Barb Shellian, RN, MN, is a visionary nurse leader whose contributions to the advancement of nursing in the interest of the public span her professional nursing career. She was president of the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (1995-97) and served on numerous committees at the vanguard of policy changes affecting nursing. She is also active in the Canadian Nurses Association, serving on committees and as a board member.
Shellian played a significant leadership role in the establishment of the Canadian Association for Rural and Remote Nursing, serving as its inaugural president (2004-06). She initiated and hosts the Alberta rural educator telehealth networking conferences to provide nurses with an opportunity to share ideas and strategies. She was also a member of the rural and remote health research group at the University of Calgary and has played a significant role in rural nursing conferences in Alberta.
Shellian is co-chair of the International Council of Nurses’ rural and remote nursing network and is acknowledged internationally for her work of raising awareness and improving the practice of nurses working in rural and remote settings. Under her leadership as director of Bow Valley Corridor rural health and community facilities, Canmore Hospital has implemented innovative programs for staff and families that exemplify her commitment to health promotion.
Shellian received a Spirit of Planetree Award in 2007 and a People First Award from Calgary Health Region for her work in patient and family-centred care.