The CRNNS Awards Banquet is a fun and exciting event to honour excellence in nursing practice and to highlight the unique contributions that nurses make in the lives of Nova Scotians every day. The 2018 Awards Banquet was held at the historic Pier 21 site in Halifax on May 10. CRNNS was pleased to recognize and award the following ten nurses:
Meet the 2018 Award Recipients
Each year, CRNNS recognizes registered nurses (RNs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) in this province who have made a unique contribution to the nursing profession and have gone above and beyond in the interest of patients, clients, families, colleagues and the community. This year, CRNNS is honoured to recognize 10 diverse nurses who exemplify excellence in nursing:
Patricia “Tricia” Daley, recipient of the Excellence in Nursing Administration Award
Patricia “Tricia” Daley is a health services manager at the Nova Scotia Health Authority, Victoria General Intensive Care Unit. She is an active member of the nursing profession and according to her nominators she is “an articulate, thoughtful member of the Critical Care Leadership Team.” Tricia sits on a number of committees, including several that focus on emergency preparedness at both the local and provincial level.
Known as a nursing leader and role model, Tricia continuously looks for innovative solutions and strives for ways to improve client safety and client care by taking a client-focused approach to decision-making. She has also advocated for organizational improvements, such as a new organizational policy and a new learning module to respond to current organizational needs. Known for empowering others, she is also dedicated to providing frontline nurses opportunities to be involved in and lead projects. Congratulations on receiving this award, Tricia!
Pamela Jean Hughes, recipient of the Excellence in Nursing Clinical Practice Award
Pamela Jean Hughes is an RN at the Medical Surgical Neurological Intensive Care Unit at the QEII Health Sciences Centre. According to her nominators, Pamela’s “enthusiasm for critical care nursing is contagious.” She is active in the Canadian Association of Critical Care Nurses (CACCN), a national professional association, serving as a board member and treasurer of CACCN during her career. She also contributed feedback on the 4th and 5th editions of the CACCN Standards of Nursing Care Practice. Her nominators had high praise for her contributions saying she “makes the Standards come alive in her everyday practice as an intensive care nurse.”
Pamela is a dedicated self-directed learner and regularly incorporates new evidence in her practice. She regularly seeks out opportunities to precept and mentor new nurses in critical care nursing. Her nominators share that she “engages new learners with an inspiring, fresh and enthusiastic attitude demonstrating her commitment to develop the next generation of nurses by sharing her wealth of clinical knowledge and expertise.” Congratulations on receiving this award, Pamela!
Tammy Bowles, recipient of the Excellence in Nursing Clinical Practice Award
Recognized as an outstanding role model by her nominators, Tammy Bowles is an RN with more than 30 years of nursing experience and knowledge in the department of urology. During her nursing career, her nominators note “she has shown excellence, leadership and a love for influencing change and improved education.” She has had many roles in her career including preceptor, instructor, charge nurse and resource nurse.
Her nominators say that Tammy promotes client-centered care and that “every shift she constantly advocates on behalf of her patients.” She also demonstrates unwavering commitment to evidence-based nursing practice. Throughout her nursing career, Tammy has volunteered for many committees and attended many educational sessions to stay up to date on new policies and how to provide the best care. She has been a member of Urology Nurses of Canada for more than 25 years and has published an article in their national journal. Congratulations Tammy on receiving this special award!
Nancy Fox, recipient of the Excellence in Nursing Education Award
As a clinical nurse educator for Nova Scotia Health Authority, Nancy Fox is viewed as an integral resource among staff. Nancy is dedicated to the advancement of nursing practice and recognizes the important role RNs play in policy contribution. She is a member of numerous committees and working groups including the NSHA Wound Prevention and Management Committee, which she co-chairs, and the Professional Nursing Practice Councils – Orthopedics and Hospitalist Unit, which she chairs.
In her role as a clinical nurse educator, Nancy contributes to and fosters practice environments that support RNs in providing quality client-centred care. A forward-thinking leader, her nominators note that Nancy “responds to challenge as an opportunity to improve the services we provide for patients and families each day.”
