Scholarships and Grants Winners

2018 Scholarships and Grants Winners



NRIG Research Grant Recipient

Linda Sheiban

Linda Sheiban Taucar, a Research Grant recipient, is a Registered Nurse and currently holds the position of Associate Research Chair at the Schlegel Centre for Advancing Seniors Care at Conestoga College. She began her research career by attaining a Masters degree in Health Studies and Gerontology at the University of Waterloo. Her thesis work explored the experiences of healthcare providers who care for those with dementia in primary care memory clinics. Linda now uses her joint clinical and research knowledge in her position as Associate Research Chair by coordinating and conducting gerontological research, focusing on evidence-based care in gerontology and gerontological curriculum development. Linda's current works aims to explore nursing faculty's experiences of integrating RNAO's Best Practice Guidelines into nursing curricula. This work will inform Conestoga College as they begin the journey of becoming a Best Practice Spotlight Organization.


NRIG Graduate Scholarship Winner

Karen Campbell

Karen Campbell is a fourth year PhD student at McMaster University, School of Nursing. Ms. Campbell's work has predominantly focused on supporting young mothers, with over 15 years of experience as a public health nurse. Her program of research is at the intersection of women's health and rural geography. Her dissertation examines the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP), a public health nursing intervention program for socially and economically disadvantaged mothers. Ms. Campbell will be determining the modifications and adaptations that are necessary for NFP to be successful in rural Canadian communities.


NRIG Graduate Scholarship Winner

Jessica Lachance

After beginning her nursing career in Cardiology and later Pediatrics, Jessica recently completed her Master of Science in Nursing degree from the Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing at Western University in August. Her thesis was under the supervision of Dr. Richard Booth, entitled: Exploring unmet healthcare needs, healthcare access, and the use of complementary and alternative medicine by chronic pain sufferers: An analysis of the National Population Health Survey. She is currently enrolled in the first year of the Nursing PhD program at Western University and plans to research self-prescribed interventions university students use to cope with mental health issues for her dissertation work. She also works in the community as a Nurse Interventionist for the iHEAL Study, trialing an intervention to support the health and wellbeing of women who are in the process of leaving or have left abusive partners. She volunteers as the Communications ENO for the RNAO Middlesex-Elgin Chapter, on the STTI Governance committee, and with the Society of Nursing Graduate Students as VP Social at Western. In her spare time, she likes to travel and go for walks with her dog, Huxley. Jessica plans to pursue a career in nursing research and education with a focus on integrative health and self-management of chronic conditions.

Photo Tharshika Sugumaran copy

RNFOO Research Award Winner ($1000 - MN student)

Tharshika Sugumaran

As a paediatric nurse at McMaster Children’s Hospital Tharshika Sugumaran greatly enjoys working with children and their families, and advocating for their needs. She has continuously sought to further her knowledge and advance her nursing profession through various opportunities. Currently Tharshika is completing a thesis-based MN exploring the impact of diabetes coaching on community-based adults who have Type 2 diabetes. Upon completing her studies, she hopes to investigate new areas of nursing including research and clinical education.

Past Scholarships and Grants Winners


heather hartley - cropped

NRIG Research Award ($1,000)

Heather Hartley

Heather completed her undergraduate nursing degree at McMaster University. In her clinical practice at Hamilton General Hospital, she was exposed to the destabilizing effects that unexpected patient deaths had on members of the interprofessional team. In response, she initiated a research project, developing a technical report designed to guide staff in situations of death and organ recovery. This research lead her to pursue a Master of Science in Nursing at the University of Ottawa where she explored interdisciplinary narratives of caring for patients that died intraoperatively. Her work brings attention to this unexplored practice phenomenon and the experiences of clinicians living the death of their patients in perioperative culture. Heather now works with the surgical departments at Quinte Health Care as a Professional Practice Specialist, developing initiatives to support staff in enhancing and enriching their practice.

robin coatsworth-cropped

NRIG Graduate Scholarship ($1,500)

Robin Coatsworth-Puspoky

Robin Coatsworth-Puspoky is PhD student in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta, a CNF Scholar, and teaches in the first year of the BScN program at Lambton College in Sarnia. Robin’s research interests include transitional care, family caregivers and older people with mental health challenges, knowledge translation, and nurse-client and peer support relationships. Robin’s PhD research project will focus on exploring the influence of the discharge plan on the readmission from home to the acute care settings from the experiences of older people with cognitive challenges and their families.

amy wright-cropped

NRIG Graduate Scholarship ($1,500)

Amy Wright

Amy Wright is an NP with a passion for health equity and social justice. Challenged by the health inequities experienced by Indigenous infants and their families in urban areas, she has focused her career to advocating for the unique needs of this population. Currently completing a PhD, her research seeks to understand how Indigenous mothers living in urban areas in Canada experience using health services to meet the health needs of their infants. She hopes the study will provide health services with meaningful and effective strategies to provide culturally appropriate care for Indigenous families, which may lead to better health outcomes.

