Nursing grad students take part in international qualitative health research event

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Lynn Scruby, Kealy Murray, and Donna Martin at the Qualitative Health Research Conference in Vancouver.

In October 2019, six graduate students and seven faculty from the College of Nursing attended the Qualitative Health Research Conference in Vancouver, B.C., a five-day interdisciplinary educational conference aimed at researchers in academic and professional settings.

The conference, hosted by the International Institute for Qualitative Methodology at the University of Alberta, attracted over 250 attendees from over 15 different countries. College of Nursing graduate students have taken part for the last four years as part of the Deeper Dives into Qualitative Research Award, supported by the College of Nursing Endowment Fund. 

“It’s really the brainchild of three of our faculty – Dr. Christina West, Dr. Kendra Rieger, Dr. Donna Martin,” said Dr. Lynn Scruby, assistant professor at the College of Nursing and one of the mentors to the graduate students. “It’s a great opportunity for our graduate students to disseminate their findings and speak about their work.”

Graduate students who attended were Emily Hyde, Andrea Winther-Klippenstein, Vanessa Van Bewer, Lisa Mary-Quigley, Josie Bolianatz, Stephanie Lelond and Kealy Murray. Faculty mentors included West, Rieger, Martin, Scruby, Wanda Chernomas and Suzanne Lennon.

“I really feel like my experiences at the Qualitative Health Research Conference helped me create a map for myself and begin to build a community for the next part of my journey,” said Kealy Murray, a third-year graduate student in the Clinical Nurse Specialist stream.

Murray presented her research poster on the experiences of parents caring for a child with persistent post-concussion syndrome.

“My research interests are the impact of illness on families, family experiences, family resilience, maternal and child wellness, and the young adult population,” she said. “This stems from my nursing background, which is in maternity, pediatrics, and community health.”

“What stood out to me at the conference was the creative use of interview tools and arts-based research to gather data, and considering how these tools and various approaches may be useful in addressing a variety of biases that can sometimes come up when interviewing participants,” Murray said. “This opportunity to engage with peers and renowned scholars was enlightening and incredibly empowering.”