2016 COUPN Award Winners

Dr. Cynthia Baker

Award for Strategic Contribution to Nursing Education

2016 COUPN Award Winner: Cynthia BakerDr. Cynthia Baker is recognized for her extraordinary and ongoing leadership to identify and address the many issues surrounding the NCLEX-RN entry-to-practice exam. As the Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN) Dr. Baker represents the national voice of nursing education and is committed to the advancement of excellence in nursing education and scholarship in Canada. She strongly believes that the quality of nursing education is essential to the health status of Canadians and to positive health care outcomes.

Before CASN, Cynthia came from academia where she was a nursing faculty member and administrator. She holds a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin, an MN from Dalhousie University, an MPhil in anthropology from the University of London in the U.K., and a baccalaureate degree from McGill University.


Daniella Betteto, RN

Preceptor Recognition Award

2016 COUPN Award Winner: Daniella BettetoDaniella Betteto, a Registered Nurse on the Intensive Care and Cardiac Recovery Unit at the London Health Sciences Centre, was described by a student as a preceptor who shows patience, commitment and initiative in establishing a well-rounded learning experience. The student said she encourages her to think critically, to learn continuously and to put patients at the heart of her care.

“As a role model and as a teacher, she has taught me how to practice within the scope of nursing, according to the best practice guidelines and in accordance with institutional policies,” said the four-year nursing student. She went on to say that with Daniella’s guidance and support, she feels confident and ready to practice as a new graduate nurse.
She said one “unforgettable teaching moment” for her was the first time they enacted on a family’s wishes to withdraw life support for their loved one. A complex and emotionally difficult decision-making process for the client’s family and friends, the student needed guidance to navigate an ethically challenging process.

“As a preceptor, she was supportive of my learning and encouraged me to think critically to ensure we are providing the best care for our client. She continuously explained her rationale and how it fits within the RNAO’s best practice guidelines of end-of-life care.”


Jennifer Cohen, RN, MN-NP (Paeds)

Masters Student Award of Excellence

2016 COUPN Award Winner: Jennifer CohenJennifer Cohen is described by one of her professors as having “exceptional determination, incomparable intelligence and desire to improve the lives of children living with chronic illness.” In spite of personal obstacles, Jennifer maintained a strong academic record, being awarded the Dean’s Medal for highest academic achievement in the Master of Nursing program at University of Toronto, and excelled in her clinical placement in the cardiology department at the Hospital for Sick Kids.

Prior to graduation, she was hired to work as a nurse practitioner with children and youth with eating disorders. She works alongside a psychiatrist to provide comprehensive care to 150 outpatients and in an eight patient day treatment program, where she has received high praise for her care from patients and families. She can also be found teaching first-year nursing students as an Adjunct Lecturer with the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing.


Karen Frecker

Excellence in Professional Nursing Practice at the Undergraduate Student Level

2016 COUPN Award Winner: Karen FreckerKaren Frecker is a BScN student at the University Toronto. A strong student academically, her clinical preceptor says her nursing skills stood out most during her clinical placement in palliative care, where she showed “clinical knowledge and skills that far exceed those of a typical undergraduate student.” Working at a hospice that provides end-of-life care to individuals during their last three months of life, Karen treated each of her patients with dignity, respect, professionalism, patience, and empathy.

Karen completed a BA (Hons) in Peace and Conflict Studies and Economics in 2004 and then spent almost a decade working in the energy sector. She felt the need for a career grounded in the expression of care and compassion, and began volunteering at SickKids, which led her to pursue a degree in nursing. She is passionate about attending to the social determinants of health in acute care, hospice, and community settings.


Dr. Krista Keilty

Doctoral Dissertation Award

2016 COUPN Award Winner: Krista KeiltyKrista Keilty who is completing her post-doctoral fellowship at Sick Kids/University of Toronto, has been described by a member of her PhD thesis committee as a meticulous researcher, and her study of the sleep and health of parents with children living with complicated medical conditions is considered to be of critical importance to nurses and families.

For her work, she recruited 85 family caregivers – some who had a child with complex care needs and some who did not – and collected data on their health and ability to sleep. Her findings indicated that parents of children with complex care needs slept significantly less – by 40 minutes – and had much lower quality of sleep than parents of healthy children. Indeed, family caregivers of these children had three times the rate of depression, sleepiness and fatigue.

Described as the first work of its kind, the study suggests many questions for future research and health policy related to patient safety and home nursing care for such families, particularly at night. Her contributions to many other institutional and provincial initiatives in home care demonstrates her ability to seamlessly connect research, practice and education.

Dr. Keilty completed her doctoral program at the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto.


Jason Kiernan, BSN, MSN

Excellence in Teaching Award

2016 COUPN Award Winner: Jason KiernanA dynamic and passionate nursing professional, Jason Kiernan is described by his students as a “terrific teacher, leader and role model for all nursing students.” Whether making use of self-edited videos, rap songs, or props including a giraffe toy and gift wrap string, Jason finds creative ways to make difficult course material understandable and memorable for students. He strives for clarity, engagement and approachability in his teaching style, using the motto that “the highest form of scholarship is a publication in the peer-reviewed journal of the youthful mind.”

Jason is in the third-year of his PhD at Wayne State University, and his research focuses on symptoms associated with cancer and cancer treatment. He holds a BScN from the University of Michigan, and a MSc in Nursing from Wayne State University. Jason brings nearly 20 years of experience as an RN and nearly nine as a nurse practitioner to his current teaching role at the University of Windsor.


Dr. Kelly Metcalfe, RN, PhD

Scholarship into Practice Award

2016 COUPN Award Winner: Kelly MetcalfeDr. Kelly Metcalfe has devoted her research career to the study of cancer prevention and treatment in individuals at high-risk of developing the disease. She is an Associate Professor in the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto, an adjunct scientist at the Women’s College Research Institute, and the Interim Director of Research in the Faculty of Nursing.

Much of her research is oriented towards patient empowerment and patient decision-making, ensuring that nurses, clinicians, women and patients have the information and evidence they need to make the best decisions possible. Her clinical work focuses on counseling women who are genetically predisposed to breast cancer in making breast cancer prevention decisions. Her current research focuses on the prevention and treatment of hereditary breast cancer, and on the surgical outcomes after breast cancer surgery and reconstruction.

She presents widely to both professional and lay audiences, and organizes a biennial patient symposium to disseminate the latest research findings to women who are genetically predisposed to developing breast cancer


Dr. Jasna K. Schwind, RN, PhD

Teaching Innovation Award

2016 COUPN Award Winner: Jasna SchwindWhen it comes to teaching and learning, Dr. Schwind believes: “we bring all of our life experiences into every teaching-learning encounter.” As the Associate Professor at the Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing, her program of research, by means of Arts-Informed Narrative Inquiry, focuses on reconstruction of experience within professional and therapeutic relationships in education and practice. She has developed and implemented the Narrative Reflective Process, an innovative creative self-expression approach to teaching and learning that includes storytelling, metaphoric reflection, drawings, creative writing, and reflective dialogue to enhance students’ learning experiences, research in education, as well as the professional development of educators.

Dr. Schwind explores “humanness-of-care,” which she defines as a mindful presence with the persons in our care. This requires mindful awareness with non-judgmental acceptance of self and others in the present. And according to her peers, whether it is in teaching and learning situations in the classroom or clinical settings, mentoring of individual students, or involvement in research and its dissemination, she is always fully present and engaged with those in her care.