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Role of nurses continues to evolve

[Nursing Week]
The School of Nursing will be celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2016. (University Communications)

The role of nurses within health care systems across Canada continues to change and the education programs responsible for training the next generation nurses, such as the School of Nursing at Queen’s University, must keep up with this transformation.

Nursing Week this year is marked May 11-15 and as Jennifer Medves, Director of the School of Nursing and Vice-Dean Faculty of Health Sciences, points out, it is an opportunity for those in the profession to receive a bit of recognition for all their efforts.

“Nursing Week is about, we hope, people stopping and recognizing the contribution of nursing to the health care systems,” she says, explaining that there is not just one health care system but many at the provincial, territorial and federal levels. “What nurses have in their scope of practice varies from one province to territory and the scope of practices for nurses is increasing.”

One new development announced earlier this week by the Government of Ontario is that nurse practitioners will be able to refer patients directly to a specialist, when before they had to first refer to a family physician. The result is a more efficient system of referrals.

 “That really was an added step that costs the system money and really is not required,” Dr. Medves says. “That was a very nice announcement that came out (Monday).”

While many people still tend to think the main role of nurses is working at the bedside in acute care hospitals, Dr. Medves says that there is an increasing percentage of nurses working in the community care sector, where patients are cared for in their own homes. As a result, the School of Nursing needs to provide education to meet these future needs.

“Looking into the future we need to be thinking about what those roles could look like and we, in an education program, are always looking to make sure that the practice for our education program is congruent with where the nurses will be working in the future,” she says.

Yet change is not a reason for concern. Instead, Dr. Medves sees it as a time of growth and the School of Nursing is in the midst of setting out its future course for the next five years.

“It’s exciting times because we are thinking about where we want to go in the future,” she says. “We’re in the middle of developing a strategic plan to last us until 2020, which obviously lines up with the strategic plan of the university and aligns with the Faculty of Health Sciences.”

In the shorter term, the School of Nursing is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2016. Dr. Medves says there are four special events planned throughout the academic year, including a pair of conferences.

This summer the school will also be celebrating two new graduate scholarships, funded by alumni of the School of Nursing, while the first Sally Smith Chair in Nursing, named in honour of Edith “Sally” (Carruthers) Smith, the wife of local philanthropist A. Britt Smith, who died in June 2012, will be named in the coming weeks.

Pick up the May edition of the Gazette

The May 12 edition of the Gazette is now available around Queen’s campus, as well as a number of off-campus locations.

[Gazette May 12, 2015]
Read the May 12 Gazette online

The newspaper is filled with interesting Queen's-focused items including:

  • A celebration of the first anniversary of the new-look Gazette.
  • A feature interview with the current editor of the Queen's Alumni Review.
  • The bios of the 10 honorary degree recipents for convocation.
  • Updates on the latest research, awards and achievements of faculty, staff and students.

The Gazette is published bi-weekly; the next edition will hit the newsstands on June 9.

Anyone looking to get a story, photo or information in the Gazette can contact the paper's editor Andrew Carroll or Senior Communications Officer Mark Kerr.

Also visit the Gazette Online for more stories and photos and follow us on Twitter at @queensuGazette.

Queen's Senate approves enrolment targets

Queen’s undergraduate student intake will increase this fall, as planned, and hold steady over the following two years, according to the enrolment targets for 2015 and 2016 that were approved by the university’s Senate, and the enrolment projections for 2017.

The target for the 2015 first-year direct-entry undergraduate class will increase to 4,422 students, as previously approved by Senate in 2014, compared to 4,109 in 2014. That number is forecast to remain unchanged in the 2016 enrolment targets approved by Senate at its April meeting and the 2017 enrolment projections. At the graduate level, a total intake of 2,027 students is expected in 2015, which includes off-campus programs.

“Demand for the university’s programs remains strong, with a growing number of prospective students selecting Queen’s as their first choice university,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “That demand is reflective of Queen’s reputation for quality, and an increase in our student intake in 2015 will help the university continue to deliver the support services that promote student success, while maintaining its exceptional student learning experience.”

Undergraduate applications to Queen’s have increased over last year, while the total number of undergraduate applications to all Ontario universities has remained nearly unchanged.

