College of Nursing



Linda Ferguson
Director and Faculty - RN, BSN, PGD (Cont Ed.), MN, PhD

Linda's research addresses issues of nursing education, focusing on clinical education using preceptorship and mentorship models. She works in association with two colleagues from the University of Alberta, Dr. Olive Yonge, Vice-Provost of Teaching and Learning, and Dr. Florence Myrick, Associate Dean of Teaching for the Faculty of Nursing. This team of researchers has focused on preceptorship, and has individually and jointly conducted studies on evaluation practices of preceptors, a model for evaluation for rural preceptors, congruence of nurse faculty and preceptor evaluations of student performance, faculty roles in supporting preceptors, the impact of precepted experiences on student confidence, the experience of being preceptored in a rural or remote setting, and the effectiveness of a particular model of preceptor preparation workshops. In addition, Dr. Ferguson completed her doctoral dissertation addressing the process that new nurses encounter in developing their clinical judgement in nursing practice, with a focus on the role of preceptors and mentors in facilitating that process. Her currently funded SSHRC project addresses learning needs of new nurses in professional practice, and is focused on mentorship as a teaching/learning strategy. She has also been engaged in studies related to the competencies of interprofessional education, transformative learning experiences in student-led clinics, the mentorship of internationally-educated nurses, and the effectiveness of specific lecture capture approaches in the experiences of on-site and distance students.

Lois Berry

Dr Lois Berry, Acting Dean, is currently engaged in research in the area of leadership and policy development in nursing and health professional education, as well as the area of nursing work life issues. She is particularly interested in leadership and policy development with a social justice focus. She has recently completed a study eliciting the stories of leaders in nursing who have successfully championed inclusion in the profession, through increasing the participation of Aboriginal peoples, visible minorities and immigrants in nursing. She has also completed a survey of nursing and health professional education programs in Canada to determine issues and concerns with respect to implementation of criminal record checks within educational programs. This study is funded through the Western Region Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing 2007 Research Award. She is co investigator on a collaborative project of the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses, Saskatoon Health Region and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health, directed at improving patient, nursing, and organizational outcomes through the utilization of formal nurse-patient ratios.

Lorraine Holtslander

Vicky Duncan and I are just starting a small qualitative (grounded theory) study: "Exploring the information seeking behaviour of fourth year nursing students at the University of Saskatchewan". Health care is now expected to be "evidence based", which requires that health care professionals possess strong information seeking skills.  Health care professionals need to be able to access and identify quality health information efficiently to support patient care.  This study will explore how nursing students search for health information in the fourth year of their degree.  Students will be asked to journal their searching process while completing an assignment.  Journals will be collected and reviewed by the researchers.  The students will then be interviewed by the researchers to respond to any questions the researchers might have.  Patterns of information seeking, strategies used to find information, and barriers to searching will be identified.  Research results might have implications for better teaching of information seeking skills for health sciences students by nursing faculty and the Health Sciences Library.  This project will provide insight on the skills that the students currently possess, and perhaps highlight areas which need to be addressed in the nursing curriculum and library orientations.

Arlene Kent-Wilkinson

Arlene's educational research is focused in three areas that overlap: international and online education, Aboriginal health education, and forensic nursing education. She defines her professional practice as international collaboration in the areas of Aboriginal health, policy development, and research. Her clinical practice experience, course development, and research have focused on vulnerable populations and specialty areas of education, that are now including international initiatives. Arlene draws from a strong clinical base of over 30 years of clinical nursing practice in forensic psychiatric nursing, correctional nursing, psych mental health nursing, addictions nursing, and emergency nursing.

International Education

International professional collaborations with Australia have resulted in a 5 year agreement for an international student exchange with Flinders University, in Adelaide, South Australia.

Australia International Clinical Placement

Forensic Nursing Education (doctoral dissertation)

Arlene's experience in classroom and online forensic nursing course development culminated into her doctoral thesis on forensic nursing education.

Kent-Wilkinson, A. (2008, August 19). Forensic nursing education in North
America: An exploratory study [doctorial dissertation]. Department of
Educational Administration, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK.
Available from

Sandra Bassendowski
B.Ed., M.Ed., EdD, RN

Sandra Bassendowski is an associate professor with the College of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan. From her perspective, her nursing career has been "all about the students." She values the energy and enthusiasm that nursing students bring to teaching and learning spaces and their willingness to work with her on implementing change that is based on pedagogical significance. Sandra has two sons who ensure that she stays up-to-date with technology and they assist her with learning how to use the latest tools such as podcasting, vodcasting, wikis, webcams, and social software. Sandra's research focuses on the integration of technology in teaching and learning and on the history of nursing education in Saskatchewan. These two interests give her a sense of what has traditionally been done in adult education and what could possibly be done in the future, and as Sandra indicates- she lives and works in the Space Between.

Rusla Anne Springer

Dr. Springer’s research investigates nursing’s relationship with the pharmaceutical industry and the effects of that relationship on the organization of nursing work and patient outcomes.  Dr. Springer’s doctoral work analyzed the discursive effects of Pharmaceutical Industry discourse on the subjectivities of physicians, nurses and patients in the Neurology sub-specialty of Multiple Sclerosis (MS).  Her present research is focused on exploring and understanding the discusive nature of the clinical trial setting and its effect on the organization of nursing work relative to patient recruitment and the facilitation of informed consent. Her work also includes exploring patient experiences of being recruited into a clinical trial and of giving informed consent in that setting.  Dr. Springer is a Clinical Nurse Specialist who, prior to entering the academy, spent more than a decade leading and practicing with an interprofessional team of providers in the care of MS patients and their families in the Northern Interior of British Columbia.  Dr. Srpinger has studied relational ethics through the John Dosseter Health Ethics Center at the University of Alberta, has served on the Conjoint Research Ethics Board in Calgary, Alberta, and is presently serving as a member of the University of Saskatchewan Biomedical Research Ethics Board.  Dr. Springer conducts peer reviews for the Journal of Medical Ethics.