March 7, 2024

March Newsletter

March Newsletter

March 7, 2024

New at NTF

The Paradox of Caring: How It Energizes Rather Than Depletes

In the latest Masterclass session, Dr. Jean Watson and NTF Director Dr. Judy Duchscher delve into a common lament among practitioners: feeling too exhausted to care. Watch these experts discuss how instead of merely accepting, complying, and conforming to externally determined practices, nurses can actively engage with and shape their own care approach.

For a deeper dive into this topic, be sure to check out Episode 5 of the Masterclass series.

Greenhouse - Master Class - Nursing the Future

We are so honoured to be featuring a new component of our Bookclub series this month- an author interview with the highly regarded educator, author, speaker and Editor in Chief of Holistic Nursing Practice for the past 45 years, Dr. Gloria Donnelly! Dr. Donnelly is interviewed regarding her co-authored work: Overcoming Secondary Stress in Medicine and Nursing, a fantastic resource for healthcare professionals dealing with the enormous pressure of caring. This interview includes discussion of the practical approach to identifying and proactively mitigating the effects of secondary stress.

Listen Here! Nursing the Future-Podbean

Explore our Emerging Career Series, showcasing interviews with inspiring nurses across various specialties, scopes, and care areas. Whether you're a newly graduated nurse or navigating an evolving career, these articles shed light on the evolution of unique paths taken by professionals in the diverse field of nursing practice.

Read our recent Interview of Angela Achoba-Omajali, RN BScN MN, a union steward, nurse educator in mental health and substance abuse services, and cofounder of the Coalition of African, Caribbean and Black Nurses in BC (CACBN).

Visit Nursing the Future- Emerging Career Series to read about her incredible and ongoing career journey!

In this special feature, first-year nursing students Farah Elgaweesh and Ivy Wang take over the NTF interview reins to chat with newly graduated nurse Sarah Mohamed. Together, they dive into Sarah's experiences and perceptions of transitioning into her professional role and the support she has received along the way.

Tune in to this insightful conversation as they discuss the challenges, surprises, and strategies that have shaped Sarah's early career in nursing. Whether you're a student, a new graduate, or an experienced nurse, you'll find valuable insights and perspectives in this engaging interview.

Don't miss out on this exclusive guest takeover episode, available now! The Interview - Nursing the Future

At NTF, we love to feature nurses in all stages of their careers, and this includes students: our future new graduates! Ever wonder what it would be like to experience the extreme transition of moving to a rural location to practice as a student nurse? Read on to learn more about Katie Bennet’s recent experience in rural British Columbia, her story shares the beauty and challenge of working in a resource-limited setting.

Nursing the Future-Our Voices

We love a celebration of excellence here at NTF! When we hear of an inspiring new graduate nurse or supporter, we share their successes in celebration! If you know someone who fits that description, let us know at This month, we are so pleased to feature a new graduate Champion, read on to hear about the great work they are doing!

Doreen Stewart

Northern Health - Student Practice Education

A great New Grad Champion gravitates to the research and knowledge around new grad transitions and continually applies that foundation to improving the real world experience of the new graduate in order to impact not only the experience of the new graduate, but to also positively impact the unit in which they work.

Doreen embodies this concept 1,000 times over, and more. As a Clinical Lead with Student Practice Education in Northern Health, Doreen works tirelessly to evolve our programming such that it is tailored to the specific needs of the New Grad.

Doreen is a quiet and unassuming bastion of wisdom and caring. With a Masters of Education under her belt, as well as years on the ground doing acute care as both an RN and paramedic, she has a wealth of real world experience and a solid educational background that she applies to her work every single day. Recently, our department held a Vision Mapping session where our team was tasked with digging deep into their "why". The question was: "in 3 years your department is being handed an award for the work that you do. What is that award for? What was the impact?"