Examples of student service enhancements at Queen's

  • Two new residence under construction will result in 445 net new residence spaces in 2015
  • Establishment of SOAR, QSuccess and Bounce Back to help ensure academic success for first-year students
  • Eight embedded counsellors in faculties and schools, up from three in 2011-12
  • Increase in the number of advisors in the Disability Service Office
  • Student Academic Success Services supports 40 per cent more students over 2011-12
  • Career Services introduced new initiatives such as major maps, majors night and the co-curricular opportunities directory
  • New programs and increased support for Aboriginal and international students
  • Half of incoming undergraduate students receive a scholarship or bursary

Enrolment targets consider institutional capacity

Alan Harrison, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic), is chair of the university’s Strategic Enrolment Management Group (SEMG), which recommends short-term enrolment targets to the Senate Committee on Academic Development, for approval by Senate. The SEMG consults directly with faculties, schools and student service units to ensure sufficient capacity exists when setting targets, to ensure that the quality of the student experience remains high.

“The SEMG worked with academic units to ensure that the modest growth in the 2015 student intake will occur in academic programs where additional capacity exists,” says Provost Harrison. “The group also consulted closely with student service units on campus and the university’s residences to ensure that they continue to be able to meet students’ needs.”

Adding capacity in residences, student services

To help accommodate additional students, two new residence buildings are currently under construction. At the same time, a number of common rooms in other residences that were temporarily converted into bedrooms will revert back to common space. This will result in a net increase of 445 new residence spaces in fall 2015. In addition, the university has added capacity and introduced new programs in key student services, such as academic learning and transition supports, health and wellness resources, and services for Aboriginal and international students.

Each year, Queen’s reviews its three-year, rolling short-term enrolment projections as part of its strategic enrolment management process. The process is informed by the university’s long-term strategic enrolment management framework and takes into account many factors, including student demand and institutional capacity. The university is committed attracting greater numbers of Aboriginal students and increasing the proportion of international undergraduate students on campus.

Total enrolment at Queen’s for 2015-16 is projected to be 22,019, compared to 21,649 students in 2014-15. This includes all undergraduate and graduate students, including those not residing in Kingston, such as students in online professional master’s programs and those studying at the Bader International Study Centre.

View the full report on enrolment targets here  

Professor awarded military honour

Dr. Alice Aiken

As a testament to her leadership in military and veteran health research and her unique ability to enact change, Dr. Alice Aiken has been appointed First Unit Honorary Commander of the 33 Canadian Forces Health Services Centre of Kingston.

Dr. Aiken is the director of the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research (CIMVHR) – an organization that aims to maximize the health and well-being of Canadian military personnel, veterans, and their families. Since its inception in 2009, CIMVHR has partnered with 36 universities and, since November 2014, has received more than $21 million in grants and donations.

A veteran herself, Dr. Aiken enrolled in the Naval Reserve in 1984 and was in the first training class of maritime surface officers that included women in a combat role. During the Gulf War, she worked for the Navy at the Maritime Command Headquarters in Halifax. After graduating from Dalhousie University’s physiotherapy program, Dr. Aiken was posted to the base hospital at CFB Kingston. She left the Canadian Armed Forces in 1998 and joined Queen’s to manage the physiotherapy clinic while pursuing her master’s and PhD in rehabilitation science. Dr. Aiken became a faculty member in 2006.

Stay active all summer with intramural leagues

[Intramural Soccer]
There are three intramural sports – soccer, ultimate and softball – available for staff, faculty, students and their friends.

The warm weather is finally here and that means it is once again time to take the sports outdoors.

The Queen’s Intramurals are back for another year and Athletics and Recreation is looking to build upon a very successful 2014 season that saw 60 teams take the field in soccer, softball and ultimate.

The intramurals are open to students, staff and faculty as well as community members such as spouses and partners.

The leagues are about getting out and being active while also having some fun.

“They are recreational in nature,” says Duane Parliament, Intramurals and Special Projects coordinator for Queen’s Athletics and Recreation. “We do have people who have never played the sport and we have people who have played at a high level, but it’s meant to be a summer go out once a week and do something with your friends-type activity.”

The Summer Intramural Pass remains $40, but graduate students with a 2014-15 SGPS sticker on their student card are exempt from paying the fee.

The leagues also help foster a feeling of community with a mix of players – students, faculty and staff – on the teams.

“When you’re out there you are not a teacher soccer player or a student soccer player. You’re a soccer player,” Mr. Parliament says.

Last year saw an increase of 142 sign-ups, bringing total participation to 1,165 over the three sports. Mr. Parliament is hoping to see the trend continue.

Soccer is divided into men’s (12 teams) and women’s (four teams) while softball (32 teams) and ultimate (16 teams) are co-ed. Ultimate is the only league, however, that is divided by skill level.

