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The RPNF’s mission is to support Psychiatric Nursing excellence through annual scholarships and grants to psychiatric nursing students and RPNs in Canada who are pursuing undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral level studies.


Congratulations to Sheila Soulsby, recipient of the RPNF 2024 Undergraduate Scholarship (awarded to a 3rd Year student in the Psychiatric Nursing Baccalaureate program in Canada). Sheila is a mixed Irish, Scottish, Anishinaabekwe and a member of St.Peters/ Peguis First Nation. Her father’s family has ties to Pinayootang and Sagkeeng First Nation.  Sheila engages in important community health and community building work. She volunteers with an emergency warming centre, and has worked as a student research assistant on a project to deliver anti-racism training for health care staff.  This work, which is being conducted by the First Nations Health and Social Secretariat of Manitoba, has fostered an interest in strengths-based cultural interventions.  She brings this lens to her psychiatric nursing education. Sheila plans to use her psychiatric nursing skills to serve the Indigenous urban community and to contribute to programs that are Indigenous designed and led.


Congratulations to Christina Ambrenac, recipient of the RPNF 2024 Undergraduate Scholarship (awarded to a 4th Year student in the Psychiatric Nursing Baccalaureate program in Canada). Christina is a passionate mental health advocate and raised over $10,000 for the Andrew Dunn Foundation in support of mental health initiatives within Manitoba. In addition to academic excellence, she is an active volunteer and mentor at Brandon University. She serves on the Psychiatric Nursing Program Advisory Committee and participates in the Psychiatric Nursing Student Mentorship Program. In Christina’s words, her “accomplishments, struggles, and losses have all motivated [her] to help people face the challenges of mental illness while maintaining hope and building resiliency.” Her dream is to contribute to improved mental health services within the province and beyond. “My biggest hope is to use my personal experience and Psychiatric Nursing education to enact meaningful change in memory of my son, Matthew.”


Congratulations to Tyla Sylvestre, recipient of the RPNF 2024 Graduate Scholarship (awarded to an individual in graduate studies, registered in Canada and pursuing relevant studies at a masters or doctoral level). Tyla’s research focuses on recruitment and retention of nurses and psychiatric nurses in rural areas. Psychiatric Nurses are a critical component of mental health service delivery in rural areas. Developing strategies to retain service providers is essential for effective services. Tyla is using a qualitative approach to explore how community attachment influences retention. She will interview nurses and psychiatric nurses who have stayed for more than two years to understand factors that underpin retention, with the goal of supporting, or developing, effective recruitment and retention strategies.


Congratulations to Tammy Stott, recipient of the RPNF 2024 Marlene Fitzsimmons Grant. This grant is intended to support a Registered Psychiatric Nurse in a certificate program relevant to Registered Psychiatric Nursing practice. Tammy works as a Registered Psychiatric Nurse in Reproductive Mental Health. She provides education to local mental health centres and other community agencies about topics such as perinatal depression and anxiety as well as resources offered by the program she works in. She also facilitates groups for patients and is creating a second group therapy curriculum. Tammy is taking a Graduate Certificate in Innovations in Teaching and Learning. The program will further skills in education by studying theories of teaching and learning, as well as strategies and techniques.

Joslin Mamuric

Brandon, Manitoba

Congratulations to Joslin Mamuric, recipient of the 2024 RPNF Indigenous Studies Grant which is intended to support a Registered Psychiatric Nurse in enhancing their knowledge about Aboriginal Health Issues. Joslin graduated from Brandon University’s Psychiatric Nursing program in 2021, and was the successful recipient of 2 scholarships during her degree; the John Kellie 3rd year scholarship in 2020 and the Kay Armstrong 4th year scholarship in her graduating year.    Post graduation, she independently sought out an online Brandon University course, entitled Introduction to Native Studies which she completed in December.  She is currently working as a Nurse II at the Centre for Geriatric Psychiatry at the Brandon Regional Health Centre with Prairie Mountain Health.

Dr. Jane Karpa – Excellence in Psychiatric Nursing Practice - Leadership

Congratulations to Dr. Jane Karpa, recipient of the Award of Excellence in Psychiatric Nursing Practice – Leadership. Jane is a psychiatric nurse educator in both the Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing program and in the Master of Psychiatric Nursing program, Brandon University. Jane has acted as a role model and mentor to many current faculty members and has shaped the practice of the educational environment as a whole.

The knowledge and respect for collegial governance Jane has gained throughout her career at Brandon University is greatly valued. Jane is happy to share her knowledge and her opinion is often sought for advice and guidance. Jane’s level-headed approach to decision-making, particularly regarding departmental issues, showcases her exemplary leadership in navigating complex challenges with grace and expertise.

