About the College
Message from the Dean
A Spring Message
Happy Spring! On March 1, I took up the position of Interim Dean in the College of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan. I previously served as Dean of the College from 2000 to 2005 and have continued to be engaged in other academic leadership positions at the University of Alberta and here at the University of Saskatchewan for the past decade.
For the last eight years I have served in a dual role, supporting interdisciplinary and interprofessional health research across the Saskatoon Health Region and the University of Saskatchewan. Most recently, I have been engaged with many other health system and academic partners across Saskatchewan in development of Patient-Oriented Research in our province.
My beliefs about the nursing discipline have not changed over the past decade – if anything they have grown stronger. In a “nutshell” they encompass the following:
- Nursing is the “glue” that holds the Canadian health system together; it is vital that we “know” our patients, families, residents, and communities in order to be effective advocates on behalf of those we provide care for.
- Nursing is an evidence-based science and an art – nurses are knowledge workers; nurses are professionals.
- Nurses are still undervalued and are not reaching their full potential in terms of our individual and collective impacts on better health, better care, better teams and better stewardship of our health systems – provincially, nationally and globally. We need all nurses working to their full scopes of practice. This includes LPNs, RPNs, RNs and NPs.
- Collaboration is the future – the persistent and evolving challenges of modern healthcare will not be solved by one individual profession, organization, or government.
The College of Nursing is a larger and more complex college from the one I stepped away from in 2005. The College has expanded its reach to several communities at home and abroad; accomplished national leadership in the use of technologies to realize a “learn where you live” philosophy; and is striving for an interdisciplinary and research-based approach in all of its academic programming.
I am pleased to provide transitional leadership within the College at this point in its history. I am looking forward to working with the Senior Leadership Team of the College, the College of Nursing Council, staff and students, University of Saskatchewan senior leadership, and external key stakeholders to prepare the College for a new Dean, while improving the following:
- A student- and client-centred approach that guides all our activities and sets an example for students entering the profession;
- A culture of trust and respect;
- Clear and concise roles, responsibilities and professional accountabilities;
- A re-balancing of teaching, research and scholarship, professional practice, leadership and administration – with a clear and concise understanding of how we will measure accomplishments and impacts across these domains;
- A diverse and welcoming environment characterized by work-life balance;
- Individual and collective professional advancement;
- Strengthened interprofessional and interdisciplinary relationships and pursuits;
- Strengthened relationships and pursuits with external stakeholders, particularly the healthcare system as well as rural and Indigenous communities.
To lead and mentor the College as interim dean during this transitional period, I will strategically focus my energies on relationship building, values clarification, problem-solving, process development, and above all - mentorship.
I am working with College of Nursing Senior Leadership, faculty, staff and students to learn all about the College of Nursing as efficiently as possible. To this end I am meeting individually with all faculty members; staff and student leaders; and key stakeholders. At our request, the Social Sciences Research Laboratory is carrying out focus group interviews with students across nursing programs and sites. Further, the College will be retaining the services of a consultant to assist us in evaluating our current governance structures and faculty and staff complements. I will be visiting all of our campuses and program sites as soon as these visits can be arranged. On behalf of the College of Nursing, I both welcome and require your ongoing support and assistance as we move ahead.
To learn about your hopes and dreams for both nursing and the College of Nursing, I am looking forward to meeting and working with all of you. The opportunities before us are vast but our time and energies are all too finite. Let’s choose our priorities for our time together wisely. And let’s make sure our efforts make a palpable difference we can all be proud of.
Warmest regards and best wishes – Sincerely,
Beth Horsburgh, RN, PhD
Professor and Interim Dean, College of Nursing