College of Nursing Assistant Professor Dr. Roslyn Compton and Graduate Student Shawn Emard (BSN’20).
College of Nursing Assistant Professor Dr. Roslyn Compton and Graduate Student Shawn Emard (BSN’20).

Nursing’s First Graduate Research Fellowship Award

Master of Nursing student Shawn Emard has received the first ever graduate research fellowship award in the College of Nursing.

University of Saskatchewan (USask) College of Nursing assistant professor Dr. Roslyn Compton (PhD) shares her passion for nursing research with students during their undergraduate nursing program. Sometimes she sparks a student’s interest in research and in one particular case, it lead to the pursuit of graduate nursing studies and an ideal research team partnership.

Dr. Compton has had the pleasure of working with Shawn Emard (BSN’20) since 2019 – first during his time in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program and now as a Master of Nursing student.

It is this faculty-student pairing that has resulted in the College of Nursing’s first Graduate Research Fellowship Award.

The University of Saskatchewan Graduate Research Fellowship program is a shared-cost program that provides funding to graduate students who receive at least an equal amount in salary or scholarship funds from faculty research grants or external sources. The purpose of the fellowship is to further a student's education and training.

“Shawn shares my commitment to improve the quality of life for older adults living in long-term care (LTC),” said Dr. Compton. “We have found ways to work together, but this fellowship opens new opportunities for collaboration. Now I can include Shawn on not just one grant or have him focusing his time on a single project – Shawn has the time to work on multiple projects and be part of a number of BetterLTC team grants.”

As part of the fellowship, Shawn is working on a variety of projects for Dr. Compton, including data collection, managing the BetterLTC website, writing for publication, presenting to graduate students, helping add course content to her undergraduate courses, working as a consultant in small groups, and creating a research lab.

“Having Shawn on our team in this increased capacity, made possible because of the fellowship, not only benefits him, it benefits us as researchers,” said Dr. Compton. “We are learning from Shawn and his graduate research. He is training research assistants to build capacity on our team. He brings a different perspective and a new set of strengths. It’s really a win-win for all of us.”

Shawn’s placements during his undergrad program ignited his passion for nursing with older adults. He currently works as a registered nurse at Sherbrooke Community Centre in Saskatoon.

“Being able to work in a long-term care setting, while doing my research as part of my Master of Nursing thesis, is beneficial,” said Shawn. “Gaining experience working with older adults and residents in LTC is invaluable to the research I do with older adults and the LTC community. Having access to lived experience helps to ensure we are using evidence in practice to guide our research.”

The graduate research fellowship is for a period of one year. Shawn began his fellowship September 2021. When he completes his fellowship and his graduate program, Shawn hopes to share his expertise to change health care policy in Saskatchewan.

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