Registered Nurses Celebrated for Professional Excellence

EDMONTON, April 30 /CNW/ - Last night, the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA) recognized the exceptional achievements of seven registered nurses and one member of the public at its Awards of Nursing Excellence Gala held at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton. TD Insurance Meloche Monnex is a supporter of the CARNA Awards Gala.

"Every day, registered nurses are using their knowledge and expertise to make a difference in the lives of Albertans," says CARNA president Joan Petruk. "The CARNA Awards of Excellence shine a spotlight on outstanding registered nurses who inspire their colleagues through their commitment to knowledge, patient care and professional excellence."

The CARNA Awards of Nursing Excellence are awarded in four areas of professional nursing practice; clinical, education, research and administration. Scholarships for exceptional educational achievements were also presented, including the prestigious CARNA/TD Insurance Meloche Monnex Scholarships.

"It's an honour to recognize the outstanding registered nurses whose expert caring makes a difference in the lives of Albertans every day," says Lone St. Croix, Vice President, TD Insurance Meloche Monnex. "It's a privilege to honour professionals who personify excellence and commitment to their careers."

CARNA also presented the Partner in Health award to a member of the public selected for their support of the nursing profession in the community.

"Registered nursing is a profession characterized by its diversity," says CARNA Chief Executive Officer, Mary-Anne Robinson. "There are registered nurses contributing to better health for Albertans in hospitals, homes, schools and worksites throughout the province. The CARNA Partner in Health Award was created to recognize the partners whose efforts work in synergy with registered nurses to meet the health needs within their communities."


CARNA is the professional and regulatory body for Alberta's more than 33,000 RNs. Its members include registered nurses working in direct care, administration, education and research. CARNA sets nursing practice standards and ensures Albertans receive effective, safe and ethical nursing services. For more information on the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta visit

About TD Insurance Meloche Monnex

TD Insurance Meloche Monnex, the group home and automobile insurance brand of TD Insurance, works with over 700 professional, alumni and employer groups across the country to provide home and auto insurance programs to their members. In business for 60 years, more than one million clients trust TD Insurance Meloche Monnex with their insurance needs. TD Insurance, through its TD Insurance Meloche Monnex and TD Insurance Home and Auto sub-brands, is the largest direct-response insurance group in Canada. For more information on professional and alumni group programs visit; for information on employer group programs visit

Photos available upon request.


2010 CARNA Awards of Nursing Excellence Recipients

Award for Excellence in Nursing Clinical Practice

Jennifer Penner (AHS, Chinook - Heart Failure Network, Lethbridge) - for her work to improve access and care for heart patients in Southern Alberta by advocating for high quality community-based care; leading community awareness forums on vascular protection, health promotion and risk reduction; and forming partnerships with community businesses and organizations to promote health.

Award for Excellence in Nursing Education

Phyllis Castelein, RN, BN, MN (Instructor, University of Alberta, Faculty of Nursing) - for developing a context-based learning approach which allows better understanding of the connection between the theoretical and practical aspects of nursing. She has also developed strong working relationships with the Faculte St. Jean, clinical agencies and the francophone community since becoming coordinator of the University of Alberta's BScN bilingual program.

Award for Excellence in Nursing Research

Karen Benzies, RN, PhD (Professor and Scientist, University of Calgary, Faculty of Nursing) - for her focus on healthy child development and supports for new parents which has resulted in nurses now routinely screening for additional factors that may predispose women to major post-partum depression.

Award of Nursing Excellence in Administration

Nancy Guebert, RN, BSN, MCEd (Vice-President, Rockyview General Hospital, Calgary) - for her work in partnership with Mental Health and Addictions Services to create in-patient beds at the Foothills Medical Centre for eating disorder patients and her work as Flow Coordinator which helps ensure patients move smoothly through the system from admission to discharge.

Lifetime Achievement

Marion Allen, RN, PhD (Professor, University of Alberta, Faculty of Nursing) - for her contribution to the prestige, credibility and advancement of the registered nursing profession. Some of her accomplishments over the past 40 years include being the first to offer a doctorate-level nursing course via the internet, setting new directions for ophthalmic nursing internationally and creating a master's program at the University of Ghana.

Rising Star

Petra Hortopanu, RN, BN

(Alex Community Health Centre, Calgary) - for her passionate efforts to help marginalized youth in her community, spearheading the development of a youth centre, which included building partnerships with other youth-oriented organizations and bringing together a multi-disciplinary team of health care workers. The youth centre opened in October 2008 with Petra as nurse and coordinator, a mere four months after her graduation.

Committee's Choice Award

Linda Youell, RN,, BScN, MHSA (University of Alberta, Faculty of Nursing) - for providing leadership for Canada's longest nursing faculty and creating a workplace where staff feel valued and engaged. She was active in planning for the new after-degree BScN program and the bilingual nursing program at the university.

Partner in Health

Tracy Parnell (Community Health Representative, Boyle McCauley Public Health Office, Edmonton) - for her work to decrease barriers to health services for Edmonton's inner-city residents. As a community health representative, she serves as a bridge between medical staff, who may not be familiar with the traditions, values or cultural beliefs of the client population, and community residents who might not otherwise access health services.

SOURCE College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta

For further information: For further information: Rachel Champagne, T: (780) 453-0516, C. (780) 953-3923, E:; Information on the CARNA Awards of Excellence, including the nomination criteria and forms are available at For information about TD Insurance Meloche Monnex: Tara Sirinyan, Corporate Communications, (514) 385-2244,

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