Research and Innovation Day 2018

February 15, 2018 • Written by

Another great success at our third annual Research and Innovation Day!

We hope everyone had a great time learning and exploring what our community is doing.

We’d like to thank all our presenters, key note speaker Richard Booth RN, MScN, PhD,

and our exhibitors who made this day possible.

Thank you to all who attended, students and staff, as well as the Research and Scholarship committee and the Public Relations committee for all their hard work to make this day run so smoothly, and a special shout out to Meagen Chorney who guided the day so smoothly!

Congratulations to all our winners this year:

First Place: Bridget Burns – Lullaby Music Therapy in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Second Place: Tessera Ball, Dana Strong, Suzanne Guay, Caitlyn Edwards, Melissa Nelson, & Selam Isack – Advocating for Change: The Impact of Introducing Safe Injection Sites in Winnipeg

Third Place: Gurpreet Sandhu, Candace Blahey, Shelby Marks, & Kelsey Pasishnik – Bedside Report

Fourth Place: Melissa Coelho, Bhav Khosa, Jessica Vaz, & Jennifer Ruchkall – Newborn Assessment and LATCH-R Assessment Tool Workshop

Fifth Place: Anna Hanstein, Dylan, Tannis Thiessen, & Tiffany Arnfinson – Domestic Violence

Written by Jennifer Johnson

Nursing Lab Manager





Nursing Skills Competition – Shanghai China

January 11, 2018 • Written by

It all began in June 2017 with a post on our RRC Nursing page stating Nursing Skills Competition in Shanghai China. Without having any idea as to what a nursing skills competition entailed, my mind was stuck on the fact that this could be an opportunity to go on a trip to China. I am an avid traveler and the prospect of a trip was what dinged a little light of interest in my mind. It was all very exciting for about a week until my mind drifted into summer mode, and I forgot I was in school altogether. Come Fall in late August, a little red notification dot showed up on our webpage again, now with more details as to what I needed to do to officially apply. One letter of reference, one paper of interest, one interview, and one extremely nerve-racking simulation activity later, and I was chosen.

I showed up to our first “practice” as nervous as I was for my first day of school. We had planned to meet every Friday at lunch for an hour or two to go over all of the skills that could be included in this competition. You may be thinking skills… what are skills? I was too. These skills could include anything from walking a patient or repositioning them in bed, to more complicated nursing skills such as inserting an IV or administering a medication. The other student chosen to compete with me was a 3rd year student, and I couldn’t help but feel intimidated because she had a whole year more knowledge crammed into her head than I. However soon her and I, along with our alternate, quickly got into a routine and worked together seamlessly like we had known each other for years. I started feeling like a team, and as the weeks until the competition dwindled, I knew we were ready and excited for the competition.

I’ll spare you the details of our travels, because if you have ever been on a long airplane ride you would understand the swollen ankles and the greasy hair that naturally happen when you don’t have access to a bed or shower for 24+ hours. Upon arrival, we immediately felt the culture shock: people everywhere, a foreign language, and signs that couldn’t be read. Luckily we spotted a man who stood with a sign with our instructor’s name on it, and we followed him into his van and were off. Did we know where we were going? No. Did we know how long it would take to get there? No. Nonetheless we got to the University of Shanghai School of Medicine campus where we would be staying, and quickly fell into bed for a quick 11 hour nap.

After a day of “prep” for all teams, it was time for the competition. We woke up early, put on our slightly wrinkled uniforms, and walked down the hallway into the competition. We had seen the arena the day before, but today the seats were filled with people, music played, and strobe lights flashed, getting the crowd and participants excited. There were four stages set up, each with a patient in a bed, a “family member,” and the necessary supplies you needed to complete your scenario. We watched as team after team completed their scenario and walked off the stage with shaky hands and sweaty brows. Finally it was our turn. Scenario One: We had 15 minutes to teach a patient who had just suffered a stroke how to walk with a cane, properly dress themselves, and teach them about their new diet restrictions. Luckily for my partner and I, communicating was our strong point, and with all the prep we breezed through this scenario, though as we stepped off the stage we mirrored all the students before us… shaky hands and sweaty brows.

There were a total of 8 slots for teams that would be chosen to complete the “Final Round”, and only 4 of them went to international teams. We arrived back at the arena in the afternoon nervously awaiting the results as to who was going on to the next round. Name after name was slowly put onto the big screen… until we saw it. Little old Red River College was on the list! With little time to celebrate, all 8 teams were whisked into the “holding area” where one after one would leave the room for the 25 minute final scenario. Final Scenario: Each of the remaining teams were given the same scenario. A young male patient had collapsed while doing yard work and was recently diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. We were to take his blood sugar, administer insulin, establish an IV, start him on fluids, reposition him in bed, and teach him about his new diagnosis. Comparatively this scenario was much more difficult than the first, but slowly and methodically we completed each task. With only a couple of bumps along the way (don’t get me started on the drug dose calculation that I had to do; learn your mental math kids!), we completed the scenario and again walked off the stage… with shaky hands and sweaty brows.

