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REF NO.: 168

SUBJECT: Critical thinking will get you everywhere at Memorial’s School of Nursing
DATE: March 30, 2011

For the first time in its 16 year history, a Memorial University nursing team has advanced to the finals of the Canadian Evaluation Society (CES) student case competition. In fact, this was only the second time a nursing team from Memorial had entered. The win means the group is headed to Edmonton, Alta., in May after being chosen as one of three teams out of 22 from across the country.
After only two years of coaching the team, nursing professor Dr. Sandra MacDonald said she’s inspired by the students’ efforts that went above and beyond the call of duty.
“This team is very special,” she said. “They have the right combination of skills and knowledge to bring home the trophy and we are cheering for them.
“Many people don’t realize that registered nurses conduct program evaluations all the time. The evaluation of nursing interventions is an integral component of our practice and registered nurses often don’t realize their own expertise in this area.”
On the team, aptly named Unique Critique, are Catherine Burt, Gina Colbourne, Daisy Dawe and Chris Harty. They began their preparations in November and spent many Saturday mornings and evenings discussing program evaluation with experts in the field and practising for the competition.  
Ms. Burt said she was in class when she found out they’d won via a text message.
“To say I was ecstatic is definitely an understatement. I wanted to jump up and down and scream out the great news, but Gina, one of our team members, was doing a presentation,” said Ms. Burt. “However, I did mouth the words ‘We won!’ to Gina and she knew immediately what I was talking about.      
“Initially this competition was just something we participated in to be graded as an assignment. Never in a million years did we think that our group would be selected as one the finalists. I am very proud.” 
“I am a little nervous, but mostly excited. Making it to nationals – that’s our victory,” added Ms. Colbourne. “Whether we win up there or not is just extra. It’s a little intimidating competing against these other major universities, but we work well together and intend on trying our best and having a blast. Our pride will carry us.”
The other finalists are from Carleton University, School of Public Policy and Administration, and the University of Saskatchewan, Applied Social Psychology. The team that makes the best presentation takes possession of the case competition trophy for a year, receives prizes and is featured in various publications.

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