The 2011 CASN Council wrapped up on November 16th but we continue to reflect on the provocative presentations, exciting announcements and dynamic discussions of those three days in Gatinaeu, Quebec. A summary of the highlights:

Graduate Studies and NP Educators’ Forum 2011
The Doctorate of Nursing Practice was the focus of the Forum’s opening debate: To DNP or Not to DNP? Pro-PhD panellists Dr. Sally Thorne, well-known scholar and nursing professor at UBC, and Dr. Judith McFedridge-Durdle, professor and Dean of the School of Nursing at Memorial University, argued in favour of nursing PhD programs to ensure that future faculty gaps can be filled. Pro-DNP panellists Dr. Carol White, Associate Professor in the Department of Health Restoration and Care Systems Management at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center, and Dr. Judith Shamian, President and CEO of the Victorian Order of Nurses, and President of the Canadian Nurses Association, countered that DNP programs would prepare students as well as PhD programs while also teaching students about political advocacy, policy and knowledge translation, essential aspects of modern nursing leadership. A rich and lengthy discussion emerged from following the debate, setting the stage for the sessions that followed. What do you think? Share your views on our Facebook page at

CASN President Dr. Clemence Dallaire set the stage for a session called Moving Masters Education Forward: Where Should We Be Going? by presenting CASN’s vision for graduate nursing education. (You read the details of that vision here. (  Doctoral:  Masters: ))  Participants were asked to reflect on 1) the roles future Masters- prepared students will need to fill; 2) the work for which Masters-level programs are preparing students; 3) current thinking in the different programs; and 4) the role CASN may have in this issue. These issues were discussed in small groups. Participants felt that Masters level education needs to focus on the following areas: preparing students for advanced nursing practice, policy development, administration, education and preceptorship.  They also felt, however, that Masters-level programs must provide students with the background needed to pursue a PhD and to participate in nursing research. Participants believe that current Masters programs provide students with strategies for capacity building in research and allow for flexibility in student learning i.e. distance education. There was a sense that Masters programs must acknowledge and respond to a diversity of student needs. Participants recommended that CASN’s role include developing a national strategy on graduate education, creating a task force on graduate studies and creating position statements on best practices.

A report from CASN Task Force on Nurse Practitioner Education Co-chairs Dr. Ruth Martin-Misener and Dr. Eric Staples provided an overview of their work which has included developing a preliminary national framework to guide nurse practitioner education in Canada. Forum participants reviewed and assessed the guiding principles and essential components of this framework for clarity, accuracy, validity and completeness. The NP Task Force will integrate the feedback obtained from the Forum and the next step will be further consultations with NPs, members of other health professions and individuals working in policy. Would you like to contribute to this discussion? Send your thoughts to


Inaugural Pat Griffin Nursing Education Research Scholar Lecture
CASN offers an annual $10,000 award to an established scholar with a strong program of research in nursing education. The recipient also delivers a lecture and Dr. Myrick our inaugural recipient gave the 2011 annual Pat Griffin Lecture on, “Preceptorship: Putting the Evidence into Clinical Teaching and Learning”. The inspiring presentation described Dr. Myrick’s work, spanning four decades, to advance teaching and learning in clinical education. Dr. Myrick will be using the Pat Griffin Scholar award to support two new projects, one focusing on the professional development of teachers, and the other a study of knowledge translation in preceptorship to ensure safe patient care. CASN is proud to support Dr. Myrick initiatives. Her work will have far researching positive effects on nursing education.

Nomination forms for the 2012 Pat Griffin Scholar are available on the CASN website. Nominations are due on January 31, 2012.

More information and Nomination form:

l’Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers du Québec announcement
CASN member Luc Mathieu made an historic announcement to Council. He reported that on October 24th, 2011, his motion to the OIIQ, that the Baccalaureate degree become the entry to practice requirement in Québec, was adopted by this organization. His announcement was greeted with a standing ovation.

Award Winners
CASN congratulates the winners of its 2011 annual awards, recognizing excellence in nursing education. This year’s Ethel Johns Award went to Cécile Michaud of Université de Sherbrooke, in recognition of her distinguished service to nursing education in Canada. Lorraine Watson of the University of Calgary received the Award for Academic Administrative Excellence. Sherri Melrose of Athabasca University received the Award for Excellence in Nursing Education for Tenured Educators, while Patricia Bradley of York University received the Award for Excellence in Nursing Education for Non-Tenured Educators. The University of Toronto’s Linda McGillis Hall was presented with the Award for Excellence in Nursing Research and Ellen MacFarlane of St. Francis Xavier University was presented with the Wendy McBride Award, which acknowledges the contribution of a former Executive Director to CASN and to the CASN Accreditation Program. CASN is pleased to acknowledge the contributions these educators have made to nursing over the last year, and offers its warmest congratulations.