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2019 WNRCASN Annual Conference

February 20, 2019 9:00 AM MST to February 22, 2019 4:00 PM MST

Fantasyland Hotel and Conference Centre in West Edmonton Mall
17700 87 Ave NW
Edmonton, AB T5T 4V4
Venue website

WNRCASN Annual Conference, February 2019

Rejuvenating Nursing Education Through Relational Practice

Dates: Feb 20 to 22, 2019

Location: Edmonton, AB

Host Schools: University of Alberta, Red Deer College, Grand Prairie Regional College, Keyano College, Athabasca University, and MacEwan University!


Location: West Edmonton Mall, Fantasyland Hotel and Conference Centre, 17700 87 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T5T 4V4. Reservations Phone: 800-737-3783                                   

A block of Superior rooms has been reserved that include Theme Rooms (Polynesian and Roman Themed Rooms) as well as Executive King, Superior Queen, and Superior Queen with Bunk Beds. There are limited numbers of the theme rooms at the blocked rate of $164 / night (plus applicable taxes) Tuesday Feb 19 through Thursday Feb 21. If you choose to stay the night of Friday Feb 22 or through the weekend, the rate does increase to $199/ night (plus applicable taxes). The going rate for rooms in the Fantasyland Hotel is $230 - $276 / night, so these are great rates! We encourage you to BOOK EARLY as the reserved rooms block will be released as on January 20, 2019 and room rates will increase to reflect current demand. 

**To receive the conference rate for your room reservation, please call and inform the booking receptionist that you are booking with the Western and Northern Region, Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing - WNRCASN. 

Click Here to view the Polynesian Rooms

Click Here to view the Roman Rooms



Conference Registration is open and the Early Bird rate has been extended thru January! 

The block of rooms at Fantasyland Hotel at a discounted rate have already been released, however, please still mention that you are booking with the WNRCASN Conference when you book your rooms! We must sell a minimum number of rooms so every booking counts! PLEASE BOOK EARLY! To book your rooms, please call:  (780)444-5541 or toll-free 1-800-737-3783 to make a reservation. 


Workshops - Please Register Soon as capacity is limited ***New Workshop added!!!

We now have three exciting workshops  scheduled for Wednesday, February 20, 2019. The workshops will be in addition to the conference and have an additional registration fee associated with them.

Workshop #1 - 1/2 Day 9a-12p (Coffee break included)

Explore learner-centered teaching and develop your relational-educator toolkit with renowned author and educational researcher, Dr. Maryellen Weimer!

Maryellen Weimer, PhD

Professor Emerita, Penn State Berks

Maryellen Weimer is a professor emerita of teaching and learning at Penn State Berks and won Penn State's Milton S. Eisenhower award for distinguished teaching in 2005. Weimer has consulted with more than 600 colleges and universities on instructional issues and regularly keynotes national meetings and regional conferences.

Weimer has edited The Teaching Professor newsletter since 1987 and writes the Teaching Professor Blog each week on Faculty Focus. A distinguished scholar and author, Dr. Weimer’s books include Inspired College Teaching: A Career-Long Resource for Professional Growth (Jossey-Bass, 2010), Enhancing Scholarly Work on Teaching and Learning Professional Literature that Makes a Difference (Jossey-Bass, 2006), and Improving Your Classroom Teaching (Sage Publications, 1993). Her Learner-Centered Teaching: Five Key Changes to Practice, 2nd ed. (Jossey-Bass, 2013) remains one of the most influential books for educators looking to adopt a learner-centered approach in their classrooms. 

(This biography copied from:

Workshop #2 - Full Day 9a-3p (Coffee and Lunch Included)

Explore simulation debriefing using the Debriefing for Meaningful Learning (DML) method with nursing education researcher and immediate past-president of INACSL, Dr. Kristina Thomas-Dreifuerst!

Kristina Thomas Dreifuerst, PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF

Associate Professor of Nursing at Marquette University and Immediate Past-President of INACSL

Kristina Thomas Dreifuerst PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF is an Associate Professor at Marquette University. She has been a nurse educator for the past 20 years, teaching didactic and clinical courses in traditional and online environments to pre-licensure, graduate and doctoral students. Her research is at the forefront of disciplinary efforts to a) develop, use, and test innovative teaching methods to improve students’ clinical reasoning skills, and b) investigate how teachers can best be prepared to use evidence-based methods including simulation and debriefing to enhance clinical teaching and she is the author of the Debriefing for Meaningful Learning (DML) method of clinical and simulation debriefing. Dr. Dreifuerst is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2014 NLN-Laerdal Debra Spunt Lectureship. In 2014 she was also inducted into the Academy of Nursing Education.

(This biography copied and edited from:

Workshop #3 - 1/2 Day 1p to 5p (No Fee for this workshop! Coffee break included)

Critical Conversations: Towards an Understanding of Truth and Reconciliation and the work of Nursing Schools in Canada.

