Health education: Rush receives accolade from her nursing peers

An award-winning instructor and frequently-cited researcher, Rush influences educational trends.

Dr. Kathy Rush

Going beyond the foundations of nursing education, Dr. Kathy Rush of Kelowna, is an innovative educator, team leader and mentor with a true gift for engaging others.

She was among 36 nurses recognized for excellence at the annual College of Registered Nurses of B.C. (CRNBC) Award Ceremony held in Vancouver last month.

An award-winning instructor and frequently-cited researcher, Rush continues to push the boundaries of curriculum and practice, influencing educational trends here and around the world.

Rush is an associate professor at the University of British Columbia’s School of Nursing. A former acting dean of the Faculty of Health and Social Development in Kelowna, she has been actively involved in the graduate programs at UBC Okanagan since its inception and remains a graduate program coordinator.

Former student Christine Gregory said: “Throughout the course, she used innovative teaching methods to engage students and encourage participation with technology, interactive activities and intriguing discussions…Kathy also provided mentorship for my work as a research assistant…”

Rush helped launch this new MSN program, playing an instrumental role in preparing future nurse educators to rise to the top of their fields.

“She has developed teaching strategies using laptop computers in the classroom to connect practice to evidence,” said Dr. Patricia Marck. Her efforts to publicize these new methods have won many converts—her work has been cited nearly 100 times in other online research clearly influencing teaching modalities.

Rush is researching one of the most pressing issues in nursing education: Finding evidence for best practices to support new nursing graduate transitions into the clinical setting, work she is doing for a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research project. Rush is developing a best practice toolkit based on this research: “The work is not only timely, but critical when we consider the complex health care environments that new graduates are entering,” Marck said.

Always cognizant of the need to keep her own knowledge up to date, Rush attends and presents at conferences relating to her field of expertise. She is constantly conducting research and writing—she has published 16 peer-reviewed articles and given countless presentations on nursing education.

As a professor, Rush is seen as professional, approachable and supportive. “I have never encountered a more dedicated teacher who is thoroughly committed to student well-being,” said colleague Dr. Barbara Pesut.

A tireless teacher, scholar and servant to public health, Kathy Rush continues to bring talent and high standards of excellence that other nursing faculty aspire to achieve.