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NRIG Research Grant ($2,000)

Charlotte Lee

Dr. Charlotte Lee is an assistant professor at the Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing, Ryerson University. Dr. Lee’s research focuses on health services evaluation and interprofessional teams. She is particularly interested in understanding how interpersonal relationships affect teamwork processes and outcomes in health care. Dr. Lee’s current work aims to identify the antecedents and teamwork outcomes associated with interpersonal relationships. As a certified oncology nurse, she is also involved in the study of health services issues associated with cancer care.


NRIG Research Grant ($2,000)

Gillian Strudwick

Dr. Gillian Strudwick is a Project Scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. She is also an Assistant Professor (status only) at the Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto where she teaches in the Master of Health Informatics program. Gillian is conducting a qualitative descriptive study to understand the role of the nurse manager in nurses’ use of electronic health records (EHRs), and to identify strategies that may be effective in supporting adoption of EHRs.


Carolyn Truskoski

NRIG Research Award ($1,000) – awarded through RNFOO

Carolyn Truskoski

Carolyn is a full-time Masters student at the University of Ottawa, School of Nursing and a research assistant for BORN Ontario. Carolyn has worked in a variety of roles as an RN, including research and clinical positions. She has presented her thesis methodology at the International Forum for Pediatric Pain in Halifax in 2015 and is scheduled to present her findings at an international webinar for the Pain in Child Health Strategic Training Program. Her research explores the experiences and contextual factors that influence nurses’ pediatric pain care practise in rural Northern Ontario. Carolyn looks forward to continuing to develop as a clinician and academic in nursing.

melissa northwood

NRIG Graduate Scholarship ($1,500)

Melissa Northwood

Melissa is a PhD Student at McMaster University’s School of Nursing. Melissa’s current research interests include using a mixed methods approach to identify community based nursing interventions to improve home care for older adults with diabetes and incontinence. Melissa’s clinical practice is as a nurse continence advisor with Saint Elizabeth.

sheila boamah

NRIG Graduate Scholarship ($1,500)

Sheila Boamah

Sheila is a doctoral candidate in Nursing at Western University, under the supervision of Dr. Heather Laschinger. Her research interests include leadership, healthcare quality, human resource management, and health policy. Sheila’s research focuses on understanding how healthcare leadership influences the nursing work environment in promoting efficiency of care delivery and the quality of work life of nurses.


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NRIG New Investigator Research Grant ($2,000)

Kristine Newman, PhD

Kristine is an Assistant Professor at Ryerson University in the Faculty of Community Services, Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing. In 2012, she completed her PhD in Nursing Science from the University of Toronto and in 2013 a Knowledge Translation Canada: Strategic Training Initiative in Health Research Post-Doctoral Fellowship at McMaster University. She holds her Canadian Nurses Association Rehabilitation Nursing Certification (2007-2021).


sally baerg

NRIG Research Award ($1,000) – awarded through RNFOO

Sally Baerg - MScN/NP student, McMaster University

Sally is enrolled in the MScN/Diploma in Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner program at York University. She has been working in the community with patients of all ages for 22 years and recently joined the Rapid Response Transition Team, providing patients with health assessment and teaching in Chronic Disease management. Her goals are to balance clinical practice along with continued research while working in the community as a Nurse Practitioner with patients who have difficulty in obtaining Primary Care.



NRIG Graduate Scholarship ($1,500)

Sinead Sheehan

Sinead is a second year MScN student at York University who is currently working on her thesis. Her research relates to how well hospital bedside nurses collaborate with one another, and how this collaboration affects their job satisfaction. In addition to her studies, Sinead is a Simulation Educator for the RPN program at Sheridan College, works casually for the Hospital for Sick Children and is one of two Policy and Political Action ENOs for the Peel Chapter of the RNAO.



NRIG Graduate Scholarship ($1,500)

Laura Teague

Laura is a 4th year part time PhD student at McMaster University, under the supervision of Dr. Gina Browne. She is also a Nurse Practitioner at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. Laura's thesis project is a cohort study which will examine long term outcomes of persons with SCI and Stage IV pelvic pressure ulcers, who have undergone surgical repair. She will be examining predictors of sustained wound closure in this vulnerable population.