This workshop is generously supported by the University of Calgary, University of Victoria, North Island College, University of Alberta, Thompson Rivers University, University of Saskatchewan, and Mount Royal University. Thank you to all for your donations of money, time, energy, and commitment!

This workshop will provide space for participants and facilitators to come together and explore the ongoing efforts that are occurring in schools of nursing and communities as we work to decolonize and Indigenize our health care processes.  Organizers will bring together Indigenous Knowledge Holders, Madeleine Dion Stout, Evelyn Voyageur, and Elder Rose Martial to guide the work through focused discussion.  Exemplars of stories from nursing education will be presented followed by small group discussion with the intent of providing the opportunity for all participants to share their ideas, experiences, and stories.

The second half of our workshop will be focused on addressing the relevant calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation and Commission. Our goal will be to create a vision statement (or position paper ) intended to direct our actions and commitments towards positive change in nursing education. 

This workshop space will remain active for the duration of the conference as a dedicated Indigenous conversation space.  This will include presentations from the WNRCASN presenters related to the themes of reconciliation and Indigenization of nursing education.  It will house the sharing of our ideas and stories of our successes as well as our challenges.   Through honoring the work that has been done and recognizing the work that remains we hope to build support and commitment through moving forward and creating a vision for change in Nursing Education.

There is no fee to participate in this workshop / meeting. However, we do ask that you "purchase" a ticket for the event so we know how many people to expect. When you go to check out, there will be no charge. If you are adding this ticket on to other tickets, it will come up as a complimentary ticket. Thank you for your assistance! 


MALs / Executive Committee Board Meeting

Wednesday, February 20, 2019, 3 pm to 6 pm. The Members-At-Large (MAL) and Executive Committee Board Meeting will begin at 3pm, also at the Fantasyland Hotel in Conference Room 5. This is the annual face-to-face board meeting for the MAL and Executive Committee. Each member school of WNRCASN has an appointed Member-At-Large. These members are expected to attend the conference and attend the Board Meeting each year. MALs who are not able to attend may designate an alternate who will attend in their place. This person must be a member in the Association, as they will have voting rights delegated to them by the named MAL. MALs will have had specific communication regarding this meeting from the President and Secretary in advance. If you are not sure if you are a MAL, please contact [email protected]. This is a working meeting, and dinner will be provided. 

2019 WNRCASN MAL Meeting Agenda

Opening Reception, Grants and Awards Ceremony

Wednesday, February 20, 2019, 6 pm to 9:30 pm. The opening reception of the conference will take place in the Fantasyland Hotel in Conference Room 6. Light hors d'oeuvres will be served. A short program including the announcement of the 2019 WNRCASN Educational Research, Innovations Projects, and Graduate Student Research Grant winners, opening remarks led by Madeleine Dion Stout, Honored Professor, followed by a celebration of Indigenous traditional and modern dance! Please join us for this fun and exciting opening event!

Conference Proceedings

Thursday, February 21, and Friday, February 22, 2019 will be two full days of conference proceedings with keynotes, plenary sessions, concurrent sessions, and poster presentations. 

  • Be sure to join us for the opening keynote address from Dr. Maryellen Weimer! Professor and Author of Learner-Centered Teaching: Five Key Changes to Practice 
    • Evidence-Based Learning: The Strategies that Promote Deep Learning and Skill Acquisition
    • Not all learning strategies are equally effective.  Unfortunately, research documents that students tend not to use those that result in deep learning and skill development.  Fortunately, there are a range of instructional strategies that teachers can use to help students become more sophisticated learners.  And, they’re approaches that add efficiency to teaching and learning. During this keynote, we’ll identify and discuss a set of evidence-based strategies and propose a variety of ways teachers can demonstrate their value and promote their use.


  • Second Day Keynote Speaker is Donna Lynn Smith! Professor Emeritus and Nurse Leader
    • Teachers Lead and Leaders Teach...But Why?
    • The common ground between teaching and leadership is explored using examples from practice and current patient safety research. The research suggests that relational and responsive leadership behaviour might have prevented serious health system catastrophes that have been deeply documented through public inquiries in the UK and Canada.



Special programming highlights:

  • Brains! Journey to Resilience! Presentation by the Alberta Family Wellness Initiative. "The Alberta Family Wellness Initiative (AFWI) mobilizes knowledge about early brain development and its connection to lifelong physical and mental health, including addiction. We bring together stakeholders from many callings to collaborate on health solutions that will directly impact families and individuals."
  • Clinical Relationships. Panel presentation on clinical placements, partnerships, and innovations in clinical learning. 


Annual General Meeting (AGM)

The WNRCASN AGM will take place over hot breakfast on Friday, February 22, 2019. All are invited to breakfast! All full members of the Association are encouraged to attend and participate in the discussion and voting. The Secretary will circulate an agenda for the meeting in advance.

2019 WNRCASN AGM Meeting Agenda