This past year, Jane announced her retirement from Brandon University commencing in the summer of 2024. When most are easing their workload after such an announcement, Jane took on significant leadership roles at the university. Some include co-chairing the Department of Psychiatric Nursing during the fall term, contributing to important processes such as the psychiatric nursing program accreditation process and union bargaining team negotiations. These roles, on top of her regular teaching and research responsibilities were crucial to the faculty and the larger university community.

Throughout her career, Jane has actively participated in initiatives that promote mental health awareness to reduce stigma. Her extensive research in psychiatric nursing and mental health has made invaluable contributions to the profession and the larger mental health community, demonstrating her commitment to advancing the knowledge of the field. Jane’s research has a wide range, from the experience of people living with acquired brain injuries and their families, to how nurse educators can reduce stigma towards people with mental illness, teach professional boundaries, and how peer mentorship affects the development of academic integrity.

Her dedication to upholding high standards of professionalism within the profession of psychiatric nursing serves as a guiding light for others in this field.

Andrea Thomson – Excellence in Psychiatric Nursing Practice - Research

Congratulations to Andrea Thomson, recipient of the Award of Excellence in Psychiatric Nursing Practice – Research. Andrea is an Assistant Professor at Brandon University. She has contributed greatly to the body of knowledge for psychiatric nursing as she has addressed multiple gaps in literature and has conducted many different research projects to fill these gaps. For example, she has contributed to the advancement of evidence-based psychiatric nursing practice by conducting research in the areas of peer mentorship programs and teaching boundaries within undergraduate psychiatric nursing programs. One of her latest research projects explores the experiences of nursing and psychiatric nursing students with disabilities.
Her experience as a researcher is truly valued and Andrea looks for opportunities to provide leadership and mentorship to others. She has mentored multiple new faculty members as they transition to the new role of Assistant Professor. Andrea also provides mentorship and leadership to her many graduate students in the Master of Psychiatric Nursing program as they conduct their research and complete their thesis.
Andrea disseminates her research findings in a variety of ways, including peer-reviewed articles and presentations. Andrea publishes articles that promote the understanding of mental health issues and the psychiatric nursing profession. She currently has 14 peer-reviewed articles and 18 peer-reviewed presentations… and the list keeps growing. She has also participated in several peer reviewed activities such as being a peer reviewer for manuscripts and grants.
She demonstrates a commitment to the profession and community leadership. She is on the Council for the College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Manitoba and is a Research Affiliate for the Manitoba Centre for Nursing and Health Research. Andrea has also served as a member of the Brandon University Research Ethics Committee. She is the co-chair of the Continuous Quality Improvement Committee, co-facilitator of the Psychiatric Nursing Peer Mentorship Program, and an active member of the Master of Psychiatric Nursing Program Steering Committee. Andrea is an esteemed psychiatric nurse researcher and is most deserving of the Research Award.

Rebecca Sourisseau – Excellence in Psychiatric Nursing Practice - Clinical

Congratulations to Rebecca Sourisseau, recipient of the Award of Excellence in Psychiatric Nursing Practice – Clinical. Rebecca is a psychiatric nurse working in private practice in Brandon. She is passionate about providing services for populations who have had difficulties accessing mental health care. Rebecca has developed a strong skillset and capacity for working with individuals who have experienced both intergenerational and ongoing trauma within their lives. Rebecca uses a holistic approach, making a positive impact in the lives of individuals she works with, and sees everyone as capable of change. Rebecca provides clinical assessments and intervention, as well as assists individuals to connect with community services and resources. She meets individuals where they are at in a very down-to-earth manner and takes the time to ensure that individuals connect with services to meet basic needs, enabling them then to make gains in their mental health. To support follow-through and attendance she provides practical assistance where needed to overcome the barriers that can sometimes interfere with accessing services. Individuals and families feel accepted and heard, which helps them continue their engagement. Rebecca organizes her services in a way that allows for flexibility and rapid access where needed.
Rebecca provides mentorship to fellow clinicians in the surrounding area, focusing on the importance of the necessary therapeutic skills as well as understanding and empathy. She is well-known in the community and looks for opportunities to improve her practice as well as supporting other services.
Rebecca is well versed in ethical standards both within her specialty of psychiatric nursing, as well as FNHIB, with whom she is a provider, ensuring confidentiality and professionalism. While she is a businessperson, she sees herself primarily as a helper. Rebecca Sourisseau is an excellent candidate for an Award of Excellence in Psychiatric Nursing Clinical practice, going above and beyond for each of her clients.