NRIG Graduate Scholarship ($1,500)

Christine Dennis

Christine is currently a doctoral student in nursing at McMaster University. In her thesis dissertation, she is exploring how parents engage in partnerships with members of the interprofessional health care team in the pediatric ICU. Christine teaches with Ryerson University in the post-diploma nursing program and is a proud executive member of NRIG as a member-at-large. She lives in Barrie and is also an executive member of the South Simcoe chapter of RNAO.



NRIG Early Investigator Research Grant ($3,000)

Sue Bookey-Bassett

Sue is a PhD student at McMaster University. She teaches at McMaster in the nursing and health sciences programs, and works closely with her supervisor on a variety of research projects in the Aging Community & Health Research Unit. Her dissertation research includes developing, implementing and evaluating the impact of an interprofessional education intervention on interprofessional collaboration for community-based stroke rehabilitation teams caring for older adults with multiple chronic conditions in home care settings.


NRIG Experienced Investigator Research Grant ($3,000)

Elaine Santa Mina

Elaine is Associate Director of the Post Diploma Degree Program and Associate Professor within the Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing at Ryerson University. Elaine was the lead for the development panel for the RNAO Best Practice Guideline for Assessment and Interventions for Adults at Risk for Suicidal ideation and Behaviour (RNAO, 2008). Elaine has a keen interest in undergraduate education to prepare nurses to care for patients with mental health challenges. Elaine conducts research and publishes in the areas of self-harm, suicide, Best Practice Guidelines and Nursing Education.


Recipients of the Graduate Scholarships, each valued at $1,500:

  • Barbara Chyzzy, PhD student, University of Toronto
  • Nisha Sutherland, PhD student, Western University

Recipients of the Research Grants (Early Investigator category), each valued at $3,000:

  • Esther Coker, PhD student, McMaster University, "Oral Hygiene Care Practices of Nurses with Older Adults in Post-Acute Hospital Settings"
  • Salima Ladak, PhD student, University of Toronto, "Symptoms and Function in the Early Recovery Period Following Orthotopic Liver Transplantation Surgery"
  • Rola Moghabghab, PhD student, University of Toronto, "Constant Observation for Older Adults in Acute Care: A Mixed Methods Study"

Recipient of the RNFOO Research Grant valued at $1,500:

  • Noeman Mirza, PhD student, McMaster Univeristy, "Effects of Abductive Reasoning Training on Hypothesis Generation Abilities of Level One and Level Two BScN Students"


Recipients of the Graduate Scholarships, each valued at $1,500:

  • Jennifer Jackson, MN student at Athabasca University
  • Leigh Chapman, PhD student, University of Toronto

Recipients of the Research Grants (Early Investigator category), each valued at $3,000:

  • Carolyn Plummer, Senior Manager Collaborative Academic Practice UHN for her study " The Effect of Nurse Discharge Navigator Role on Re-hospitalization outcomes of Surgical Oncology Patients: A Retrospective Review."
  • Prisco Salvador, PhD Student, Lawrence S. Bloomberg, Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto for his study "The Effect of Oral Cryotherapy plus Mouth Rinsing on Oral Mucositis Severity in Breast Cancer Patients Undergroing Chemotherapy.:


Recipients of the Graduate Scholarships:

  • Kristine Newman - her doctoral work is exploring nurses’ perception of their problem solving abilities affects how they seek new information or apply accumulated knowledge.
  • Sheila O'Keefe- McCarthy – her doctoral work is exploring cardiac pain and related anxiety for rural ACS patients.

Recipient of the Research Grants (Early Investigator category):

  • Winnie Sun – her doctoral work is a mixed methods study identifying causal relationships between therapeutic self-care and adverse events for home care clients.


Recipient of the NRIG Research Grant:

  • Jamie Crawley - PhD, RN. Jaime’s research project is entitled "Hidden No More: Health Needs Assessment of Services Used by the Hidden Homeless"

2010 - TBA

2009 - TBA

2008 - TBA


Recipient of the NRIG Research Grant ($1,000):

  • Susan Jack (Assistant Professor, McMaster University). Study on ‘Moral and safety issues around anonymity of abused women’.

Recipients of the NRIG Graduate Scholarships ($2000 each):

  • Don Wildfong (MN, Faculty of Nursing, McMaster University). Thesis: Role of RNAO Best Practice Champions in promoting clinical practice change within healthcare organizations across the province.
  • Veronique Boscart (PhD, Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto).Thesis: ‘Humanistic nurse-patient relationships in chronic care’.