Without even knowing the results, we were proud of what we had accomplished. We had made it to the final round, beat out teams who were actual working nurses, and showed that Red River College was a school that produced confident and knowledgeable students and future nurses. Yeah yeah yeah… we get it, but how did we do?? Overall we won second place, and we won 1st place in the international category. We were ecstatic. The late nights, the hours studying, the weekends in, the moments that I felt like I couldn’t do it all… were all worth it.

Overall the traveler in me had an amazing time in China: learning a new culture, touring a new city, and checking another country off my list. What had become more important to me was the experience of this Nursing competition from start to finish. The extra practice has made me a more confident student, the competition opened my eyes to nursing around the world, and the win opened doors for opportunities that I never would have dreamed of. The more I get to speak about this competition and about this program, the more passionate I become and the more excited I am to be a part of it. I hope that future students, if given the opportunity to apply for this competition, do so excitedly. As for me, this experience will always be one of my best, and now as my 15 minutes of fame fades, I will be just like all my fellow students and start writing a paper for one of our classes … instead of a fun blog like this one.

Written by
Elyse Griffith
– Student Nurse

Flu Clinic

January 4, 2018 • Written by

The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the Fall and Winter months. Annual vaccination is important because influenza is unpredictable, can cause serious health complications, flu viruses are constantly changing, and immunity from vaccination declines over time. The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority recommends an annual flu vaccine as the first and best way to protect against influenza, which can cause serious illness especially in those who are at higher risk for these complications. In order to promote health and wellness of the community, our Nursing students took a proactive approach and participated in the Red River College Flu Clinic last November.

Second year BN students, in partnership with the Red River College Health Centre, administered the 2017 Flu Vaccine to 303 students and 150 staff, for a total of 453 flu vaccinations over the course of four days. The Flu Clinic was held at both the Notre Dame Campus and the Language Training Centre.

Participation in the Flu Clinics was part of the BN Older Adult Health Theory course, specifically related to the Community Clinical Practice component. Each day, one group of students (4-6 students per group), from the four groups in Community Clinical practice, were responsible for a clinic. They were supervised by course leader Tammy Moran, their clinical instructor (either Tanya Cole, Diane Ammeter, Janet Spence, or Teri-Lyn Healy), and either Heather or Ian from the Health Center. Not only were students responsible for the safe administration of the vaccine, they were directly involved in the set up and organization of the clinic throughout the day.

The Community Clinical Practice component of the Older Adult Health course focuses on the clinical application of concepts, processes, practices, and research associated with promoting health and maintaining wellness in middle-aged and older adults as well as their families in community settings. Emphasis is placed on the development of the nurse-client relational partnership in the context of health teaching for the promotion of health and the maintenance of wellness. The Flu Clinic gave students the opportunity to recognize the importance of an interprofessional / multidisciplinary team approach when caring for the older adult, participate in a wellness health event focused on health promotion with adults in the community, as well as organize and deliver a public education event focused on adults.

By administering vaccinations, students were also able to practice drawing up medication as well as the proper techniques of an IM injection. The Flu Clinic gave real world practice to the techniques learned in the Techniques One course. In addition, students were able to learn and practice relational nursing skills, cultural competence and cultural safety with adults in community-based settings, documentation, as well as health teaching and promotion.

Although the students were nervous to begin the day, they quickly adapted to their role. Students shared with their instructors how the clinic was fun, and they felt very much like “nurses” as they carried out their duties for the day.

The Nursing Department would like to thank Heather Temple, from the Health Center, for her expertise and commitment to helping our students be successful in promoting health and wellness for Red River College faculty and students. It was a great partnership for our Nursing students to experience, and we look forward to participating again next year.

Written by Tammy Moran – Nursing Instructor
Organized by Meagen Chorney – Nursing Instructor

Happy Holidays!

December 21, 2017 • Written by

Let’s start with a huge shout out to the Nursing Department for all your donations for our RRC Student Association Christmas hamper!  It was a huge success and brought great cheer to a family in need this Christmas.


We would like to wish everyone a Happy Holidays and all the best in the New Year!  Hope the new year will be good to all and bring happiness to everyone.

Please celebrate safe, and share love and happiness with everyone you encounter!




See you in the New Year and enjoy your holidays; everyone deserves it!!

Written by Jennifer Johnson – Nursing Lab Manager

Holiday Warmth

December 7, 2017 • Written by

The festive holiday season was kicked off on December 7th with the annual come and go tea hosted by the Health Sciences and Community Services departments.

Staff were greeted with good wishes from the holiday elves who had some delicious baking and decadent hot chocolate.

This event provided an opportunity for different departments to come together, catch up on how the year has been going, and celebrate successes.

We look forward to more events in the near future!

Written by Monica Nash – Nursing Instructor

Radon Awareness

November 30, 2017 • Written by

As part of the Radon Action Campaign, the month of November was Radon Action Month across Canada. Led by Health Canada, the New Brunswick Lung Association, the Ontario Lung Association, and Summerhill Impact, the Radon Action Campaign aims to raise awareness about radon and encourages Canadians to take action by testing their homes for radon in order to reduce exposure.

