.” (June)

September 2009, Tyler Kuhk

Young leader looks forward to the future
Like most young men who have eyed university programs, Tyler Kuhk didn’t give much thought to a career in nursing. Fascinated by how the human body works, he decided to pursue biology at Thunder Bay’s Lakehead University. But by the end of the first semester, he knew he’d made a mistake. (September)

On a mission to prevent the preventables
For Katarina Busija, making the health-care system safer for patients and their families is more than just a professional pursuit — it’s personal. In 2004, after a diagnosis of cancer and following emergency surgery for a bowel obstruction, her father was given a high dose of a drug that was contraindicated and that put him in the ICU with liver and kidney failure. For the remaining weeks of his life he was unable to eat, drink or speak with his family. (October)

November 2009 Sheila Wilson

Challenge, opportunity and adventure: Stories from Newfoundland and Labrador
Sheila Wilson’s work has taken her all over the map — literally. She has volunteered with international organizations on four continents and practised in refugee camps, war zones and on an oil rig.

As a young engineering student at the Marine Institute in St. John’s, Shane Fudge never imagined he’d end up as a nurse. His career has taken him to Maine, where he worked for a travel nurse company, and to an oil rig 500 kilometres off the coast of Newfoundland.

Corey Banks discovered his calling on the fly. He was in his third year at the General Hospital school of nursing in St. John’s, doing a project on transport nursing. His research uncovered a field he hadn’t known about before. (November)


Managing arthritis from a position of strength
When Lorena Totton was first asked if she’d be interested in working in the arthritis care field, she shook her head. “I said no, I don’t need to work in it and live it,” remembers Totton, who noticed her first symptoms of arthritis while she was still in high school. (January)

Finding a niche in research
Shellie Anderson’s debut as a front-line nursing manager coincided with an event that made medical history. She directed the team of nurses who worked on Canada’s first living lung transplant. (February)

March 2010, Angela Cooper Brathwaite

Driving change in public health
Angela Cooper Brathwaite’s mother, a midwife and community health nurse in Trinidad, loved telling her young daughter about her work. Some of the more vivid tales lingered in Brathwaite’s mind for decades. One story delved into the horrors of smallpox. (March)

Julie Lys’s nursing career begins — and continues — at home
For a woman as devoted to her community, her family and her roots as Julie Lys is, nursing is the perfect career. Not only can she offer a more personal, and continuous, level of care to generations of families she has known since childhood, but she can — and does — volunteer her time and expertise in a variety of community initiatives that combine her two passions: aboriginal health and education. (April)

Always ready to answer the call
An innocent-looking mushroom growing beside the Alaska Highway played a key role in steering Phyllis Randle toward a lifelong career. While strolling along the road, the 10-year-old came across a patch of mushrooms that looked delicious. She picked some to take home to her mother for dinner. (May)

September 2010, Nancy McFadyen

Taking the road to yes
Arlene Wilgosh’s hometown of Minnedosa is two-and-a-half hours from Winnipeg. About 2,500 people live in this small, close-knit community, including Wilgosh’s 82-year-old mother. In this Canadian prairie town, Wilgosh had her first work experience in a health-care organization. (June)

Nancy MacFadyen’s enrichment course
Student and teacher — these simple words define Nancy MacFadyen and her 35-year career. A passionate believer that learning is an ongoing commitment, she has made her mark as an innovative leader and educator. (September)

November 2010, Dennis Ano

Getting the message out about HIV/AIDS
It all began with Baby Larry. Caring for the six-week-old started Jan Cibart on a remarkable journey of discovery about HIV/AIDS. It is a journey that has taken her to remote rural villages in southern Africa and into aboriginal communities much closer to home. (October)

Earning trust and building strength
Since coming to Canada, Dennis Ano has worked to bring greater health and safety to Vancouver Island’s aboriginal population. He insists that a strong sense of family, instilled in him in his native Philippines, is central to his work as a community health nurse. (November)