Our entire team had goosebumps when it was Doreen's turn to speak. Humble as always, she started out quietly, "I see us getting an award, not for the transactional work we do day to day, but for the way it translates into the lives of the people we serve.  We do our job so well, support people so entirely, that it impacts their transitions and experiences to the point that they root into the work, stay in the profession, and become positive advocates for the future new nurses. In fact, the award we are getting is from a Municipality. Our team is being recognized because we have impacted the healthcare system so positively that its ripple effect is felt and seen in the overall health outcomes of our community. Healthcare staff is staying in our region; and, they are healthy and engaged both at work and in community.” It is for this outlook and much more that Doreen has been deservingly nominated for this feature!


Richelle Maser

Research and Education:

The breadth of nursing knowledge extends to the pursuit of evidence through programs, initiatives, and research. Join us as we highlight and discuss what emerging findings mean for the contemporary field of professional nurse transition, and the profession as a whole.

Pride, T., Beagan, B. L., MacLeod, A., & Sibbald, K. (2024). Educational experiences of health professionals from marginalized groups: “It definitely takes more work”. Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education, 18(1), 51-67.

This article delves into the pressing issue of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in Canadian post-secondary health professions education, with a specific focus on nursing, medicine, and occupational therapy. Despite accreditation standards and professional competencies emphasizing the importance of inclusion, the study takes a closer look at the lived experiences of individuals from marginalised groups within these professions. The historical context, rooted in colonialism, white supremacy, ableism, and class elitism, sets the stage for examining how institutional and professional cultures may continue to perpetuate exclusionary practices.

The research, grounded in a critical interpretive paradigm, involved 35 participants from diverse backgrounds, including racialized, LGBTQ+, and working-class individuals, and those with intersecting identities. In-depth interviews, ranging from 60 to 90 minutes, explored their sense of belonging, experiences of marginalisation, and challenges faced during their education. Thematic analysis revealed several key findings that shed light on their complex experiences:

  1. Isolation: Participants frequently expressed feeling alone within their programs, often being the sole representative of their identity. This isolation not only affected their ability to relate to classmates and mentors but also placed a significant burden on them to represent their entire community. The study underscores the impact of this isolation on individuals' mental well-being and academic performance.
  2. Normative Curricula: The article highlights critiques aimed at existing curricula for lacking content that addresses the experiences and contributions of marginalised groups. Participants noted that curricula often supported harmful stereotypes, participants called for a more inclusive approach that would meaningfully incorporate diverse perspectives. This finding resonates with the broader discourse on the need for decolonizing educational content to reflect a more accurate and inclusive portrayal of diverse communities.
  3. Marginalisation by Classmates and Instructors: Discrimination and bias were recurrent themes in the participants' narratives, with reports of negative experiences stemming from both classmates and instructors. These encounters contributed significantly to a continued sense of not belonging within the academic environment. The article suggests that addressing such biases is crucial for creating a supportive and inclusive learning environment. 
  4. Exclusionary Social and Cultural Capital: Expectations to conform to a certain professional identity created additional barriers, forcing participants to adapt and sometimes compromise their authentic selves to fit in. This highlights the need for a more flexible and accommodating approach to professional identity within health professions education.
  5. Coping Strategies: Varied coping mechanisms were employed by participants to navigate the challenges of their educational experiences. These strategies ranged from self-care and immersion in studies to activism, substance use, and seeking support from communities with shared identities. The significance of mentors in providing guidance and support is particularly highlighted, underlining the importance of mentorship programs tailored to the needs of marginalised students.