Registration started May 1 at gogaelsgo.com. For those without a team there is a “free agent list” where Mr. Parliament will try to place them on a team in need of players.

The Queen’s Intramural leagues can also help you "Get Your 150.” Getting your recommended 150 minutes of weekly physical activity can be fun, social and enjoyable with Queen’s intramurals. Visit gogaelsgo.com/150 for other great Get Your 150 tips.

 

Celebrating 175 years of excellence

[Queen's 175th logo]
Queen's 175th

To recognize the 175th anniversary in 2016, Queen’s has decided to honour its own.

[Convocation ceremony]
Queen's hononary degrees will be reserved for alumni in 2016 in celebration of the university's 175th anniversary.

“Reserving honorary degrees in 2016 for Queen’s alumni fits with the anniversary’s goal of celebrating the university’s unique legacy, contributions and role at the national and international level since the institution was founded in 1841,” says David Walker, Chair, 175th Anniversary Executive Committee.

The Senate Committee on Honorary Degrees is now accepting nominations for 2016. In order to solicit the broadest range of nominations, anyone can nominate an alumnus or alumna for consideration based on outstanding contributions to his or her discipline or field of work, to the community, to society, or to the university. Alumni include those who have received a degree or diploma from the university, or who registered and attended classes for at least one full session (academic year or equivalent) and whose class has graduated.

“As people prepare their nominations, we encourage them to give some thought to the ways they could incorporate the honorary degree recipient into their 175th anniversary celebration if their nomination is successful,” Dr. Walker says.

The nomination deadline is Aug. 14, 2015. The Senate Committee on Honorary Degrees will send its recommendations to Senate for approval in September 2015.

Visit the University Secretariat website for more information and to download a nomination form.

More information about Queen’s 175th anniversary celebration is available online.

Helping Nepal

[Nepal Earthquake]
Local Nepalese community members recently held a vigil in downtown Kingston to help raise awareness and support following the earthquake in their homeland. (Supplied Photo)

In the early hours of Sunday, April 25, Prabeen Joshi answered the call that so many Nepalese living abroad received.

At 3:40 a.m. his sister, who lives in Australia, called to inform him that a devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake had struck Nepal. The good news was that his parents, who still live in Nepal, were safe and unharmed.

Queen's in the World

At the time, little information was known but it didn’t take long for the Nepalese community in Kingston – approximately 50 people with about 15 attending Queen’s as students or as post-doctoral fellows – to be alerted to the situation.

“I tried to contact my parent myself but I couldn’t. They were away from home at one of my cousins’ engagement party,” he says. “The party was over and then the earthquake happened. But they were together. That was a big relief that such a big devastation happened and still my parents were fine.”

Unable to go back to sleep, Mr. Joshi, a PhD student in civil engineering, spent the rest of the night finding out what he could about his homeland. It left him reeling. The death toll has already surpassed 7,000 and is expected to top 10,000.

Overall, Mr. Joshi has only heard of one local member who has suffered a loss. However, the disaster has taken a heavy toll as the community can only look on from halfway around the world.

Looking to do anything to help, the community decided to launch a campaign to raise funds and awareness of the disaster. They held a vigil in downtown Kingston where they raised $960 in donations.

The have also set up a crowd-funding site to raise more funds.

“That is the best thing we could do as there’s no option for going back and helping immediately,” he explains. “So the best thing to do was to come together as a community and start collecting whatever we can.”

The campaign wraps up Saturday but donations can still be made at their webpage.

The window for opportunity is small. Already, he points out, Nepal has dropped off the front pages but the massive relief effort continues and the rebuilding of the country will take years.

Still, he has hope that the country and its people will recover. For example, the disaster has pulled the Nepalese diaspora together to help the recovery effort.

“When you are unified only good things happen,” Mr. Joshi says.

