Congratulations to the recipients of the 2015 Awards for Excellence in Psychiatric Nursing Practice!


Chelsea Donogh was nominated for the Award for Excellence in Psychiatric Nursing Practice in the domain of Leadership by Sally Dueck and Kim Brice. These are some of the words given to us by the nominators.

Chelsea is a great leader, role model and mentor on our unit at Eden Mental Health Center, providing pride in the profession. With a positive attitude towards peers, patients and their families, Chelsea is always willing and enjoys sharing her knowledge and expertise with staff and students.

Chelsea-provides and demonstrates creative problem solving, critical thinking and flexibility. She is a peer leader for .SHIPP and provides education and training to staff and students.  Chelsea has been a preceptor and leader for many psychiatric nursing students.

She participates in presentations on nursing/psychiatric nursing leadership education at staff training day and she is involved in staff training for Psychiatric Nursing Assistants. Chelsea also participates in psychiatric nursing recruitment activities such as workplace coordinated presentations at Brandon University with undergraduate psychiatric nursing students.

She is also involved in the orientation process for peers and new staff, especially as concerns ECT.

Chelsea is an advocate for her patients and motivates them to create positive change in their environment and personal situation .

Chelsea provides and demonstrates creative problem solving, critical thinking and flexibility and is much deserving of this award.


Betty Wedgewood and Jacqueline Pentney were jointly nominated for the Award of Excellence in Psychiatric Nursing Practice in the domain of Education  by Fiona Smith and Katherine Pachkowsk, faculty members in the Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing program in Winipeg. Here are some of the things they said about Betty and Jacqueline.

Betty Wedgewood and Jacqueline Pentney serve the profession of psychiatric nursing in their roles as clinical placement coordinators for Brandon University. Their work at the intersection of education, clinical and leadership domains of practice requires them to maintain relationships with students, colleagues, clinical sites and other nursing education programs.

They facilitate students’ identification of learning goals. In later year courses, they guide students through the process of preparing resumes to communicate with clinical placements. Through colleagues, they remain current with clinical course objectives and communicate these to clinical sites. Jacquie and Betty  craft individual letters to managers and preceptors to welcome and orient sites to the expectations of and resources available for them while working with students. Both are proactive in developing and maintaining relationships with clinical site managers so as to remain sensitive to issues impacting their capacity.

Betty and Jacquie work closely together in analyzing trends that may affect student placement opportunities. Issues looming ahead are brought to colleagues in the department for consideration and discussion. They stay current with protocols, best practices and developing initiatives across a variety of health authorities. They also plan and coordinate student orientation in training and certification in response to requirements for : electronic record systems, automated medication systems, nonviolent crisis intervention and simulated hearing voices experiences, to name a few.

Jacquie and Betty support each other, brainstorming and planning how to strategize and respond to competing needs at multiple levels. There is strong competition for student placements with other nursing programs. The overall effect places pressure on clinical managers and staff working with increased patient acuity and budget pressures. Frequently, unforeseen events necessitate change or adaptation on little notice. Both of them demonstrate a high degree of professionalism while using flexibility, creativity and problem solving to respond –  while reweaving a complex web of needs.

Betty and Jacquie demonstrate a commitment to ensuring the students get the best possible experience in the clinical setting. They maintain a sophisticated awareness of the roles of psychiatric nurses which is reflected in the placements they pursue. They continually research new opportunities in many different areas and evaluate each placement. This service is absolutely critical to the program’s ability to prepare psychiatric nurses who are competent in a variety of settings.


Kristina Lindsay and Sharon Young were the nominators of Judy Judd for Excellence in Psychiatric Nursing Practice in the Clinical domain.
Judy has worked for over thirty years as a Registered Psychiatric Nurse in Brandon, beginning at the Brandon Mental Health Centre and for the past 17 years in Community Mental Health Services as a pioneer of the Mental Health Promotion Clinic where she helped to shape the way mental health services are delivered, particularly for persons living with severe and persistent mental illnesses.

Judy was a leader at implementing a mobile medication clinic on long weekends, ensuring that clients would receive their medications as well as friendly visits and check-ins. This is rooted in a harm reduction approach ensuring that clients receive treatment that may otherwise not happen without supports in place. This has helped to drastically reduce recurrence of symptoms and in turn has reduced each client’s time in hospital, ensuring their safety and also lending to maintenance of housing. Judy has also been instrumental at helping to initiate the first harm reduction house in Brandon, keeping a few clients who struggle to maintain housing off the streets and safe. Judy sits on the Forward Thinking Project Improvement Team which is focused on innovative approaches to address gaps faced by clients.

Over the years, Judy has made numerous presentations and met many other requests about mental health and stigma reduction. In addition to serving the needs of approximately seventy clients who access the clinic, she has a personal caseload of 17 clients with co-occurring disorders. Her love, passion and creativity for her work can be seen in her relationship with her clients. Many of her clients lack family support networks and/or positive relationships within their community. Judy has an open door policy at the clinic where  mental health clients can come with any crisis situation or just to chat.. She provides an atmosphere of safety, trust and security to everyone who comes to see her and she is an excellent problem-solver and mediator in times of stress or conflict.

Judy maintains excellent relationships with service providers in the community, including landlords, the Public Guardian and Trustee, Manitoba Housing and many others. She also maintains great working relationships with hospital staff in acute, long-term and community settings. She understands the daily challenges that people face and has regularly advocated on behalf of clients who cannot afford the high price of many neuroleptic injections or whose housing may be at risk; who may have to appear in court  or who may be faced with any number of health challenges. Judy has played an active role in funeral planning for clients or providing eulogies at funerals at the family’s request. Judy also helps clients manage their money through their involvement in the clinic.

Judy is very person-centred, focusing on each individual’s dreams, aspirations and values. Judy supports full integration of all of her clients in the community based on their interest and strengths.
Judy is committed to ongoing education and shares her knowledge through presentations on harm reduction and tobacco reduction and also through the teaching and mentoring of psychiatric nursing students and new staff.  She also has donated countless hours to community volunteerism, particularly to the Multiple Sclerosis Society, a personal passion of hers.