The article underscores the role of health professions and educational institutions in perpetuating oppressive systems. It emphasizes the necessity of a critical review of institutional structures, curricula, and cultural norms. In sum, the study contributes valuable insights into the structures and systems that produce inequitable learning contexts across health professions in Canada. By centering the experiences of marginalised individuals, the research provides a nuanced understanding of the challenges they face and advocates for transformative changes in educational practices to foster true equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Santa Mina Dr, E. E., Bhatti, A., Bradley, P., Manafo, E., Ormiston, A., Patrick, L., & Woodend, K. (2023). University Competency-based Courses for Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs) in Ontario: A Pilot Education Pathway to Registered Nurse (RN) Licensure. Quality Advancement in Nursing Education-Avancées en formation infirmière, 9(1), 2.doi:10.17483/2368-6669.1378

This article critically addresses the pressing need for integrating internationally educated nurses (IENs) into Ontario's healthcare system to alleviate nursing shortages. Despite constituting 8.9% of Canada's nursing workforce, IENs encounter obstacles in the RN registration process, resulting in potential overqualification. The historical context outlines regulatory changes since 2013, highlighting approximately 6000 IENs awaiting registration. The narrative supports a proactive response to these challenges, with collaborative development of a Competency-Bridging Program for IENs, underlining the political, economic, and sociocultural significance of their timely integration.

Navigating Entry-to-Practice (ETP) Requirements

Historical and contemporary challenges continue to be faced by IENs while navigating ETP requirements in Ontario following the 2013 College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) revisions. Regulatory changes, including the Internationally Educated Nurses Competency Assessment Program (IENCAP), created competency gaps and restricted educational pathways. Universities struggled to accommodate IENs due to limited program seats and a lack of competency-specific courses. The CNO's practice evidence requirement limit of three years further constrained IENs' eligibility for registration, leading to a proposed competency-based approach, targeting specific learning gaps.

Importance of Bridging Programs

Effective bridging programs for IENs, ensuring their seamless integration into the healthcare system, are notable for the significance of program content, delivery format, and infrastructure investment. Well-structured programs offering up-to-date knowledge, clinical placements, and job-readiness preparation are further benefited by the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing's accreditation process and the Pan-Canadian Framework of Guiding Principles outlining best practices.

Competency-Based Course Outcomes

Initiated as a pilot program, the Ontario Internationally Educated Nurses Course Consortium (consisting of faculty from four universities) developed a bridging program addressing intensive fundamentals, language and culture using the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing's interdependent domains and multimodal teaching. These competency-based courses focused on ethical practice, professional responsibility, accountability, service to the public, and self-regulation. The curriculum was tailored to meet the needs of IENs with competency gaps, and applicants were selected based on competitive criteria, positioning both cohorts well for the Entry-to-Practice (ETP) registration exam and subsequent RN employment. All 36 IENs completed the program successfully, with 86% ready to practice as Registered Nurses.

Recommendations and Future Directions

Despite positive outcomes, the researchers acknowledge areas for improvement, including high workload demands. Recommendations include increased interaction, specificity in grading, and setting clear expectations. The consortium proposes additional funding and program intakes to develop a comprehensive competency-bridging program, addressing key components and increasing program eligibility, aligning with a clear pathway for IENs.


The Competency-Bridging Program Consortium is seeking further funding, highlighting fulfilled and potential successes, incorporating competency-based courses, practical education, simulation labs, NCLEX-RN support, and job readiness components in future directions. The insights of this study contribute significantly to understanding IEN program experiences in Canada, with a priority of engagement and retention amid increasing nursing shortages. The researchers suggest that the evolving needs of IENs and persistent nursing shortages support further program development, considering the success, sustainability and scalability of bridging programs.

Nurses week is coming up! We look forward to celebrating all the amazing work that is done in nursing, so watch our social media for an upcoming contest, where you can win a ton of great NTF swag and prizes for your unit!

Don't miss this month’s NTFLive! Discover key strategies for building a safe, supportive workplace for newly graduated nurses. Learn how to tackle challenges and promote a culture of safety and inclusion! April 24th 2pm EDT: Creating Safe Spaces for Nursing Practice.

Registration is FREE at:

Nursing The Future™ acknowledges that nurses across this country live, work and play on the lands of our Indigenous Ancestors and we join our members in expressing respectful gratitude for this privilege.
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