Jessica Kis – Excellence in Psychiatric Nursing Practice - Clinical

Congratulations to Jessica Kis, recipient of the Award of Excellence in Psychiatric Nursing Practice – Clinical. Jessica Kis is a Forensic Nurse Examiner for the Sexual Assault and Intimate Partner Violence Program at Health Sciences Centre, providing trauma-informed services to individuals who have experienced the most intimate type of violence and violation. She is responsible for providing forensic, medical, and supportive care to survivors of physical or sexual assault by a partner, as well as to those who are victims of human trafficking.
Jessica practices with sensitivity, ensuring that her actions and language avoid re-traumatization.  Individuals feel heard and believed when describing their experiences. Jessica is the sole psychiatric nurse on the team, and the impact of her knowledge and skills upon colleagues as well as the individuals she serves has been profound. One of the most challenging parts of the team’s role is providing trauma informed care to those who have experienced the unimaginable. She continually demonstrates compassion and understanding and goes above and beyond to ensure not only the physical wellbeing of individuals but also their mental and emotional wellbeing, setting an example for all on her team. When opportunities arise Jessica offers helpful perspectives that improve the quality of services across the team, respectfully supporting colleagues who have had limited training in mental health care.
Part of her role as a Forensic Nurse Examiner includes assisting police with practical aspects of the investigation, conducting an intensive trauma-informed forensic interview of the patient, as well as medical care followed by detailed documentation of injuries. Individuals accessing services from the Sexual Assault and Intimate Violence Program have experienced one of the most difficult times in their lives, and Jessica conveys a level of kindness and compassion that supports their recovery. She strives to make the individual’s worst day a little better. Jessica exemplifies excellence in Psychiatric Nursing and is deserving of recognition for the extraordinary services she provides individuals receiving care.

Omolara Akinsola – RPNF Bursary (2023)

This bursary is provided to a 3rd year student, going into their 4th year in the Brandon University, Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing Program.

Katrina Pander – RPNF 2024 Gold Medal of Excellence (Winnipeg Campus)

This medal is awarded to a Brandon University graduate of the Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing Program (Winnipeg Campus) who has consistently demonstrated leadership, academic excellence and clinical proficiency.

Mya Jorgenson – RPNF 2024 Gold Medal of Excellence (Brandon Campus)

This medal is awarded to a Brandon University graduate of the Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing Program (Brandon Campus) who has consistently demonstrated leadership, academic excellence and clinical proficiency.

Award Recipients

National Scholarships

  • RPNF Undergraduate Scholarship (3rd Year) – Sheila Soulsby, MB
  • RPNF Undergraduate Scholarship (4th Year) – Christina Ambrenac, MB
  • RPNF Graduate Scholarship – Tyla Sylvestre, SK
  • RPNF McCormick – Henry Scholarship – not awarded

National Grants

  • RPNF Indigenous Studies Grant – Joslin Mamuric, MB
  • RPNF Marlene Fitzsimmons Grant – Tammy Stott, BC

Manitoba Awards of Excellence

  • Clinical – Rebecca Sourisseau
  • Clinical – Jessica Kis
  • Research – Andrea Thomson
  • Leadership – Jane Karpa

RPNF Brandon University BScPN Medal of Excellence

  • Brandon Campus – Mya Jorgenson
  • Winnipeg Campus Katrina Pander

RPNF Bursary

  • Omolara Akinsola

Awards of Excellence in Psychiatric Nursing Practice nominations are open until March 31!

Support tomorrow’s psychiatric nurse today!

RPNF created scholarships to assist Registered Psychiatric Nurses and psychiatric nursing students to further their professional education.

Our Scholarship Program is funded through your donations. RPNF attracts and manages the gifts from donors into a permanent endowment fund.

Scholarships for Registered Psychiatric Nurses

The scholarship committee of the RPNF processes, selects, and awards the scholarships and grants funded by the RPNF.
The scholarships and grants are limited to Registered Psychiatric Nurses in Canada or students preparing to become Registered Psychiatric Nurses in an approved undergraduate psychiatric nursing education program.

Politics, Personalities, and Persistence

One Hundred Years of Psychiatric Nursing Education in Manitoba by Beverley Clare Williams Hicks

Politics, Personalities and Persistence, written by RPNF Director Dr. Beverley Hicks tells the story of the evolution of registered psychiatric nursing in the province of Manitoba. This comprehensive account traces the distinct profession’s transition from the asylums of Manitoba, where for seventy years psychiatric nurses had cared for the mentally ill when few others were interested in them, to the halls of academia in Brandon University in 1986, the first university in Canada to grant a baccalaureate degree to psychiatric nurses. Contact us at for more information and to order.  A portion of proceeds from the book will be donated to the RPNF Inc.

Important Links

Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Canada
College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Manitoba
Registered Psychiatric Nurses Association of Saskatchewan
British Columbia College of Nursing Professionals
All Charities Campaign
College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Alberta