Distinguished Alumni Awards presented at Spring Reunion

13 June 2014


The Distinguished Alumni Awards were presented as part of our Spring Reunion celebrations on May 31, 2014. Five awards were distributed, recognizing both new and seasoned alumni. The awards are bestowed annually to acknowledge graduates of the Lawrence Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing who have made exceptional contributions to nursing.

The Rising Star Award in Clinical and Community Nursing was awarded to Nicole Wagner. This award is given to an alumnus who has excelled in the first ten years after baccalaureate graduation by making significant contributions to practice early in their community nursing career. Currently working at the Advance Practice Nurse for the Mental Health and Addictions Program at Humber River Hospital, Wagner is a leading example the professionalism, integrity and ethical conduct that is needed in the area of addictions treatment. Wagner’s nominators spoke to her critical thinking, welcoming of new ideas, and a desire to achieve best practice standards.

The Rising Star, Academic award goes to an alumnus who has excelled in their academic nursing career in the first 5 years of a full-time academic appointment. This year’s recipient is Sheri Price. Price is an Assistant Professor at the School of Nursing at Dalhousie University in Halifax. She has excelled in her career and is quickly emerging as one of the leading nurse scientists in health human resource planning. Since her appointment in 2012, Price has obtained six research grants as a principal investigator and seven as co-investigator.

The Distinguished Alumnus Award recognizes a graduate with outstanding achievements whose noteworthy activity has been acknowledged in their field and has contributed to the health system through patient care, basic and clinical research or healthcare oriented services. This year, the Awards Selection Committee had a challenging time selecting from amongst the pool of deserving nominees, and as a result, two recipients were selected – Doris Howell and Kathy McGilton. Howell holds a number of prestigious roles and appointments, including the Royal Bank of Canada Chair in Oncology Nursing Research & Education, as well as being invited as chair, advisor expert and participant on numerous local, provincial and national boards, advisory groups and initiatives related to oncology or palliative care.

Kathy McGilton is an outstanding leader in the gerontological nursing community in Canada and internationally. Her work on supportive nursing supervision and contributions to measurement and interventions in nurse/long-term-care resident relationships and her development of interdisciplinary models of care for people with cognitive impairment is well-known. Additionally, her work as an RN has resulted in a number of policy initiatives, including serving as a consultant to the Ontario Government in the development of the Long Term Care Act: Bill 140.

The Class Award recipient is nominated by their class peers, and presented to someone who has made a positive impact in healthcare and/or the community, and makes a difference in the lives of others in the form of nursing, volunteerism or community involvement. The recipient this year is Joan Palmer. Joan has worked in a broad range of areas including service with the Salvation Army in Africa. Here at home, she has worked in long term care, in a resource centre for young parents, and rehab residence for adults with mental illness. She also supports the end of life cycle through her work as Palliative Care Coordinator for the Toronto Community Care Access Centre.

The final award is the Award of Distinction. Given to individuals who have made important lifetime contributions and shown proven dedication to healthcare and the nursing profession, this year’s award went to Linda Nugent. Nugent’s teaching career began in the 1970s, teaching in a number of facilities in Atlantic Canada, including 30 years at the University of New Brunswick. After the provincial government closed Diploma Schools of Nursing and transferred responsibility for nursing education to the universities, Nugent assumed leadership and executive responsibilities in developing the nursing baccalaureate program at UNB. During this process, she worked through senior administrators and partners within the university and nursing community and was clearly the voices of the vision of the department. Since her retirement, Nugent has worked to shape curriculum for home support workers. Her contributions will ensure that home support works will be better educated to meet the ever-growing needs of people who require care in their homes.

The professionals we recognize each year that the Distinguished Alumni Awards brings tremendous honour to Bloomberg Nursing and the larger nursing profession. The Faculty would like to offer hearty congratulations to all of our award recipients. Nominations for these awards are accepted beginning each February. We welcome nominees from among your peers or classmates to continue the legacy of excellence in the profession.