ARNNL Research Trust 25th Anniversary Award
I became a nurse to help people and through my undergraduate studies I realized I had a passion for working in mental health. I graduated with an undergraduate degree in nursing from Memorial University in 2012. The focus of my practice has been caring for those with a serious and persistent mental illness in the inpatient setting of Eastern Health, Newfoundland. Being able to help patients in their time of need has been tremendously rewarding and inspired the focus of my masters and PhD research.
Working closely with mental health clients stimulated me to think about the connections between mental health nursing practice and person-centred care. My supervisor, Dr. Joy Maddigan, and myself worked closely with Eastern Health’s Mental Health and Addictions Program to develop a nursing research practice partnership. Before starting my PhD studies, we implemented a feasibility study, developed in consultation with directed care mental health nurses, on two acute inpatient mental health units. The partnership is now formalized with the primary objective being the establishment of a program of practice-based nursing research involving mental health nurses that is successful in addressing important clinical problems. It is to be an authentic, person-centred partnership that has the health and well-being of individuals and families living with serious mental illness as its core attribute.
Through my PhD research I will examine person-centred mental health nursing care in Newfoundland and Labrador. This research will allow me to identify any gaps in practice or areas for further development that can be addressed through interventional studies under the partnership.