The best role for a nurse in today’s healthcare system? Joan Tranmer intends to find out.
Joan Tranmer, Nsc’75, MSc’82, spent 30 years working as a nurse at Kingston General Hospital. Now she has taken that experience—and the PhD she picked up along the way—to the classrooms and labs of the Queen’s School of Nursing. Joan worked as a clinical nurse in labour and delivery, went on to several leadership roles, including director of nursing research, and then made the switch to full-time researcher and teacher. Her research focuses on patients with complex health conditions such as coronary artery disease, heart failure, and cancer, and the best role for nurses in their care.
“The most pressing issue in healthcare today,” says Joan, “is how to better provide care with what we have and optimize the role of everyone in the system. Nursing has a major role to play in that and we just have to provide the evidence to show it.” Her other focus is on the health of the healthcare workers themselves. In particular, Joan is examining the factors in a workplace that put women at risk of cardiovascular disease. “We have an aging workforce in healthcare,” she says. “If we don’t start looking at the impact of work-related factors on health, it’s going to compromise not only the workers’ health but the care they provide to the patients.”
Joan has worked with the School of Nursing in a variety of ways over the years. In addition to her own research, she teaches research methods to graduate students, facilitates a seminar in the school’s new PhD program, and presents occasional lectures in the undergraduate program.“We have one of the strongest undergraduate programs in Canada,” she explains. “Our post-graduate program is new but I think it really has the potential to contribute to the health of Canadians by producing strong clinical nurses, researchers, and leaders.”