Radon is a radioactive gas and a known carcinogen. It results from the breakdown of uranium in the ground and can enter your home undetected. You can’t see it or taste it. All homes, in all parts of Canada, have some level of radon. The only way to know what the levels are like is to have your home tested.

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer next to smoking. It is linked to causing the deaths of 3,200 Canadians every year. Long–term exposure to elevated levels of radon in the home increases the risk of developing lung cancer. Smokers exposed to high levels of radon have a significantly increased risk of developing lung cancer.

In order to better equip you to answer questions about radon and the need for at-home testing, McMaster University, together with Health Canada, the Ontario College of Family Physicians, and the Clean Air Partnership, have designed a free, certified program to provide reliable, evidence-based information on radon. It only takes one hour to complete – which can be done in one sitting, or multiple sessions. The course is certified by the McMaster University Continuing Health Sciences Program for 1 Mainpro+ credit. It is also an Accredited Group Learning Activity as defined by the Maintenance of Certification program of The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Additionally, it is approved by the Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists for 1.0 CSRT CE/CPD credit.

For more information about radon, or to access the course, visit

Post submitted by Jennifer Morin – Nursing Instructor
Post prepared by Meagen Chorney – Nursing Instructor

A Night of Networking between Student Nurses and Unit Managers

November 16, 2017 • Written by

Mock interviews are like study sessions that build on student ability to perform well and boost student confidence during an interview. Preparing for job interviews can be nerve wracking and stress inducing. Mock interviews provided students with an opportunity to engage and network with individuals who would potentially interview them for future employment opportunities and become their future employer. This strategy has been effective in solidifying student knowledge of the interview process and reducing student anxiety.

The strength of RRC Nursing Department’s relationship with areas of nursing practice was evident in the number of unit managers who agreed to participate in the evening of mock interviews with RRC student nurses. Unit managers from all the hospitals in the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and various health care facilities in Regional Health Authorities servicing various areas in rural Manitoba were present. The organizers received agreement and additional requests of patient care managers/unit managers to participate in the event that exceeded what the organizers could accommodate. Unfortunately, this resulted in the organizers having to deny some requests to participate in the event.

Lessons learned during and following the Evening of Mock Interviews and Networking between student nurses and unit managers included both benefits of participation and recommendations for future events. Both students and unit managers identified strengths of the event.

Benefits of Participation

Students identified the ability to meet with unit managers for areas of interest in a nonthreatening environment as a benefit. In addition, receiving immediate feedback from managers after students answered each interview question was beneficial. Some found the preparation information sufficient. Being in small groups was very beneficial and effective in building student confidence. Students identified that scenario questions were helpful. Based on a follow up survey, it was unanimous that student anxieties decreased when answering questions during their interviews for employment as grad nurses. One hundred percent of respondents identified that this event should continue for RRC BN students in the future.

Managers identified having the opportunity to collaborate and meet with potential future employees/nurses was invigorating and inspirational. Managers also identified experiencing professional and self-growth through their participation in the event. Speaking with students also provided them with an opportunity to hear student concerns and questions regarding the interview process, promote nursing and encourage new nurses, and reflect on their interview style and skills. They also stated that they were proud to participate in the student excitement and growth and discover how prepared and ready for the workforce RRC students were. As stated, “no questions stumped the students, they are ready to meet us in real life; well-done RRC.”


Given this was first time this type of event was hosted for RRC BN students, the planning committee was looking for recommendations from both students and facility managers. Students suggested the event occur earlier in their final term of the BN program. It was felt this would have increased student participation. Students also suggested additional preparatory materials such as an employment sheet from RRC Student Employment Services, increased information on the repository with reminders of date, time, and location of the event, along with an agenda for the evening. Managers also suggested increased preparatory materials including map of the campus parking area and room location. Managers recommended increased signage regarding parking and room location, as well as providing them with an agenda and suggesting that they bring business cards to distribute. They also suggested that seating arrangements replicate a panel interview situation, as well as lengthened duration of interviews. Students in their final year of their Bachelor of Nursing degree who participated were thankful for the opportunity to participate and freely shared the benefits they experienced from participating in the Evening of Mock Interviews. The evening concluded with comments from each of the unit managers. Each patient care manager commented on how well-prepared the students were and their desire to participate in similar events in the coming years.

The planning committee of Cindy Boughen, Krystal Boyce Gaudreau, Tracey Fallak, and Patrick Griffith are evaluating and utilizing the feedback provided by students and managers to improve the event in the coming year. Thank you to all those who participated.

Written by:

Evelyn Lundeen – Nursing Instructor

Blood Pressure Clinic

November 9, 2017 • Written by

A big thank you goes out to everyone who came out to support our first year nursing students with their Blood Pressure Clinic.  It is greatly appreciated from all staff and students!

It’s a great opportunity for students to practice their skills, not only performing the skill of blood pressures, but interacting with patients too.

Watch for our posters and the Staff News for future dates!



Written and photos taken by Jennifer Johnson; Nursing Lab Manager