Graduating more than 1,800 nurses since its first graduating class, the Western Regional School of Nursing has become a vital center for health care in Newfoundland and Labrador, fostering both new talent and research.
Ethical conflict can have detrimental effects on one's emotional and physical health; conflict can generate feelings of stress and anxiety, compromise relationships, and lead to fragmented care that can jeopardize client safety and well-being. Nurse Educator Anne Wadhwa conducted an exploratory study entitled Ethical Conflicts in Community Health Care: A Qualitative Study of Individual and Family Experiences to increase understanding of the types of ethical conflicts encountered by community health care recipients and their family members. This research study, conducted during her nursing graduate studies under the supervision of Dr. Caroline Porr, was part of a larger study at Memorial University that explored the ethical conflicts of nurses, physicians, clients, and family members; conflict management strategies; and the structure, function, and effectiveness of community ethics committees and services. Wadhwa found that ethical conflicts experienced by individuals and families involved issues related respect and dignity, privacy, and accessibility to care.
Nursing Instructor Nicole Curtis has been researching literature on the facilitators and barriers that affect the ability of nurses to pursue graduate studies as part of their own graduate studies at Athabasca University. Continuing education is a core component of the maintenance of best practices in nursing as well as to evidence-based practice and education, particularly as new technologies become increasingly important in healthcare. However, while graduate degrees are becoming increasingly vital to nursing practice and education in Canada, only a slim majority of Canadian nurses overall have such degrees and as few as five percent of ARNNL-member practicing nurses in our province hold a Master's of Nursing. Further, there are concerns that this could worsen the impact of future shortages of nurses within the healthcare system. So far general barriers to continuing education identified in the available literature include financial and budgetary constraints, time constraints, family responsibilities, and staff shortages. It is hoped that this research will eventually help identify what barriers and facilitators exist to graduate-level education specifically.
Miranda A. Bennett, a student in the Bachelor of Nursing Program at the Western Regional School of Nursing, examined issues of body image experienced during the postpartum period as part of a class paper. Exploring research on the subject, Miranda found that women were more likely to experience issues related to body image perception in the postpartum period than during pregnancy. Potential ramifications of these issues included eating disorders, concerns around breastfeeding, and increased risk of postpartum depression. These issues were also noted as important for better understanding how nursing education and ethics relate when nurses interact with those potentially experiencing such symptoms; drawing upon information from the Code of Ethics for Registered Nurses of the Canadian Nurses Association. Further, nursing practice tools that could be used to help address negative body image perceptions were explored, such as the use of breastfeeding education and face to face meetings between nurses and clients in the postpartum period.