Confederation College’s Practical Nursing Program Joins BPSO Designation

Confederation College’s BScN Faculty & Staff.
Confederation College’s BScN Faculty & Staff.

THUNDER BAY – LIVING – Confederation College is proud to announce its three-year pre-designation as a Best Practice Spotlight Organization (BPSO). Confederation College’s acceptance into the BPSO program by the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO), recognizes the program’s commitment to implementing best practice guidelines (BPG) and marks a significant milestone in pursuing excellence in healthcare education.

Entry into the BPSO pre-designation program is a direct reflection of the college’s dedication to the integration of evidence-based practices with an Indigenous worldview through our strategic partnership with Oshki Wenjack – The Wenjack Education Institute. Our partnership with Oshki Wenjack enriches the Practical Nursing program and establishes Confederation College as a pioneer in academic nursing education for Indigenous registered practical nurses (RPN) since the inception of the BPSO initiative by RNAO.

Shane Strickland, Dean of Health, Negahneewin and Community Services, expressed his immense pride in this achievement. “This prestigious honour not only highlights our program’s exceptional quality but also signifies our role as trailblazers in Practical Nursing academic programs nationwide,” said Strickland.

Tania Pynn, Associate Dean added, “Being chosen as a BPSO pre-designate candidate underscores our unwavering dedication to excellence in nursing education and healthcare delivery, with a special focus on serving Indigenous communities.”

The BPSO pre-designation process will span three years, during which nursing faculty, staff and students will undergo training to become best practice champions of this initiative. Faculty members Dr. Michael Scarcello (RNAO member and a former RNAO board representative) and Jamis Robins (nee Eves) will lead the program through this transformative journey, setting a standard for embedding RNAO’s best practice guidelines (BPG) into the practical nursing curriculum and clinical placements. This initiative will ensure that graduates are well-equipped to meet the diverse needs of the populations they serve, with a focus on culturally competent and equity-focused healthcare education.

Confederation College’s proposal to RNAO highlighted its strengths, including a strong organizational-wide Indigenous-focused approach to nursing curriculum and partnerships that support nursing scholarships in Indigenous communities. The college’s commitment to integrating BPGs into its nursing curriculum and its dedication to continuous learning and quality improvement were key factors to being accepted into the BPSO pre-designation program.

“We are thrilled to partner with Confederation College, the first Indigenous-focused practical nurse academic BPSO. We look forward to our work with their team to integrate BPGs into their two-year curriculum. We know that RPN students will benefit greatly,” says Dr. Doris Grinspun, RNAO CEO and founder of the world-renowned BPG program.

RNAO’s collaboration with Confederation College is set to foster the use of the best available evidence in nursing practice, enhancing nursing practice standards, and equipping graduates to proficiently deliver evidence-based care. “This opportunity allows us to further enhance our nursing program, elevate our educational practices, and continue leading in providing culturally competent and equity-focused healthcare education,” Pynn said.

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Confederation College has been serving the citizens of northwestern Ontario since 1967 meeting the educational needs of students in a catchment area of some 550,000 square kilometres. Along with its main campus in Thunder Bay, Confederation College has seven regional sites located in Dryden, Fort Frances, Greenstone, Kenora, Marathon, Sioux Lookout and Red Lake, as well as a growing Distance Education division.    

Confederation College delivers exceptional education and training to an average of 7,000 combined full- and part-time students per year and currently has a total of 600 full- and part-time employees. Confederation’s regional economic impact and contribution is valued at $707.3 million annually.  

RNAO’s Best Practice Guideline (BPG) Program is funded by Ontario’s Ministry of Health. It was envisioned by CEO Dr. Doris Grinspun in 1998 and launched in 1999 to provide the best available evidence for patient care across all health sectors and settings, with more than 50 guidelines developed to date. The Best Practice Spotlight Organization® (BPSO®) program supports health service and academic institutions that have formally agreed to implement multiple RNAO BPGs over a three-year period, and evaluate their impact on patients, organizations and health system outcomes. Launched in 2003, the BPSO program now has more than 1,500 BPSOs in Ontario, Canada and internationally.

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