FIT TIPS: Get your 150 minutes of activity

Here are 10 tips to help you aim for 150 minutes of physical activity in a week, and to help you live a healthy lifestyle. See how many you can do in one week:

1. Eat half your food when at a restaurant and package the rest for lunch the next day (restaurants normally serve 4 portions in one serving!)
2. Have fresh fruit or yogurt for dessert
3. Book a squash or racquetball court with a friend at the ARC - racquet court bookings are covered in your ARC membership. Rent a racquet for $2 if you don't have one!
4. Don’t go grocery shopping when hungry
5. Make a grocery list, and stick to it!
6. Use a workout video to exercise at home when you don’t want to leave the house (check out YouTube and bodyrock.tv for free options)
7. Don’t skip breakfast, it really is the most important meal of the day
8. Try bowling on a Friday or Saturday night
9. Add raw nuts or grilled chicken to your salad for extra protein
10. Try yoga

Digging through data? Get some help at Data Day

Robert G. May has spent several years sifting through pages and pages of poet F.R. Scott’s typescripts and manuscripts housed at the W.D. Jordan Special Collections and Music Library. Dr. May and his colleague Dean Irvine at Dalhousie University intend to post the material online and publish an authoritative edition of works by Scott, a seminal figure in modern Canadian poetry.

Dr. May will share the unique challenges that arise when working with such a vast and rich archive during Data Day on Monday, May 11.

[Robert May]
Robert G. May is digitizing the typescripts and manuscripts of seminal Canadian poet F.R. Scott. Dr. May will share his experience managing the archival material at Data Day on May 11.

“Digitizing four archive boxes of material is a painstaking, page-by-page process,” says Dr. May (English Language and Literature). “During Data Day, I am interested to see what researchers in other disciplines are doing with archival research and data in their fields.”

Scott Lougheed, another panelist at Data Day, has some advice for fellow researchers looking to improve their data management practices.

“I recommend researchers pick a “New Year’s resolution project” where they go to Data Services in Queen’s University Library (QUL) at the outset and develop a data management plan,” says the doctoral candidate in the School of Environmental Studies.  “I have found that researchers frequently encounter challenges with their data at the end of the project. By that time, though, they have moved on to another project and it’s too late to make the necessary changes.”

Mr. Lougheed is one of several presenters at this year’s Data Day, an annual event where researchers and service providers share their expertise and experiences working with diverse data sets.

During the panel discussion, Mr. Lougheed will make the case that having a well-defined plan in place at the start of the project is worth the time and effort.

Data Day 2015
When: Monday, May 11, 8:45 am-1 pm
Where: Douglas Library
More information and register online

“Working with QUL early on can streamline the research process,” he says. “With a plan, you can avoid getting halfway through your project and realizing that you haven’t properly stored your interview transcripts or data sets, for example.”

Karina McInnis, Executive Director, University Research Services (URS), notes that the tri-council funding agencies will require researchers to submit a data management plan with their proposals in the future.  Jeff Moon, QUL Data Librarian, will provide an introduction to data management plans during his Data Day session (Graham George Seminar Room, second floor of Douglas Library, 10:45 am).

Ms. McInnis, along with Sharon Murphy, Head of Academic Services, QUL, Bo Wandschneider, Associate Vice-Principal (Information Technology Services) and Chief Information Officer, and Ted Hewitt, President, SSHRC, recently shared the tri-council and university perspective on data management planning at a conference hosted by the Consortia Advancing Standards in Research Administration Information (CASRAI). The Queen’s group won best presentation at the conference.

“Data Day allows us to highlight the ways URS, the library and ITS have partnered to raise awareness and advance the services Queen’s offers to researchers to manage their data and make it accessible and reusable by the wider research community for years to come,” Ms. Murphy says.

Visit the Data Day 2015 website to view the complete program and register.

Asia-Pacific Diplomats come to Queen's

Queen's in the World

Queen’s University played host earlier this week to ambassadors and high commissioners from the Asia-Pacific region. This year’s Ambassadors' Forum, held on May 4, brought together 15 officials and high commissioners from countries such as Myanmar, Korea and New Zealand for a luncheon, presentation and discussion.

The Ambassadors' Forum was first held at Queen's in 2003. (Photo by Bernard Clark)

Dr. Hok-Lin Leung, Professor Emeritus and former Director of the School of Urban and Regional Planning, organizes the annual event, which was first held in 2003. The forum serves as a chance for the ambassadors to meet in a neutral setting to promote international dialogue and cooperation.

“There’s a lot of potential to build international relationships at the forum,” says Dr. Leung. “It’s an opportunity to showcase Queen’s and Canada’s talent, as well as to learn from other parts of the world.” 

After the luncheon, the officials listened to a talk by Scott Lawrence (Com’96), Managing Director of CPP Investment Board, who spoke about international investment strategies. Talks in previous years have covered topics such as Canadian identity, ocean management and international human rights.  

Along with the event held in Kingston, Dr. Leung also organizes an Ottawa meeting of this group of diplomats each year. 

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