After graduating with a diploma in nursing in 1979, Dr. Duchscher’s early career was focused on developing expertise as a direct care nurse, researcher, leader and educator in cardiothoracic and high acuity contexts. Instrumental to her early development was a 10-year tenure developing and coordinating heart, lung and multi-organ donor transplant teams across Canada and the United States. Judy’s commitment to advanced education can be seen in her acquisition of a Post-Graduate Diploma in Intensive Care Nursing from the University of Manitoba, a Diploma in Cardiovascular Nursing from Stanford University in California, a Clinical Transplant Coordinator Diploma from John’s Hopkins in Baltimore, Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN) certification through the American Association of Critical Care Nursing, a Post-RN Baccalaureate and Master’s degree in nursing from the University of Saskatchewan and a PhD from the University of Alberta. Dr. Duchscher holds Associate and Adjunct Faculty positions with the University of Saskatchewan, University of Alberta, University of Hawaii and the University of Western Sydney in Australia.
For the past 23 years Dr. Duchscher has been an active researcher and consultant in the area of new graduate professional role transition – work for which she has received over 32 national and international grants, awards and scholarships. The findings of her research have generated a theory of Transition Shock and a model of the Stages of Transition resulting in the publication of more than 18 peer-reviewed articles, 2 books, 9 book chapters and the delivery of over 300 keynotes and workshops throughout Canada, the United States, Australia and Asia on the topic of new nurse integration. Dr. Duchscher founded and acted as the Executive Director of a federally registered non-profit nursing organization entitled Nursing The Future (NTF) that served as a bridge between the ideals taught in undergraduate nursing education and the realities of the ‘real’ world of professional practice.
As an Associate Professor of Nursing at Thompson Rivers University and an international expert in the area of new nurse transition, Dr. Duchscher maintains that “it is the vision, creativity and passionate commitment of these young professionals, supported by the expert knowledge and practice experience of their senior mentors that will drive nursing and healthcare forward”.