An enthusiastic learner, Nancy regularly attends education sessions and conducts independent research of best practices. She regularly presents at both local and national academic conferences. In addition, she frequently takes part in the development of new policies, online resources, presentations and educational tools to support improved client outcomes. She is particularly known for her creative and engaging presentations to foster knowledge. Congratulations on receiving this award Nancy!
Jennifer Hyson, recipient of the Excellence in Nursing Education Award
Jennifer Hyson is a clinical nurse educator for the Nova Scotia Health Authority at the Halifax Infirmary Site. Jennifer is recognized for promoting and advancing the practice of nursing by participating in a number of committees including the Nurse Educator Council, the 8.2 & 4.2 Professional Nursing Practice Councils and the Central Zone Falls Committee. Through her participation in the Professional Nursing Practice Councils Jennifer’s leadership has empowered nurses on both units to become more engaged in finding solutions to issues, identifying changes required to enhance practice and enhancing documentation tools.
Jennifer contributes to and fosters practice environments which support RNs in providing quality care. She is dedicated to knowledge translation. For example, she is committed to providing formal education days to the units she supports. She is a strong supporter of nurses practicing to their full scope and in expanded roles. Her nominators say “She provides the supports for nurses to have confidence in their abilities and is continually demonstrating excellence in nursing by modeling, supporting, and encouraging nursing ideals and values in the workplace.” Her strong communication skills make her a highly effective educator and help her to connect with and to inspire others. Congratulations on receiving this award Jennifer!
Gina O’Leary, recipient of the Excellence in Nursing Education Award
In her role as a cardiology pediatric NP at the IWK Health Centre, Gina O’Leary is a leader within the nursing profession. Gina is an active participant on committees such as the IWK Advanced Practice Nurses’ Committee (co-chair), the IWK cardiac sciences steering committee, the IWK cardiac sciences community of practice (founder and co-chair), the Canadian Council of Cardiovascular Nurses and the IWK Nursing Strategy Steering Committee. In addition, she is a member of a CRNNS committee for developing new standards of practice for NPs. She utilizes opportunities to integrate teaching moments into her everyday practice. For example, she attends conferences and brings new learning back to share with her team.
Gina’s nominators say, “Gina leads by example, setting a high standard as a nurse clinician and educator.” Her positivity and enthusiasm engages others. An excellent communicator, Gina is committed to providing education for others and founded the annual Cardiac for Kids with Cardiac Disease Conference, an education day for health professionals. She is known for her passion for the profession and her ability to teach others in a caring and engaging manner. Congratulations on receiving this award, Gina!
Megan Aston, recipient of the Excellence in Nursing Research Award
Dr. Megan Aston is a professor at the Dalhousie School of Nursing. She was recently appointed associate director of research and international affairs at the Dalhousie School of Nursing. Megan is known as an exemplary collaborator and contributor to many professional groups including the Canadian Association of Perinatal and Women’s Health Nurses Research Committee and the Community Health Nurses of Canada Research and Health Policy Committee.
Megan conducts research, funded internationally, nationally and locally, that seeks to inform public health practice. She has served as a principal investigator and co-investigator for numerous research studies, leading more than 15 research projects as well as serving as co-investigator on an additional 12 studies. She also conducts international and global health research including mentoring students and colleagues in Tanzania and the Gambia. Megan shares research findings at international, national and local conferences and through peer reviewed publications. In addition, she shares research findings through educational videos, workshops and invited lectures.
In all of her roles, Megan demonstrates strong leadership and interprofessional skills. Her nominators note her leadership is inclusive and “she ensures every voice is heard at the table – especially those most marginalized.” Congratulations on receiving this award!
Martha Paynter, recipient of the Rising Star Award and the Health Advocacy Award
Martha Paynter is the recipient of not one but two awards this year! She is a nursing PhD student and an RN at the IWK Health Centre. Martha founded and chairs Women’s Wellness Within: An Organization Serving Criminalized Women. She is very involved on campus and was elected class Valedictorian. She received the Dalhousie Off-Campus Leadership Award. She also received awards from the Canadian Nursing Student Association and the Canadian Nurses Foundation. In 2017, she received the Senate of Canada 150th Senate Medal for service to the country through volunteerism.
