CARNA Honours Excellence in Nursing
May 10, 2007

Edmonton – The College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA) will pay tribute to the outstanding achievements of registered nurses (RNs) this evening at its annual Awards of Nursing Excellence Gala. “Registered nurses are proud to honour the recipients of the CARNA Awards of Nursing Excellence,” says CARNA President Sheila A. McKay. “Their knowledge, expertise and professional commitment to improving the health of others inspires their colleagues and the members of the public they serve.”

The CARNA awards recognize RNs in four areas of professional nursing practice: clinical practice, education, research and administration. Awards were also presented for Lifetime Achievement and Rising Star, a category for new RNs. The Partner in Health award was also presented to the Consultants for Special Needs Programming at the Learning Support Services, Edmonton Catholic School District.

The recipient of the Award for Excellence in Nursing Clinical Practice is Cynthia Luna. As inpatient coordinator at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital since 1995, Luna is dedicated to providing quality care for patients and families who are impacted by stroke. Through her innovative approach and commitment to watching the trends in the stroke population, Luna has been instrumental in moving the stroke program forward in site, regional and provincial planning for stroke care. Luna’s excellent assessment skills, intuitive ability and expert knowledge of the rehabilitation needs of the stroke survivor, make her the perfect ‘gate keeper’ of the stroke program. Her guidance and expert opinion are often sought to help trouble-shoot and manage patient care.

Cathy Carter-Snell, of Mount Royal College, receives the Award for Excellence in Nursing Education. Carter-Snell is an instructor in two advanced nursing programs for RNs at the college level; she is a consultant for emergency and forensic practice as well as an independent contractor for sexual assault examiner services. She has also been qualified as an expert by both Court of Queen’s Bench and Provincial Court in forensic and emergency nursing cases. Carter-Snell is also the founder and acting chair of the Forensic Nurses Society (Canada), as well as a guest lecturer at local, provincial, national and international conferences.

Dr. Patricia Marck receives the Award for Excellence in Nursing Research. Marck currently holds joint appointment between the University of Alberta faculty of nursing and the Royal Alexandra Hospital, Capital Health, where she is the faculty-leader-nursing for a clinical research unit. She is responsible for undertaking research and creating a climate to implement research-based practice. Marck is a team player who involves practitioners from many disciplines and administration. All of her projects involve working with clinicians to obtain their insights into the safety issues they face on a daily basis and she mentors students to inspire the importance of research.

The recipient of the Award of Nursing Excellence in Administration is Calgary Health Region’s Caroline M. Hatcher. In four years, Hatcher went from quality improvement consultant to acting manager: quality improvement and health information, to program planning manager: clinical neurosciences, critical care to her current position as director, emergency, urgent care services, Health Link. Hatcher established the Regional and Site Triage Committees to examine current practice, research and define the Region’s standards. Trials are planned, implemented, evaluated and changed by front-line RNs.

The recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award is Sharon Chadwick of Alberta Employment, Immigration and Industry. An RN for more than 36 years, Chadwick has actively participated in a number of local, regional, national and international committees – all designed to enhance nursing practice and advance community knowledge about occupational health nursing in the workplace. Chadwick earned her masters in health promotion and, in her current role at Alberta Employment, Immigration and Industry, has developed an e-learning program for workplace health and safety and worked with Alberta Education to infuse workplace health and safety tools into secondary schools including teacher resources and the Passport to Safety Program.

The Rising Star Award recipient is Danelle Schuetzle. It is presented to an RN who graduated from an educational program leading to initial entry to practice after Feb. 1, 2005. The nominee has exceeded the expectations of employers or colleagues and shows promise as an exceptional member of the profession.  Schuetzle entered the profession at the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in Grande Prairie in October 2006 and is presently working as an RN in labour and delivery.  While doing her four-month practicum, Schuetzle gained all required certifications needed to work in labour and delivery. As her final project, she developed the current policy and procedure for intermittent auscultation in labour and delivery and was responsible for the research and policy writing.

The Partner in Health Award recipients are the Consultants for Special Needs Programming at the Learning Support Services of the Edmonton Catholic School District. The consultants are an interdisciplinary team of professionals that consult with families, schools and with other health-care partners within the City of Edmonton. They are a group of dedicated and compassionate individuals and valued partners that provide a significant contribution to the welfare of families of special needs children who are often vulnerable and are unable to articulate their needs and feelings in a traditional way. The consultants were nominated for the award by RNs employed with the Edmonton Student Health Integrated Partnership within Capital Health. The Partner in Health award provides a unique opportunity for RNs in Alberta to recognize, thank and honour members of the public who have served their communities in an outstanding and remarkable way.

The 2007 CARNA Awards of Nursing Excellence are made possible by the support of TD Meloche Monnex.

CARNA is the professional and regulatory body for Alberta’s more than 28,000 registered nurses, the largest health-care profession in the province. Its members include registered nurses working in direct care, nursing management, education and research. CARNA sets nursing practice standards and ensures Albertans receive effective, safe and ethical nursing services.

Photos are available on request.

For more information, contact CARNA Media Relations.