An entrepreneurial spirit soars
Despite a fear of flying, Gail Courneyea found her passion and began her own aeromedical transport service. (January)

Keeping it real: Putting “patients” and medical students through their paces
Linda Mosher teaches tomorrow’s physicians how to approach patients with sensitivity. (February)

A young career in high gear
Not content to stay in a first job that didn’t fit, Thomas Froh pressed on and found a nursing specialty he loves. (March)

On double duty in Labrador City
Karen Oldford finds a natural connection between local politics and health care. (April)

Research wins out
Diane Doran is part of an intellectual lineage stretching back to Florence Nightingale and the beginnings of modern, scientific nursing. (May)

September 2011, Christine Moore

When loss leads in new directions
Jane Simington shares hard-won lessons about healing. (June)

Rookie MP jumps in with both feet
Christine Moore transitions from clinical practice to the House of Commons. (September)

The changing face of heart disease
Rose Lopetrone finds a new role after facing a disease that has haunted her family. (October)

Good business practices
Meet three entrepreneurs who put their ideas, nursing knowledge and enthusiasm to work in their own businesses — Irene Martin, Kath Murray and Lisa Markin. (November)


February 2012, Marie Martin

Life’s turning points shape a career — or two
As a behaviourist at a weight management clinic, Cathy Poirier draws on her nursing experience. (January)

“A dream job”
Marie Martin champions traditional aboriginal culture in every way possible. (February)

Cancer and sex: Out in the open
Anne Katz helps patients cope with a new reality. (March)

Community connections
Georgann MacDonald has sought out a variety of nursing and acting roles. (April)

Grounded energy
Working with young people is central to Don Ragush’s life and career. (May)

May 2012, Don Ragush

Staying true to self
Teaching and learning have shaped Linda LePage-LeClair’s life. (June)

Optimistic about new directions in mental health
Florence Budden is a long-time advocate for patients and their families. (September)

Fighting a good fight
Throughout her life, Lizzie Stead has rolled with the punches. (October)

A path well chosen
Connie Clerici stepped in when she saw a need in the community. (November)


Creative expression in abundance
Lynda McLeod encourages nurses to practise self-care through art. (January)

Like one of the family
Tracy Daigneault uses vacation time or takes a leave of absence each month to work on a First Nation reserve. (February)

Healing trauma, inside and out
After a car crash, Joanne Charron put her life back together and became a better trauma therapist. (March)

April 2013, Julie Francis

No place like home
Julie Francis has a true understanding of the needs of her community. (April)

Off the beaten track
John Pringle had his first exposure to epidemiology as a field worker with MSF. (May)

Baby friendly
Introducing kangaroo care in Canada is just one of Kathy Hamelin’s accomplishments. (June)

Tapping into her power
Helen Boyd overcame a sense of powerlessness and hit the road to help the homeless in her community. (September)

A history-making practice
Hazel Booth can now put all her skills and expertise as an NP to use in Yukon. (October)

Elder care was in the cards
Games of cribbage sparked Sherry Gionet’s interest in gerontology. (November)


The amazing racer
Tim Hague’s fitness level has helped him fend off the effects of Parkinson’s and triumph in a high-profile competition. (January)

150 Nurses for Canada 150

Nurses have been a foundational component of health-care delivery and improvements for centuries. To mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation, CNA wanted to recognize some of those who are continuing to pioneer health innovation in Canada and around the world. That is why the association is honouring 150 nurse innovators and champions in health care. They will be profiled on the CNA website and receive a pin and a certificate.

While most nominations came through CNA’s jurisdictional members, independent CNA members from Ontario and Quebec and emeritus members were invited to submit their name or a colleague’s name for consideration. CNA is also honouring a group of licensed/registered practical nurses and registered psychiatric nurses, who were nominated by their respective organizations.

The 150 group includes strong public advocates and leaders in connecting with patients and families to advance a patient-centred approach to quality health care through traditional, innovative or interprofessional practices. They inspire passion for nursing through their support of professional development by being mentors or advisors.

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