Martha also volunteers as a certified birth doula with the Doula Program at the IWK Health Centre/ Chebucto Family Centre, a program serving low-income, newcomer and single mothers in Halifax. She also has been engaged in advocacy work to advance the use of human donor milk to improve health outcomes for vulnerable babies, serving as a director of the Board of Atlantic Milk Bank Coalition. She welcomes invitations to speak about nursing advocacy, the health of marginalized populations and perinatal care issues. Martha delivers dozens of workshops, speeches and seminars every semester on and off-campus, across the community and the region.
Martha is dedicated to continued learning and regularly attends academic and clinical conferences in nursing and health research. In 2017, she was accepted for early entry into PhD Nursing at Dalhousie. According to her nominators, Martha “leads with creativity and equity of mind” and “is a vocal supporter of advancement of nursing and nursing’s necessary role in health promotion and social justice for marginalized people.” Congratulations on receiving both of these awards, Martha!
Brianna Richardson, recipient of the Rising Star Award
Brianna Richardson is currently completing her first year of her PhD in Nursing studies at Dalhousie University School of Nursing. Her doctoral research focuses on examining how eHealth learning influences parental confidence and capacity in procedural pain care with their newborn babies. As a student, she has taken on many leadership roles such as co-president of the Dalhousie Graduate Nursing Society. Brianna is also employed at MOM-LINC Lab, Centre for Pediatric Pain Research at the IWK Health Centre. According to her nominators, Brianna’s “genuine, kind and caring nature, her inquisitive and curious mind paired with exceptional intellect and commitment to improving care for newborns and their families makes her stand out among her peers as a tremendous role model and leader.”
Brianna is an active collaborator and effective communicator in interdisciplinary teams, both in clinical practice and in the university community. According to Brianna’s nominators, she “has a clear drive to mentor others and act as a role model” and “her passion for the nursing profession and for higher learning is evident when offering assistance to her peers and colleagues.” Brianna regularly seeks out new and relevant knowledge to inform her clinical practice through her own research and by attending relevant conferences. She is committed to higher learning, and has been successful obtaining research funding, writing and publishing nursing research, advancing her research knowledge, disseminating the findings of her work at conferences, and taking on leadership roles within the School of Nursing and the broader Dalhousie University community. Congratulations Brianna on receiving a CRNNS Rising Star Award!
Deborah Phillips, recipient of the Health Advocacy Award
Deborah Phillips, RN is the coordinator of the Stay Connected Mental Health Project, Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA). The Stay Connected Mental Health Project is a partnership that aims to help ensure that emerging adults stay connected to the care they require as they transition into adulthood. Her nominators say, “Thanks to her involvement in the Stay Connected initiatives Debbie has been instrumental in implementing, university culture in HRM has changed so that mental health issues and conversations about them have become normalized.”
In her role, Deborah has been involved in the implementation of several innovative mental health programs that make a difference for a number of community organizations and health care systems in Nova Scotia. Since 2013, she has delivered the Working Mind sessions, an initiative of the Mental Health Commission of Canada to NSHA managers and employees. This initiative aims to decrease the stigma in the workplace that is experienced by those living with mental illness or mental health problems. In addition, Deborah is the chair of the NSHA Nurses Helping Nurses Committee, a member of the Mental Health and Addictions Quality Council, a member of the IWK Transitions of Care Committee and a member of the Association of Atlantic Universities Mental Health Working Group.
Known for her advocacy and kindness, Debbie has dedicated her nursing career to improving the health and well-being of individuals with mental illness. Her nominators say, “Regardless of the setting or audience, Debbie has always been the first and sometimes the only one, to advocate on behalf of those with mental health and addictions issues, many of whom have been marginalized or stigmatized.” Congratulations on receiving this award, Deborah!
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Given name(s): Nicola Ann
Last name: Aaronson
Former name(s): Smith
CRNNS number: 12345
Type of licence: Nurse Practitioner
Status of Licence: Active Practising
Start Date: November 1 2014
Expiry Date: October 31 2015
Current Conditions and Restrictions: This nurse is not able to...
Licence Status Notes: (Text Field)
Date of initial entry on the register: January 1, 1970
Date of removal from the register:
Registraton Status Notes: (Text Field)
Date of re-entry on the register:
NP Practice Category: Family
Collaborative Practice Effective Date: January 31, 2012
Dartmouth General Hospital
330 Main Street