In 1993 Jim Donovan stepped up to commit his time and experience as a volunteer clinical preceptor in in the undergraduate program for Bloomberg Nursing. Twenty years later, Donovan has influenced countless students and helped equip them with the skills for successful nursing careers. In September, Donovan’s commitment and dedication as a preceptor was recognized as he received a prestigious Arbor Award from the University of Toronto.
“To be nominated and then chosen to receive one of these university-wide awards is an honour,” said Donovan, a staff nurse at Casey House, the first free standing HIV/AIDS facility in Canada. “It can be daunting for students taking what they’ve learned in-class and applying it in real clinical situations and it’s been a pleasure to work with Bloomberg Nursing undergrads to build that competence.”
Along with 2013 recipient and former Dean of the Faculty of Nursing, Dorothy (Dot) Pringle, Donovan joined the other volunteers at the University president’s official residence. The awards, presented by U of T President David Naylor, recognized the volunteers for their outstanding personal service to the university and highlighted their important contributions.
Donovan, with his wealth of experience caring for patients with long-term illnesses and repeated admissions to the same facility, adeptly shares his knowledge with the students he mentors. For nominators Barbara Chyzzy, a clinical instructor with Bloomberg Nursing and Joanne Louis, a lecturer at the Faculty, Donovan’s accomplishments fit perfectly with the Arbor Awards requirements.
“Jim’s ability to connect with patients and provide compassionate care has helped shape the way our students interact with their patients,” said nominators Chyzzy and Louis. “You can’t learn that level of understanding from a textbook and the Faculty really benefits from his career expertise.”
Volunteer preceptors are immensely valuable to the growth of nursing students and the knowledge they impart stays with undergraduates and graduates throughout their careers. Bloomberg Nursing collaborates with a number of clinical and community partners, and a roster of expert nurses who support students as they transition and integrate into the nursing workforce.
“Jim has left a huge impression on the students he’s mentored and we’re thrilled at Bloomberg Nursing that he’s received this top honour from the university,” said Francine Wynn, director of the undergraduate program at Bloomberg Nursing. “We have a large number of undergraduate students and the demand for volunteers to precept them remains high, so we thank Jim for his contributions over the last 20 years.”