Advancing the practice of nursing

Thu, Sep 13, 2012

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Advancing the practice of nursing

Fresh off his recent appointment as Susan E. French Chair in Nursing Research and Innovative Practice and as Director of the newly inaugurated McGill Nursing Collaborative, Dr. Sean Clarke, PhD’98, took a few moments out of his busy schedule to share his thoughts on the future of nursing and the role that McGill’s newly renamed Ingram School of Nursing might play in reshaping the profession.

McGill: What was it that attracted you to come back to McGill and what are your ambitions for the Ingram School of Nursing?

Sean Clarke: Having taught at various university nursing schools over the years, I can say without hesitation that McGill Nursing does it right! Even though the School may not be one of the largest, the quality and impact of its research and its graduates are high, its reputation is well established and its graduates can be found around the province and across the continent. There is something distinct about the way McGill nurses think, talk and approach situations.

McGill: As the recently appointed Susan E. French Chair in Nursing Research and Innovative Practice, what are your key academic and research objectives?

Sean Clarke: My work as a researcher focuses primarily on the quality and safety of hospital care, particularly as it relates to factors such as staffing levels, patient outcomes, and occupational health issues for health care workers. I am passionate about how we can gain a better understanding of how health care practitioners work together and how we can adjust processes and procedures to enhance outcomes. In the Chair role, I’ll also be working with my faculty and service colleagues to grow their research and ensure that our educational programs stay on the cutting edge.

McGill: Tell us about the McGill Nursing Collaborative for Education and Innovation in Patient and Family Centered Care and what it ultimately can do for the nursing profession in Quebec?

Sean Clarke: The McGill Nursing Collaborative is a special partnership between the Ingram School of Nursing and the Nursing departments at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and the Jewish General Hospital (JGH). Other clinical partners in the McGill system will be coming into the Collaborative in the next years. Its goal is to advance nursing research and to streamline the implementation of innovative practices across the partner institutions.

This Collaborative is unique in the world in terms of its ambitions and in the way it draws on already strong links between a nursing school and its affiliated clinical agencies . By bringing together nurses in clinical practice, nurse researchers, nursing directors, educators, graduate students and patient representatives to create ‘working clusters’ we’ll be working on joint initiatives related to research, education and practice.

McGill: What will this approach mean specifically for patients?

Sean Clarke: Patients have always been and remain at the core of our mandate and inform the Ingram School of Nursing’s ambitions. They are its raison d’etre. By leveraging our expertise in research, education and practice, the McGill Nursing Collaborative promises to generate new ways of identifying and addressing the needs of various patient groups . The end result we hope will be improved access to high-quality, safe and cost-effective care that addresses patients’ and families’ needs, and of course, improved health outcomes.

McGill: These sound like exciting times for the nursing profession in Quebec and Canada. Can the Ingram School of Nursing play a lead role in reshaping the profession?

Sean Clarke: Yes, the nursing profession is at an exciting moment in its evolution and I believe that the public hasn’t seen the full breadth of what nurses can offer. McGill is already widely recognized for its excellence in research related to nursing care and thanks to the expertise of its faculty and the talents of its students, the Ingram School is well positioned to extend its impacts on the nursing profession in Quebec and beyond. Exciting times lie ahead for nursing at McGill.

- Linda Sutherland


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