Critical thinking will get you everywhere

The win means the group is headed to Edmonton in May after being chosen as one of three teams selected from 22 teams across the country for the finals. On the team, aptly named Unique Critique, are Catherine Burt, Gina Colbourne, Daisy Dawe and Chris Harty - all from Dr. Sandra MacDonald’s N3113 class.

After only two years of coaching, Dr. MacDonald said she’s inspired by the students’ efforts that went above and beyond the call of duty. “Nursing students have never advanced before, so this team is very special! They have the right combination of skills and knowledge to bring home the trophy and we are cheering for them! Their enthusiasm is contagious and they are already planning their strategy to win, including their corporate image.”

“Many people don’t realize that RNs conduct program evaluations all of the time. The evaluation of nursing interventions is an integral component of our practice and RNs often don't realize their own expertise in this area.”

The team started preparing last November and spent many Saturday mornings and many evenings discussing program evaluation with experts in the field and practicing for the competition.

Team member Catherine Burt said she was in class when she found out they’d won via 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. 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 of three finalists. I am very proud.”

“It has been a tremendous learning experience and I am so looking forward to participating in such a prestigious competition. We are very lucky to have wonderful coach, Sandra MacDonald who has been so supportive and encouraging. Her excitement for this venture has been inspiring and we appreciate very much the time and effort she has given us.”

Daisy Dawe also said the team was shocked when they found out. “I am so proud to be able to represent Memorial and the School of Nursing as the only Atlantic team and the first ever nursing team. We are going to go into this with full confidence and hope to bring home the gold.”

“I am a little nervous, but mostly excited. Making it to nationals- that's our victory! Whether we win up there or not is just extra,” added Gina Colborne. “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. We're the first nursing school to make it to nationals. Our pride will carry us!”

Back in February, three teams from the School of Nursing competed in the first round where all teams received the key to an evaluation case file hidden on the web. They had five hours to prepare an analysis and submit it by e-mail for judging by a bilingual panel of experts. In the final round, the teams will have to analyze a new case and present findings and recommendations in front of a live audience.

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.


Faculty of Nursing

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